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Wednesday, 25 November 2009 10:10

Prestige clients secure tech support via videoconference

A six figure investment in unified communications which allowed healthcare solutions company iSOFT to cut a key travel budget by 70 per cent is about to be leveraged with the company pledging to provide tech-support for “prestige clients” via videoconference.

Chief information officer Martin Wilkinson told iTWire that the company never invested in technology with a payback period of more than three years, and that in the case of the videoconference applications the payback was generally achieved in less than two years.

“The fastest ROI (return on investment) was in India. We acquired a company in India and I did 38 trips to do the integration. We put a Tandberg in the boardrooms and the trips were cut by 70 per cent.”

Now the company wants to offer selected clients access to its videoconferencing network for the installation phase of its systems and for the ongoing support of applications.

Denis Tebbutt, iSOFT managing director, said this could start this calendar year. Tebbutt, who has a Tandberg video conference unit on his desk, said there was “No reason why we could not install them in the (client) CIO’s office… and it could stay there for the life of a project.”

iSOFT has grown rapidly largely by acquisition and now has 4,600 staff, and offices in 18 countries. It also has 90 videoconferencing end points on its company network - including one in its chairman’s Watson’s Bay Home, and a house he uses in the UK. PC videoconferencing capability is also being rolled out for 175 iSOFT executives.

iSOFT’s unified communications network has been developed and installed by Melbourne based iVision which believes that unified communications is now moving into a new phase of maturity.

Market analyst Frost & Sullivan has estimated that the Australian market for unified communications is worth $608 million. According to iVision managing director Graham Williams “the technology has gone from some nice little toy, if it works, to mission critical,” adding that the “whole game has changed in six months.”

The solution that has been installed at iSOFT has been woven together using equipment, software and services from multiple sources, including HP computers, Cisco network switches and call manager solutions, Juniper security products, Tandberg videoconference units, Microsoft software including Office Communication Server and Sharepoint. Underpinning it all is an inter-office communications network supplied by Verizon Business.

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