Leightons builds faster comms system

Construction and engineering company Leighton Contractors has merged network and telephony availability into a single online presence for 500 staff at its Sydney office.

The catalyst for the upgrade came with the move of the company's NSW branch office. Scott Ferguson, IT infrastructure and services manager, Leighton Contractors, said, "The project-based nature of our work, together with short time frames often required to relocate or establish new operations made a flexible communications infrastructure very attractive."

Leightons' users now have access to a feature-rich collaborative and real-time communication environment encompassing presence awareness, including telephony information and phone control. Staff have click-to-call, click-to-e-mail and click-to-instant messaging options.

The collaborative infrastructure, developed by Dimension Data, deployed Microsoft integrated with Cisco CallManager via Genesys Enterprise Telephony Software. Microsoft Office Communicator is the unified communications client and communication sessions can be initiated from within Microsoft Office System, the Communicator client or Microsoft Outlook.

Ferguson said the live communications solution was developed as part of a project to deploy a managed operating environment nationally, together with a new core IP Telephony, wireless and security infrastructure, and directory and messaging upgrade. Using an integrated solution which can scale at a low cost gives the company a competitive advantage.

Oscar Trimboli, Microsoft Australia's unified communications group director, said increased staff productivity is one of the Leighton's main goals in this deployment, which is also expected to reduce the amount of staff travel, and deliver more productive ways to do business remotely - both internally, and with customers and partners.

Jon Farrell, a Dimension Data consultant, said mobility is another big consideration with a collaborative infrastructure. "We have to work with people that are no longer sitting at the next desk - they may not even be in the same time zone," he said.

"Leightons has a highly mobile workforce and with these technologies we can extend presence and communication out to mobile devices such as a PDA, allowing rich collaboration and reliable contact methods for workers either out on site or travelling."

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