Mellon converges voice and data in business consolidation

When financial services firm Mellon Financial decided to bring its business under one roof in Blackfriars, London in April 2004, it quickly became clear that the consolidation effort would also apply to its voice and data networks.

When financial services firm Mellon Financial decided to bring its business under one roof in Blackfriars, London in April 2004, it quickly became clear that the consolidation effort would also apply to its voice and data networks.

"We had previously debated the merits of converged voice and data networks at great length and found the whole proposition very attractive," said Andy Williams, Mellon's European chief information officer.

"The only thing holding us back was the cost of rewiring existing offices. The move to a new location swept those concerns aside and made the project look more viable."

It was, he said, an opportunity the company needed to seize, not least because it realised it could immediately save about 555,000 by not having to wire the new building to carry phone calls.

Added to that was the benefit of dispensing with costly and cumbersome private branch exchange systems. Instead, Mellon implemented an IP network to carry both voice and data, working with network specialist Omnetica, now part of Kingston Communications.

This has had a major impact on Mellon's IT team. "We have seen some reduction in head count as the teams for managing voice and data systems have merged and some employees struggled with that move," said Williams.

"For many, though, it has been a positive change, enabling them to move into new areas of network management and acquire new skills."

End-users have responded positively as well.

"They agree that the quality of voice services matches the standard they were used to previously, and they like the features of the IP phones that we have provided them with, such as on-screen shortcut dialling, and they are able to manage these functions themselves," said Williams.

"As long as they can receive and make calls without disruption, they are not bothered.

"The real benefit of our shift to IP telephony is that it has underpinned a wider effort to integrate and consolidate the business so our people and teams can work more efficiently together."

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This was last published in June 2005

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