The first real Unified Communications rollout in the Netherlands ensures rapid, seamless response, contact and collaboration among remote colleagues—thanks to a holistic solution designed, built and run by Capgemini.
Because we wanted to renew both our office and our communications infrastructures, we decided to do the two together and migrate our IT services to Capgemini, so that, for less additional cost, we could ensure an improved service. And that is exactly what we got. Hans Santegoeds, IT Manager, BPF Bouwinvest
When Dutch property investment firm, BPF Bouwinvest, de-merged from its parent, the pension fund Cordares, it saw an opportunity to modernize its communications. The company wanted a state-of-the-art IT and telephony environment that would enable collaboration and knowledge sharing between staff members, co-workers and with partners in the value chain, regardless of time and place.
BPF Bouwinvest’s business depends on making well-informed decisions. The business has four locations, and most of its employees spend much of their time either on the road, at BPF Bouwinvest partner sites, or at home. Responsive group communications and information access, therefore, posed a challenge that had to be addressed. BPF Bouwinvest wanted to create a communications model in which telephone-tag and voicemail cul-de-sacs were a thing of the past. It also wanted systems put in place to ensure that critical information, such as blueprints of successful projects, would not be misfiled or otherwise lost in the system.
BPF Bouwinvest approached Capgemini Technology Services to help it establish an advanced office and communications environment for the newly autonomous business. A Capgemini team engaged with a 10-strong BPF Bouwinvest team to pin down the requirements. BPF Bouwinvest outlined its vision for a new ‘information workplace’, where PCs, telephones and mobiles would work together seamlessly to share data and keep colleagues connected.
Capgemini proposed a unified communications (UC) solution based on Microsoft Office 2007, Office Communications Server and the Sharepoint collaboration platform. This was combined with Mitel IP telephony and smartphones. Following bids from three providers, BPF Bouwinvest selected Capgemini Technology Services for the delivery, based on its reputation for advanced technology deployments. The resulting technology estate is now run by Capgemini Outsourcing from a central data center, based on a distributed computing architecture and virtualized servers. The solution includes the Sybase OneBridge application, providing central control of mobile devices. This replicates mobile content on a central server, and can wipe data from individual handsets if they have not been synchronized for three days (suggesting loss or theft).
Transition from the old infrastructure was completed within a year. BPF Bouwinvest’s employees are now freed from designated desks and office phones, each having a unified identity and number, which follows them around and makes them easier to reach. Meanwhile, data and documents can be located and shared much more easily, no matter where the collaborating users are.
Although cost efficiencies and productivity enhancements are inevitable advantages of a centralized UC solution, BPF Bouwinvest’s primary goal in adopting the new dynamic collaboration and communications environment is to make its staff more responsive. Being seen to use flexible, advanced technology will also help BPF Bouwinvest attract the best new talent when recruiting.