Aster Group is spending £200,000 on a new unified communications system from NEC. The Sphericall system will enable Aster Group to standardise its communications infrastructure and reduce support costs across the business. The housing provider also plans to voice-enable all of its key business applications to achieve greater efficiency and improved service levels.
NEC will be implementing the Sphericall solution for over 700 users across three locations in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Somerset. Staff based in satellite offices will also have access to the system, enabling Aster to embrace a flexible working structure, where employees have access to the communications system irrespective of their location.
As part of its shared service strategy, Aster wanted to centralise its technology infrastructure to reduce support costs while providing employees with a user-friendly system that offered functionalities such as presence and instant messaging.
Roy Thompson, IT director, Aster Group, said, “To date, we have been using a multitude of IT and communications systems across these locations which is expensive to support and maintain, and makes it difficult for staff to work between sites or from remote locations.
“By implementing Sphericall, we will have a modern, future-proof communications architecture which makes it easy for staff to work from anywhere while still having the same telephony and communications functionality.”
The Sphericall solution runs on industry-standard servers across existing data networks without needing proprietary hardware. The platform also offers scalability, low cost of ownership and an openness which gives Aster the ability to embed communications into its critical business applications.