"Internet telephony represents a foundation for business advantage both today and down the road," says Marc Shipman, director of telecommunications for Novartis.
"We're already saving money, and it is starting to generate some interesting ideas for business growth and customer service." Novartis
took advantage of Cisco's
product lifecycle support and service.Cisco's approach helps companies extract business value out of their technological infrastructures with assistance from the blueprint stage all the way to ongoing tuning and maintenance.
"We looked at moving to IP telephony by ourselves, but it would have cost too much and taken too long," says Shipman
."The Cisco IP Communications system and Cisco's lifecycle services approach represented a fast track to achieving the highest degree of success in the shortest period."
The journey to IP telephony began with an impartial vendor review by a consulting firm, who looked at such factors as product line maturity, functionality and technological strength.The review also examined relationships with third-parties who could add specific functionality later.According to Shipman
, the prime directive was reliability."Users demand a phone that is always on, all the time," he
When the project ends, we want all the knowledge and experience to stay at Novartis
," says Shipman
"We're expecting our employees to generate ideas about how we can leverage IP telephony to move the business and become more agile," says Shipman
.Ideas are already emerging, including accessibility to 7,000 field representatives, voice recognition for call centers and telecommuting.
"We not only want to keep up with new technologies but send a message to our employees as well: 'we plan on leveraging IP telephony for you to do your jobs more efficiently,'" says Shipman
drug development and other activities are highly confidential, security has been an important part of the implementation from the initial design.IP telephone calls are transported via a secure Cisco virtual private network (VPN) protected by advanced encryption."The network is critical to our business, so we are devoted to keeping it up and running and protected at the highest possible level," says Shipman
The industry is finally mature enough to support converged networks, and we're building our business around those expanded capabilities," says Shipman