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It is not just the current economic climate that is delaying the authorisation and implementation of IT and telecoms projects. Many CTOs are also delaying decisions due to the rapid rate of change and innovation across the technology sector that may make their decisions rapidly obsolete.

Mobile devices and applications are challenging legacy client-server environments and exposing fundamental issues regarding security, cost control, technical management, corporate culture and ROI. With a responsibility list that includes cloud computing, devices, data management and network security, it is easy to understand why Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) may not be at the top of the list of CTO priorities. But FMC is a quick-win building block that can be extended in a modular fashion across the global enterprise providing the basis for a unified communications strategy.

In a world that is becoming more competitive, connected and global – delays in receiving and responding to voice calls is increasingly commercially unacceptable. According to IDC, it’s not unusual for customers to receive five different numbers for an individual or office. Furthermore a quarter of businesses expect suppliers to reply to enquiries within an hour. Other research studies suggest 39% of individuals said they had cancelled a contract because of not getting the level of communication they needed.

It is possible to use PBX call redirect for enterprises that already have fixed and mobile systems, thereby removing the need to deploy new devices. But this creates operational issues such as the need for multiple numbers and voicemails and the inability to transfer calls from fixed line to mobile. Security and additional costs may also be an issue as reprogramming a PBX may involve an enterprise using third party vendors or maintenance companies to manage this process.

To solve these issues, some enterprises consider going mobile only. Whilst this may appear to be a quick and relatively simple solution this may create issues including the concentration of mobiles overloading available bandwidth and lack of cost control for roaming and international business calls. Also for some companies this may not be a viable solution, for example, for enterprises with large contact centres.

Vodafone Global Enterprise offer FMC as a seamless connectivity between fixed and wireless telecommunications networks with a single number and voicemail and simple transfers between desk, fixed or mobile devices. Previously multinational businesses would have at least three communications contracts in place, often from different suppliers, including fixed line, fixed data mobile voice, mobile data and broadband connectivity. Each needed separate supplier management, contracts, billing and support, so created enormous complexity not only in cost terms but also operational inefficiencies and duplication.

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