Unified Communications

 

Seamless, integrated communications and collaboration tools

Unified Communications is typically a set or combination of products such as telephony, email, instant messaging, presence information and conferencing that provides a consistent, unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.

UC enables geographically-dispersed individuals and teams, and mobile workers to work together more efficiently and effectively by giving them richer ways of communicating, collaborating and sharing information when they are not in the same location. UC also supports Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) IT strategies, better enabling employees to work remotely.

The end result is that employees are more productive, and can make more informed and faster decisions, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole organisation - bringing projects and initiatives to fruition more quickly and potentially to a higher standard. For IT decision-makers, deploying UC can mean cost-savings through reduced travel, office space and a more efficient  and rationalised IT&T infrastructure.

Increasing business efficiency and productivity, while reducing overall IT costs

In today's challenging market environment, IT decision-makers are being required to support their business by delivering on a number of key issues.

Consumerisation and flexible working
The growing trend around the consumerisation of IT, and the increasing priority placed on providing enhanced mobile and remote working solutions, are top of the agenda for CIOs and IT Managers. Employees now want to communicate with the same types of social and collaborative tools that they use in their free time, and to use them in a seamless way. They expect to move from email to IM to videoconferencing all through a familiar interface, whichever device they’re using and from any location.

Respond to evolving business needs
Reacting quickly and effectively to the evolving needs of the business is also key. Any new technology introduction requires a tailored design, but quick and effective deployment and, in life, for services to be optimised to support business objectives.  There is also a requirement for a lower CAPEX commitment and more flexibility with a move to variable operational costs. This is driven by the need to adapt to an  the increase and decrease in employees , for example, when businesses need to scale up/down to work on major projects.

Aging IT infrastructure
Communication technologies continue to evolve rapidly, leaving many companies using obsolete IT infrastructure, which does not serve their business in the optimum manner. The replacement of existing IT infrastructure, such as the central telephony system (PBX) remains one of the main drivers for the adoption of Unified Communications. However, the expense and complexity of replacing a PBX means that the IT decision maker is likely to wait until it reaches the end of its life, in spite of the difficulty of integration with UC services that this creates.

Cost control
IT managers have to deal with lower IT budgets but have to raise the productivity of an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce at the same time. They are also being asked to introduce a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy to accommodate employee demand for new tools and devices. With Colt, you can look forward to immediate reductions in travel expenses, call costs and facilities bills. By reducing the complexity of your communications architecture, you can save on capital investment and lower operating costs.
 

Standardised, hosted and managed UC solutions with end-to-end quality assurance

 

Overview
Colt has developed a complete suite of hosted communication and collaboration applications integrated with our highly-resilient, wholly-owned, voice and data network to deliver seamless, consistent, end-to-end Unified Communications solutions to enterprises across 13 European countries.

Colt can now provide a full suite of managed, Cloud-based, communication and collaboration applications from market-leading vendors Microsoft, Cisco plus our own Colt Audio conferencing platform.

Because we own, operate and control the infrastructure and services, we are able to provide an end-to-end Service Level Agreement (SLA), ensuring a consistent, high quality user experience across the entire solution and all locations.

 

Unified Communications portfolio image

 

UC Applications and Partners
We partner with leading vendors to develop the right UC services for you and deliver them over our unique network. We are working in multi-vendor environments and integrate with many different technologies. 

  • Avaya / Cisco: Managed IP Telephony with Instant Messaging, mobility and integration with email, plus complete Contact Centre solutions
  • Microsoft Lync: Scalable, hosted, tightly integrated IP Telephony, Instant Messaging, Presence and Collaboration service – all with a single, intuitive interface – for a seamless user experience
  • Microsoft Exchange: Powerful, hosted messaging solution, which combines email, calendaring and contacts, integrated tightly with MS Lync or other Colt UC components
  • Colt Audio Conferencing and Cisco WebEx: Enhanced web sharing and HD video conferencing application, tightly integrated with the hosted Colt Audio Conferencing platform for a complete audio, web and video collaboration solution

Delivery models
The Colt UC portfolio has been developed around designing, managing and supporting UC solutions either on customers’ premises or hosted within our Colt data centres. Taking a standardised, hosted and managed UC solution from Colt removes the need for you to spend opex on expensive skills to self-build or manage the solution in-house, or on system upgrades. It also enables more agile design and deployment, while at the same time lowering your cost-base.

Microsoft Dedicated Lync and Dedicated Exchange are provided by Colt as dedicated or ‘private’, hosted services. This means that these applications are not shared, or ‘multi-tenanted’ with any other customer. Customers retain management and control of these applications and services, including scaling up and down numbers of users, through a self-service portal.

UC Deployment
At Colt, we understand that enterprises adopt Unified Communications at different speeds based on their priorities, available budget, and the potential benefits. We also believe that the services provided around supplying a technology solution are at least as important as the technology itself.

As part of our customer engagement model – ADIOM - our UC Sales Specialists and Solution Architects work closely with you to understand your business priorities and design a solution that meets your requirements in the present and into the future. This may involve a phased UC implementation where we help you evolve and migrate efficiently from existing infrastructure over time, ensuring that any new services are well integrated with what’s already there and that critical business applications and data are transferred without any business interruption.

