NEC Focuses UC on Roles and Verticals

24 May 2010

UNIVERGE360 and NEC Integration Services Combine for Applications Success

NEC believes that real value can be created by enabling businesses "to fully integrate employee roles with automated business processes, resulting in a unified organization." What's more, NEC has been taking action to make this possible.

In a briefing last week, NEC highlighted the progress the company has made over the past two years, since the unveiling of UNIVERGE®360 in early 2008. That announcement also said that, "In a major shift from other approaches, NEC's UNIVERGE360 places people at the center of business communications, identifies the roles people play in an organization, and then unifies the technology and business processes needed to make employees' jobs more efficient and effective."

These two statements do represent a "major shift from other approaches," since they staked out an NEC claim in Unified Communications (UC) as improving businesses' employee effectiveness by integrating the (communications) technology and business processes. This focus on employee roles, in context of their business processes, is being applied by NEC in the development, packaging, and market delivery of its UNIVERGE360 solution set.

As you would expect, this also builds on a vertical market orientation, which has long been an NEC strength. The vertical market focus allows deeper insight to the employee roles and business processes of each vertical market segment and produces market-specific packaging, services, and messages. Of course, those market-specific initiatives will be better understood by NEC customers and prospects than a generic IP telephony proposal from an non-industry-focused supplier. More significantly, the market-specific packaging should produce greater ROI since the pre-designed solutions should provide greater benefits by removing more communications obstacles and should be less costly to implement by avoiding extensive one-time customization.

In a recent briefing, NEC emphasized its role-based focus on Healthcare, Hospitality, Government, and Education vertical markets. The company further detailed its success in the Healthcare and Hospitality verticals:

  • In Healthcare, the focus is primarily on the caregivers who need prompt notifications and information and who also need to effectively communicate with others in the caregiver team. At University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), NEC integrated wireless phones with the patient nurse call system to provide rapid alerts to the assigned nurses, improving both patient and caregiver satisfaction while improving the business process flow. This integration included NEC middleware that allowed the hospital to make a graceful migration, rather than a 'slash cutover' to the new patient nurse call system.
  • In Hospitality, the focus is on two roles - the guests and the operational staff. NEC highlighted its success at theWit Hotel in Chicago. Management and ownership at theWit see technology as part of the branding, as the seek to deliver "More Experience than Hotel." In this case, NEC deployed two IP phones to each room; one at the bedside for basic calls and wake-ups, and the multifunctional DT750 terminal with a 10-inch color LCD touch-screen display on the desktop. Guests of theWit initiate services such as housekeeping, wake-up calls, valet service, in-room dining, flight information, and more, by simply touching the appropriate icon and then navigating the services on-line, then speaking with a staff member when appropriate. Again, middleware integration can log each service request and then route it to the best staff member on in-house mobile devices.

The key point is that NEC is, in fact, delivering the role-based, process-improving communications solutions that the company signaled at the time of the UNIVERGE360 announcement. It is important to notice that NEC is going beyond core telephony to make this happen, incorporating other vendor's solution elements and proving links to the customers' information systems. Further, NEC is using middleware, rather than just point-to-point integrations, to make these solutions both economical and extensible. And, NEC is providing the systems integration services to deliver solutions for NEC customers with low risk and minimal vendor complexity.

On that point, NEC is also enabling its robust network of value added resellers (VARs) and System Integrators (SIs) to represent, deploy and support these vertical market, role-based solutions. A detailed article on that channel enablement can be seen at:

The UNIVERGE360 product line that supports these role-based solutions includes both the NEC SV8500 family and the NEC Sphericall software-based communications platform. These provide the flexibility, scalability, and reliability needed to deliver high-ROI role-based Unified Communications.

Of course, the UC journey will continue for NEC. NEC doesn't yet address all industry sectors, but its learning in these important initial industry groupings should be readily extensible both directly and through the extensive NEC VAR and SI network. The commitment and delivery being displayed by NEC will fuel the already impressive growth of the UC market.

This paper is sponsored by NEC.


There are currently no comments on this article.

You must be a registered user to make comments

Related Vendors