UK chartered accountancy firm Haysmacintyre has a number of years' experience in mobilising its enterprise data, communications and people to provide financial and other business support services predominantly for entrepreneurial businesses, the not-for-profit sector and high-net-worth individuals.
"We deployed Outlook on some partners' mobiles and they liked it so much they started using their mobiles at their desk, running up costs, which wasn't cost-effective," said Haysmacintyre chief information officer, Simon Bulleyment.
Having already also mobilised access to its 'eDocs' file-sharing application, the firm chose to support mobile use by replacing an existing PBX telephony system with a managed unified communications (UC) voice-over-IP solution, to increase efficiency, reduce downtime and cut system maintenance costs.
To provide the best possible service to clients, Haysmacintyre opted for a session initiation protocol-based trunk to ensure that business continuity processes could be activated quickly and effectively. Siemens' OpenScape UC also met the company's requirements by offering easy migration and integration into the existing communications infrastructure, rather than requiring a 'rip and replace' approach.
"Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) was not key, but it was an integral part of the project," Bulleyment said. "It got rid of the issue of having multiple devices. There was not a flicker in transitioning from GSM to the office wireless network when we trialled it. And the presence features mean clients don't have to make a decision between a mobile or fixed-line phone number to reach our people."
In terms of negotiating the best deal, he said, "Anything to do with wireless and mobility has to involve security in the conversation. If the network and access is designed and deployed securely, where the devices are encrypted and can be remotely wiped, the next consideration is cost. We found FMC a cheap route into UC. We negotiated a good deal with our network operator. And we are working with a good FMC technology partner that supports our UC strategy.
"Mobile is really just another endpoint for our common communications services, and technology infrastructure has to support that."