Fidelity Matches Phone Service To Employees' Needs
The investment firm will use a tiered IP phone service that will give employees different levels of service, depending on their reliability requirements.
Fidelity Investments is developing a tiered IP phone system that will give different types of service to different employees depending on their need for reliability.
The company now has Centrex service to 15,000 employees and operates 117 PBXs. As of last month, Fidelity had installed 600 IP hardphones and 50 IP softphones, in which employees connect a USB handset to their computers and run their phone through a multifunctional software interface that integrates with Microsoft Outlook and lets them launch instant-messaging sessions, E-mails, or phone calls. Ultimately, the company plans to scale the IP system to 10,000 employees, giving less costly, and less reliable, service to summer interns, for example, while continuing to provide executives with highly reliable traditional phone service.
Fidelity analyzed the importance of the phone system versus data communications to determine whether it was worth implementing IP telephony in exchange for cost savings and potentially less-reliable service. "We thought about how much it would cost to give interns three nines 99.999% reliability, employees four nines 99.9999% reliability," and so on, David Moran, VP of architecture and planning of Fidelity Investments System Company, said at this week's VoiceCon conference in Washington. "Is the phone really as critical as it used to be? If my phone goes down, I have my cell phone, IM, E-mail, and the conference room." Employees tend to be more upset if their computers and E-mail systems are down.
This year, the company plans to convert an entire building to IP telephony with 700 hardphones and 3,300 softphones. The downside of softphones is that when a computer is down, so is the phone. Now, the company sees 99.999% reliability for desktop softphones, compared with 99.999999% reliability with traditional phones. But there's no up-front equipment costs, and the voice calls use the data circuits, reducing line charges and usage costs. Says Moran, "There's a very profound case for softphones."
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.