Alcatel comms initiative aims to boost productivity

The lack of a reliable communication system could result in lower company productivity by delaying business transactions or...

The lack of a reliable communication system could result in lower company productivity by delaying business transactions or causing poor customer servicing, according to a joint survey conducted by Alcatel and Research International.

The survey covered approximately 1,000 respondents from multinational corporations with more than 200 employees in the US, UK, Germany and France.

The study indicated that half of respondents use five or more communication devices such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants to ensure that they are reachable around the clock. Even so, 39% miss at least five calls daily, most of which come from high-priority clients and customers.

The survey also suggested that 46% of respondents tended to call someone whenever they need information rather than go through the task of checking available data, yet 76% believed they did not have immediate access to contact information on people they need to reach urgently.

These scenarios have resulted in delays in numerous business transactions and, at the same time, reduced the quality of the company's customer service.

The need to address this communication problem has prompted Alcatel to develop and introduce its new Unified Interaction Management (UIM) initiative which aims to deliver a suite of software products that will bring people and information together to improve business processes across any device, network, application and location in real time.

"The UIM will bring the communication benefits and efficiency of contact centre applications throughout the entire enterprise," said Alex Filocca, Alcatel marketing manager for Southeast Asia.

Although the UIM strategy is unlikely to materialise until 2005, this year's UIM initiative is focused on software designed to attach data with a voice call and transfer it to any location across the enterprise.

Available applications such as My Messaging enables users to check their voice mail, e-mail and fax messages from a single location such as a PC or mobile phone.

MyPhone transforms the computer into a fully-featured telephone including all the benefits of computer-telephony integration. MyAssistant configures the office phone number to allow users to receive office calls wherever they may be. Another application, MyTeamwork, offers a set of collaborative work applications that facilitate conferencing in real time.

Alcatel claimed users of the applications have reported a 5% tp 30% increase in company productivity.

When fully rolled out in 2005, the UIM is expected to be an independent platform based on open standards such as SIP, J2EE and .net. It will be able to operate in TDM, IP-only, and dual network environments, allowing businesses to extend their existing infrastructure investments and take full advantage of IP benefits.

Melissa V Patricio writes for Computerworld Philippines

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