Charles Stanley Stockbrokers has cut the cost of business calls and prepared for new financial legislation after implementing a converged data network managed with unified communications software across 30 sites.
It is using a Cisco suite of communication products to support the network, enabling presence-based information across both fixed desk phones and mobile devices, such as Blackberries. It also integrates with desktop environments.
Unifying the network with presence will also help the company to comply with the forthcoming Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid), which is likely to require investment firms to make recordings of calls after November this year. Using the network, the process of archiving and retrieving call logs can be automated to extract wav-generated files stored across the network.
With sites across the UK and more than 800 employees, the company had been running a mixture of analogue and digital PBXs from different suppliers, which were expensive to maintain. But the new network means that even when employees cannot make it into a branch office, calls can be re-routed through a Cisco server to a range of devices to ensure service continuity.
"We have reduced our telephony maintenance costs and eliminated site-to-site call costs across our office branches," said Mark Smith, ICT manager at Charles Stanley Stockbrokers.
Further down the line, the company hopes to reap customer management benefits. When a client telephones a broker, the client's portfolio has to be called up.
"Using caller ID with integrated presence information to the desktop, details can be brought up automatically, increasing response time to trades and customers," said Smith.
Charles Stanley is using Cisco's Call Manager 5.1 to use presence information in its business and is currently trialling Cisco's Unified Communications system 6.0, which encompasses fixed and wireless IP phones, conferencing software and a dedicated messaging server.
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