A leading government agency, specialising in economic development, investigated implementing a unified messaging platform, as a tool to increase staff efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer services, by processing messages more effectively. The Head of IT Services at the organisation comments, “We wanted a solution that provided voicemail, SMS, fax and email messages through a single user interface. The objective was to offer users a method to receive, reply, and manage messages regardless of the delivery mode. Mobile and remote workers had a particular need to be aware of messages.”
With the original system, it was not possible to check email messages when away from the normal place of work, unless the user had connection via a Notes client on a laptop or desktop PC. Additionally fax transactions were carried out using standalone machines, offering no facility for onward distribution electronically, or notification to the recipient.
The organisation had a choice between two possible suppliers who could supply an integrated system to meet the requirements. To ensure both solutions were judged on a consistent level, a scoring process was employed. This process was split into two sections; Features and Technical Compliance. Selected project board members and technical staff were tasked with completing the score documents against the suppliers’ tender replies, presentations and additionally requested information.
The Head of IT Services commented, “The CX-E, RightFax and ProcessFlows Text Message Solution, distributed by ProcessFlows, consistently scored higher than the second supplier. The features and technical compliance areas reviewed were very stringent and provided us with a comprehensive view of the suppliers’ products, tender information and business compatibility.”
The criteria used in the process was:
- Ease of use for email, voicemail and faxes
- Interoperability between existing and new messaging systems
- Text to voices transcription and vice versa
- SMS system
- Special / additional features
- Integration with Lotus Notes
- Integration with Meridian System
- Ease of transition / implementation
- Support & Maintenance
The government organisation use a Meridian switch and deploy networked Compaq desktops, Toshiba laptops and Compaq servers.
Having discussed the requirements with the client, ProcessFlows recommended and implemented a combination of their business process management software, to provide an integrated solution, which met their exact functionality requirements. CX-E v6.5 with a capacity for 1200 users, RightFax with a capacity of 100 in bound lines and ProcessFlows Text Message Solution, made up the chosen system. CX-E is linked to the Nortel Meridian 1 system via an E1 DPNSS link; this provides the whole organisation with voicemail. The messages left are posted into the users Lotus Notes email inbox and are also accessible from their desktop handset and externally via their mobiles, or any outside external phone. There are now over a 1000 users utilising the unified messaging functionality located across 10 buildings.
The Head of IT Services explains, “The users appreciate all the flexibility CX-E offers and this application is used constantly throughout a normal working day, in the office. Also the mobile workers find the option of having voice and email messages read back over external phone lines especially useful. When questioned on which features that provided most benefits for the users the following was deduced, with the highest benefit listed first.”
- Voicemail posted into Lotus Notes email in box
- Pause/Replay when listening to voicemail
- Voicemail storage within Lotus Notes
- Out of office message
- Forwarding voicemails
- Listen to emails via phone internally & externally
- Ability to transfer to called parties mobile phone
- Ability to transfer to called parties colleague’s phone
- Live reply – Dial back
“We also now have RightFax and ProcessFlows Text Message Solution installed and operational. Although too early to place a categorical return on investment, we are sure the RightFax facility will quickly save the organisation time and cost of faxing documents and improve greatly the quality of faxed documents. The entire ProcessFlows Unified Message Solution (UMS) has incorporated well into the organisation and the integration with all our departments and job functions is its major benefit.” comments the Head of IT Services.
Outbound Faxing will be distributed to all staff, allowing them to send electronic documents from their networked PCs. This will be available in all applications and a standard fax template will promote a corporate image. It will give the staff the ability to address the document to the receiving fax number and provide a document to pre-requisite the faxed document. Text messaging will provide an option to the user to send short, succinct messages instantly and to be confident that they have been sent quickly and securely. Inbound SMS Messages are automatically routed to users ProcessFlows Text Message Solution inbox, email address or direct to another mobile phone.
The organisation value staff opinion and believe that a good way of monitoring and evaluating the level of success of a project, is to gain valuable input from the users. A survey captured positive feedback on the UMS solution and some of the captured quotes are listed below:
- Far more functionality – an impressive service to tell clients/ suppliers about – we’re way ahead of the game on this one.
- It’s a more professional service to customers – being able to forward the phone to my mobile has provided me with the opportunity to receive calls on the move as well as ensuring that the phone can always be answered.
- Messages can be kept and replayed as often as required. Also the telephone number is printed on the message, which is helpful when callers quickly say their numbers.
- When not in the office, being able to use one medium to check both emails and voicemails – either using mobile or key fob to access emails.
- Improved access to information as quickly and efficiently as possible due to the nature of the Press Office. Part of the continuous improvement of services available to us
- Being able to replay messages. Pause and rewind as media enquiries sometimes need to be listened to more than once. The ability to store voice messages has also been a big advantage due to the sensitivity of some of the things we deal with in PR.
- Has greatly enabled remote contact with office and clients without the need to visit the office. Combined with remote fob capability, I can save and revisit voicemails, emails etc from remote locations, such as home.
- Ability to pick up voice messages on colleague’s phone via permitted access to their inbox, whilst leaving the message on the system for them to hear on their return
- Better control of messages, ability to forward electronic voice files, playback, can type into the body of the message who called and what they asked, then print this for the file – essential in the context of legal files where attendance notes are require.
- I regularly use the system to access and manage email and voicemail when I am out of the office. It enables me to provide a speedy response if required and has proved to be very useful.
“We deal with ProcessFlows via one of their Partners, who we enjoy a good relationship with. During my project management role we have also had a positive relationship with our ProcessFlows account manager and I have found all the staff I have encountered to be very friendly and professional.” Concludes the Project Manager for the UMS implementation.
“ ProcessFlows Text Message Solution and RightFax, distributed by ProcessFlows, consistently scored higher than the second supplier. The features and technical compliance areas reviewed were very stringent and provided us with a comprehensive view of the suppliers’ products, tender information and business compatibility”