The company is also relying on SIP to allow it to further integrate collaboration applications, such as IBM's Lotus Sametime and Domino, Microsoft SharePoint, OCS and Live office documents, and Google Wave into its UC infrastructure.
"The eventuality is that we'll have a corporate Facebook application that will [support] IM and desktop videoconferencing, integrated with click to dial, e-mail, and groups with teams or projects that you're working on," Rogerson says. "It's all one Web-based app that has all collaborative tools... with some sort of hook-in to video and voice. It's all rolled into one dashboard, project and team driven, so people can do a click to voice or video dial.
"So I look at UC as not just unified communications, but you add an extra C. It's unified communications and collaboration."
Tying call handling to customer history
The National Hockey League's Sabres don't need anything that elaborate but nonetheless need a customer-driven system that facilitates rapid response from the team's account services and ticket office operations.
"The business that we're in relies so heavily on our phone system that we knew we needed to be on the cutting edge," says Dan DiPofi, chief operating officer of the Buffalo Sabres. Plus, Fujitsu exited the market, leaving the Sabres with an aged, obsolete system on a copper infrastructure, bereft of replacement parts.
The Sabres are three years into their $400,000 implementation of a ShoreTel UC system, which includes 20 ShoreGear voice switches and 700 IP phones connected over fiber. Integrated with the system is the Sabre's customer relationship management (CRM) application, which displays information about the caller when the call comes in to HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y. Displays show relevant information on new callers and those already in the database, so agents see the caller's level of participation and can respond appropriately.
The Sabres also integrated ShoreTel's Personal Call Manager application with Microsoft Outlook to put all of the team's employees on the same phone and voice mail system. This allows for integrated messaging, such as contact screen pop and calendar integration, so that employees can make calls from local online directories with the click of a mouse.
The system also allows for a virtual office setup, DiPofi says, in which phone messages follow employees around wherever they are -- in a fixed location or mobile -- and also show up as WAV files in e-mail messages.
Future capabilities of the system the Sabres are contemplating include the ability to queue callers to the account services department according to how much business they do with the organization.