A look into the communications (digital) transformation at SKM
SKM gains employee efficiency, accessibility with ALE communications products
Since its inception in 1974, S.K.M Air Conditioning LLC has grown to become a premier name in the air conditioning industry of the Arabian Gulf. SKM, with 1500 employees across eight offices in the region, supplies HVAC equipment to over 30 countries of Middle-East and Africa. SKM’s manufacturing facility in Sharjah, UAE, spans over 43,000 Sqm which makes it one of the largest air-conditioned facilities of its kind in the region.
SKM is no stranger to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) telephony. Since 2003, SKM employed the Alcatel 4400 telephony system, the predecessor to the current enterprise telephony platform (the Alcatel-Lucent® OpenTouch) to provide basic telephony services to its burgeoning staff. This traditional TDM PABX occupied 12 rack space, where extensions terminated in the system directly and consumed its fair share of power.
Fast forward to recent times, in 2015 SKM started noticing that their aging telephony infrastructure was hampering further business growth. The IT Team started to notice rapidly rising maintenance costs associated with this aging infrastructure. The once widely accepted analog handsets were now clearly ancient due to the lack of new features such as Caller Line Identification (CLI), Hot Desking, and more. Some of the daily user complaints included that external parties could not hear the caller and calls were not disconnecting when callers hung up. In summary, the system had clearly begun to show its age and it was time to change.
The changing business dynamics made an easy business case for a migration to an IP based Telephony system. The positive experience with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and its long-time systems integrator, Al-Futtaim Technologies, made the move to the Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch an easy decision.
New IP phones connected directly to the network and shared the existing network cabling with the PC. This immediately reduced the size of the PABX from occupying two racks to 3U and offered a corresponding reduction in power consumption. The other benefits of the Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch include:
• One Number – All desk phone calls for the senior management ring simultaneously on their mobile and this ensures that no call is missed.
• Off-site mobility - Users on the move, within the SKM network, can access the PABX via their smartphone while connected to WiFi.
• Peer-to-Peer Video calling has enhanced discussions between senior executives for collaboration.
From a business and end-user angle, OpenTouch has been recognized as an easy and simple app to use. Abdul Rehman, IT manager at SKM, shared that he sees improved employee efficiency and accessibility, which have both contributed to improved customer satisfaction. One of the favorite capabilities of SKM employees is the directory search with ‘click-to-call’ feature, which truly streamlines connectivity efforts. And as for the IT/Communications team, the centralized management embedded in the Alcatel-Lucent Ominvista® network management tool further simplifies their efforts. All in all, a next generation communications system contributes to the overall health of the business.
So, what does Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch mean for the everyday communication user – a desk user? It becomes the basis to expand the limitations that are enforced by embracing a digital transformation. OpenTouch builds a bridge for a business on the digital transformation journey to move forward. While OpenTouch is an on premise based UC platform, businesses can also enjoy the benefits of a cloud-based UC by leveraging the ALE team collaboration tool, Rainbow. You can learn more about how this can benefit your business here www.openrainbow.com. Check it out start an account for FREE!
Cybersecurity: From A to Z on campus
Institutions need to adopt a ‘trust no one’ cybersecurity strategy that addresses all users, devices and applications.
Trend watch: OT-IT convergence in energy and utilities
Operational and Information technology convergence is changing how energy and utilities manage their business going forward.
Five steps to ZTNA cybersecurity on campus
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) cybersecurity allows academic institutions to realise important benefits across all operations.
Education under siege
A rise in cyberattacks - particularly ransomware - is impacting academic institutions, putting educational goals at risk.