Aspect Uses OCS 2007 R2 To Save $1.3 Million Per Year

I had an opportunity to chat with Jamie Ryan, CIO of Aspect Software, about his ongoing rollout of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. You may be surprised at some of the topics around server count, redundancy, ROI and ease of management.

First of all, most of you are probably curious about the $1.3 million dollar number I threw out in the title. This number represents real cost savings from implementing OCS, not any fuzzy math around increased productivity or even estimates of savings from communications enabled business processes. That's over a million dollars in cold hard cash back in the bank every year. Show me a CFO that doesn't want to hear that story! Most of the savings comes from insourcing audio and web conferencing. Aspect will likely see some additional benefits from toll bypass as well once their rollout is complete.

In case you don't know much about Aspect they mainly operate in the Contact Center arena. Naysayers will claim OCS has no business in the call center, just don't mention that to Jamie Ryan who has multiple call centers around the world and estimated call volumes of 70,000 calls/week (at full deployment). This means 1800 people servicing 70,000 calls per week with OCS as their only telephony device.

So, it's only fair to wonder about server sprawl what all it takes to make this happen. Jamie and his technical team noted the solution could have been accomplished with just 6 servers!! However, due to the nature of their business and the need for massive redundancy their solution is 23 servers spread between 3 major global hubs in Massachusetts, the UK and Singapore. No servers required in any of the smaller remote offices, they're all backhauled to the nearest hub over SIP trunks. Although the deployment team is larger Jamie doesn't expect to hire an "OCS expert". The ongoing "run" duties will be split among three current FTEs.

What's the most important key to a successful deployment? According to Jamie it's all in the planning. "You have to pull back the covers and really understand your environment". This is where all skeletons come out of the closet. It's also an opportunity to rearchitect and optimize your solution. Aspect used to have PBXs all over the place, like most companies. Now they have 3 global OCS farms in major hub sites. That's a huge consolidation of equipment, resources and maintenance. No more Avaya PBX, cisco there, NEC way over there, just one solution globally.

Be sure to check out Jamie Ryan in his own words at the Aspect UC blog.

Also take a look at my recent posts:

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Fixing OCS R2 Response Group Workflows

Customizing Voice Prompts in OCS 2007 R2
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