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CBI signs managed service deal to improve CRM and HR systems

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is integrating back-office systems with its network through a managed service to enable communications data to be used by business applications.

The CBI has signed a three-year managed service agreement with InTechnology. It will link to the service provider's UK IP network to replace its current wide area network and analogue telephone systems. The previous system did not allow for integration with technology such as customer relationship management (CRM) and human resources systems.

The CBI will link overseas operations in Beijing, Brussels and Washington during this year.

Matt Phillips, head of IT at the CBI, said the service will link to other IT systems and improve business processes. He said the CBI wants, initially, to link the phone system to its CRM system.

"One example of a workflow [being designed] is where a user is entered into the HR system and a new user will be automatically created with appropriate IT accounts. The new user is then automatically assigned a telephone extension and phone details and HR details are passed to our new web portal," said Phillips. "We are not looking to make major savings but are adding new functions and automation."

The agreement provides improved business continuity as a result of the network being outsourced, which means the CBI benefits from InTechnology's back-up. It also provides mobile internet access at the same standard as fixed access and free calls between sites.

"We are looking to create a system that offers the same user experience from the desk as in a car park, with internet access, flexibility and business continuity the key objectives of the work we are carrying out," said Phillips.

The CBI chose to take on a managed service because it does not have the internal skills for managing the network.

"We wanted to work with specialists in the field of communications and telephony as we feel this service is best dealt with externally," said Phillips.


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