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06 Aug 2015

Unified communications saved our technical team 276 hours a year

How to save 11 work days a year and the cost of flights and hotels

Our technical team, which offers third line support for the whole of Africa, cut 45 hours from each of its technical briefings that were hosted in Europe for our EMEA region. They cut another eight hours from each meeting held with our own South African team located at the major centres around the country. And they simultaneously saved the cost of flights, hotels and local transport for all of those meetings.

With just one EMEA regional technical briefing per quarter and one South African meeting per month that has saved us a minimum of 276 hours per year, per person engaged in those activities. That’s more than 11 days. Almost an entire annual leave period. And they did it all by using unified communications.

It’s more than a device

Unified communications is more than a device. It’s a way of communicating that incorporates projectors, electronic whiteboards, smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, phones and more so that people like those in our technical department can quickly, easily, and efficiently share complex information with people who will make a difference to our customer service.

It’s a lot more than Web-based or video conferencing.

When our technical team needs assistance from their colleagues anywhere around the globe they use the Unified Communication System (UCS). They can get top-level access to our best technicians immediately, quickly and clearly describe the issue, and get our best minds working to resolve the issue right away.

Keeps customers happy, employees meeting KPIs

Our technical teams use the UCS for meetings and live exchanges of information between numerous countries. Since Ricoh South Africa ultimately falls under Ricoh Europe our team must communicate with their colleagues from the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and more countries, as well as the entire local team spread across the major national centres from Cape Town to Durban and up to Johannesburg. The UCS saves us the cost of air travel but, more importantly, it saves time so we can have our best technical minds at work meeting their key performance indicators (KPIs) and keeping customers happy.

It’s also easy to use. Any one who has used a smartphone to make a phone call can use the UCS. It works on a very similar system. You just scroll through the contact list and press the name of the person you want to reach – no matter which device you happen to be using. You can reach them wherever they are: on a plane at 30 000 feet on their mobile phone, at a customer site with their tablet, another company facility with an interactive whiteboard, on the Tube in the UK, wherever they find themselves.

With new compression technologies the video quality is also exceptionally good, even off a 3G connection, so it’s jitter and lag-free.

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