Unified messaging to save Royal London £600,000

Royal London Insurance will save £600,000 a year by switching its mobile staff to a unified communications solution.

Royal London Insurance will save £600,000 a year by switching its mobile staff to a unified communications solution.

Royal London manages £30bn in funds and specialises in sending financial consultants to customers' homes. Last year the company issued mobile phones to its 1200 representatives and found its phone bills soaring as staff set up call forwarding services.

Call Sciences' unified communications system will allow each financial consultant to use a Web interface to set up to five chained call redirects.

As a call comes through on the special 07092 number set aside by Oftel for unified communications, the Call Sciences datacentre pushes it to each telephony device, without requiring any additional premium services from the network carrier.

The system does not eliminate all call redirection charges. Calls from mobile phones that are not on the Royal London carrier networks will still incur redirect charges. However, the insurance firm believes that as few of its customers call its representatives from mobile phones, any interconnect charges will be significantly less than call redirect charges.

Unified messaging providers have had a rough year, with Vivao and Canbox both calling in the receivers. However, Call Sciences managing director Piers Mummery said: "This is one of the largest deals this year and a good example of how companies can make savings by circumventing the hidden charges carriers place on interconnect and redirection services.

"We expect that, as more companies switch away from fixed to mobile telephony and teleworking continues to rise, telecommunication managers will need to find a solution to reduce the these unpredictable charges."

Mummery, who is also the European Director for the Unified Communications Consortium added: "Telecommunication companies make substantial revenue on redirection and interconnect charges and have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Companies trying to reduce telecommunication charges should look a bit more closely at its bills to see if they are also being hit by these types of charges."

Unified communication services received bad publicity earlier this year, when Oftel issued a warning about unscrupulous operators using the number range that was originally designed for unified numbering for premium rate services. To combat this, Oftel revoked revenue sharing rules that allowed third parties to profit from these scams on 1 November.

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