At a glance:

  • Fully integrated, tailored applications, networking and IT solutions
  • Hosted and managed in Colt data centres, or managed on customers’ premises
  • Standardised design and deployment
  • Wholly-owned, European voice and data networks
  • End-to-end SLA for the entire solution
  • Single point of contact (SPOC) for service management
  • In-country, local language expertise and support
  • Comprehensive customer engagement model – ADIOM
  • Flexible commercial terms and consumption models

Increased operational effectiveness, reduced capital investment and lower operating costs

Implemented correctly and adopted fully, Colt Unified Communications can deliver significant benefits.

Greater speed to market
With Colt UC your business can become more agile in fast-changing market conditions. You can expedite the time to market of projects through enhanced team collaboration, communication and information-sharing. This is achieved by reducing latency, streamlining information flows and eliminating device and media dependencies. The quality of decision-making is enhanced and issues are resolved more quickly through increased access to expert resources, whatever their location.

Increased efficiency and productivity
By deploying Colt UC you can improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of your business. Distributed teams and mobile workers can readily access a richer suite of communication and collaboration tools, whatever their location, making them more effective and productive.

Flexible working policies
Colt UC supports integrated telephony, email, IM, and collaboration tools on a range of fixed and mobile devices from the office, at home or while on-the-move. So you can empower your employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively with each other, with customers and other external stakeholders, wherever they are located and whatever their preferred device. This can lead to an improved work/life balance for employees, increasing job satisfaction and staff retention.

Cost control and flexibility
By implementing Colt UC you can look forward to reductions in travel expenses, call costs and facilities bills. We can consolidate your communications infrastructure - uniting telephony, voice mail, instant messaging, email and audio/web conferencing -  reducing the complexity of your communications architecture, and helping you to save on capital investment and to lower operating costs. Moreover, because we host and manage your UC solution for you, operating and maintaining it on your behalf, our solution removes the need to spend opex on expensive skills to self-build or manage in-house, or on system upgrades.

At a glance:

  • Our one-stop-shop reduces operational management complexity and focuses accountability
  • Managed, Cloud-based services remove need for capex investment and opex expenditure on expensive, highly skilled resources to build or manage solution in-house
  • Standardised, hosted and managed offering enabling  more agile design and deployment, while lowering costs
  • You can focus on business imperatives, not managing IT infrastructure, because we manage and maintain for you
  • Our highly collaborative engagement model supports a phased, well integrated implementation – protecting existing investments and ensuring the transition of business-critical applications and data without business interruption
  • Our experience  and credentials in mission-critical networking and IT, including terminating 2 billion voice minutes per month, provides quality assurance and reduces risk
  • End-to-end SLA delivers consistent service experience across Europe, reduces service quality issues, operational management and risk
  • Colt Single Point of Contact expedites issue resolution and enables more effective service management
  • Self-service admin portal delivers customer control and management  

 

More agile and flexible UC solutions at lower cost, higher service quality, and less operational management and risk

One of the significant differences with Colt is our wholly-owned and managed mission-critical data networking capability across Europe, which has won us major accolades in the marketplace over the years and an enviable number of clients in the wholesale financial services, media and government sectors. We also provide a consistent SIP Trunking service across 13 European countries.

In creating UC solutions for our customers, we integrate these highly resilient networks, and our IT services, with standardised UC applications from market-leading vendors. This means that we can provide a seamless, managed UC solution across all 13 Colt countries backed by an end-to-end SLA.  So you experience a consistent service across all your European offices, and reduced service quality issues, operational management and risk.  The standardised nature of our hosted and managed UC offering also enables more agile design and deployment, while lowering costs.

Colt has a wholly-owned, pan-European networking capability to offer private Cloud Microsoft Lync services across Europe, where we host and manage the application, dedicated to you, in our state-of the-art data centres.

With Colt UC we give you a single point of contact for service management across your entire UC deployment, so if there is an issue, you immediately know who to contact. You also have the reassurance of expertise and support in-country in the local language and multi-lingual helpdesk facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lastly, our highly collaborative ‘partnership’ and ADIOM design approach supports a phased, well integrated implementation, protecting your existing investments and ensuring the transition of business-critical applications and data without business interruption.

At a glance:

  • Seamless UC service offering managed across all 13 Colt countries backed by an end-to-end SLA
  • Standardised, hosted and managed offering expedites design and deployment
  • Managed, private Cloud (dedicated) Microsoft Lync offering across Europe
  • Wholly-owned and managed, mission-critical networking capability, including SIP Trunking in 13 countries
  • Colt’s focus on medium-size, pan-European enterprises, which we understand well as they are similar to us – we are a good fit
  • Single point of contact for solution service management across entire Colt footprint combined with in-country, local language expertise and support
  • Agile approach, and flexible, integrated design and delivery models to meet individual customer requirements
  • Per-user, end-to-end, flat monthly rental covering network, compute, storage, numbering and applications plus bundled minutes

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