For a third straight year NEC has been invited to respond to the unified communications RFPs (Request for Proposal) as part of a series of workshops at Enterprise Connect, the leading conference on enterprise communications and collaboration, which was held March 18-21 in Orlando, Florida.
I like to refer to these RFP Workshops as “customer oriented”, because they are designed to simulate “real world” company scenarios that offer guidance to workshop attendees considering how to best utilize unified communications & collaboration within their own companies. These sessions also provide conference attendees with a unique opportunity to see the industry leading unified communications vendors in one place and on an even playing field.
Independent analysis of the RFP responses, along with brief vendor specific materials, is presented to the workshop participants. These materials are also available for download by all conference attendees. Consequently, each of the participating companies must have a high degree of confidence in their respective solutions to present them side-by-side with their main competitors. All of my colleagues and their companies deserve tremendous credit for taking on this challenge enthusiastically. Also, the moderators for each session deserve special thanks for their efforts at organizing and leading the workshops!
NEC participated in all three RFP workshops, and the NEC offering in all three cases was based on the UNIVERGE 3C Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) software. This is a testament to the versatility and flexibility of the UNIVERGE 3C software.
Since I personally led two of the three RFP initiatives for NEC, I’ll expand on these here. The first RFP focused on a premise-based / private cloud replacement of an existing PBX while simultaneously introducing unified communications. Three different scenarios, all based on 2,000 users with different requirements were included in the RFP. The second RFP focused on the addition of unified communications and collaboration capabilities, while retaining the corporation’s existing legacy PBX. The scenario for this RFP was also based on 2,000 users with a heavy emphasis on mobile users. Approximately 600 personnel were in sales and service while 525 management personnel were soft phone and smartphone users. Both of these RFPs had common core requirements, including rich unified communications, comprehensive mobility and extensive conferencing.
Considering that mobility, web conferencing, and UC Client capabilities are critical requirements for enterprises today we were very pleased to see that NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C Unified Communications and Collaboration system was a standout in these key areas, achieving a perfect score of 10 in each:
- UC Clients: For a second year in a row NEC received a perfect score (10/10) for its UC Client. UNIVERGE 3C enables increased productivity by offering a UC Client not only for Windows and MAC desktops, but for mobile devices such as Android smart phones and tablets, and iPhones and iPads as well.
- Mobility: NEC was also awarded perfect score (10/10) in the category of mobility and FMC. The UNIVERGE 3C native mobility service, coupled with the UNIVERGE 3C mobile UC client, virtually eliminates communications barriers allowing seamless and secure transitions between the public Internet and your private IP network.
- UC Web Conferencing: Last but not least, NEC received a third perfect score (10/10) for the native web conferencing capabilities offered by UNIVERGE 3C. These multi-media capabilities allow users to schedule web conferences, or to immediately start an ad-hoc conference from their UC client. Users can seamlessly transition from an instant message or from a call, to a multi-media web conference including document sharing, screen sharing and web based audio and video.
RFP #1: Unified Communications and PBX Replacement
The first RFP focused on a premise-based / private cloud replacement of an existing PBX while simultaneously introducing unified communications. This RFP was prepared by David Stein of Stein Technology Consulting Group. The three different scenarios considered varied in terms of the quantity of UC enabled users, UC conferencing capacity and mobility requirements. Beyond the rich UC&C capabilities, all scenarios also included a sizeable contact center, comprehensive unified messaging, and of course core telephony/PBX capabilities.
The results of the RFP process reflect NEC’s continued commitment to deliver solutions that meet critical customer needs, as well as focus on continuous improvements. This is evident in the NEC year-to-year scores increasing by as much as 14% across the three scenarios. See the table below for overall scores.
RFP #2: Unified Communications with an Existing PBX
The second RFP focused on the addition of unified communications and collaboration capabilities, while retaining the corporation’s existing legacy PBX. This RFP was prepared by Marty Parker of UniComm Consulting. This RFP includes the same mock corporation as RFP #1, using just one of the scenarios. The principle objective is to demonstrate that it is not necessary to replace a PBX to deploy UC. In fact, the conclusions suggest that more often than not it is better to pursue a UC solution independently from any PBX replacement plans. This helps to ensure focus, reduce complexities and minimize risk.
Once again, NEC performed very well overall. See the table below for overall scores.
NEC recognizes the changes that are taking place in today’s workforce. Nomadic work styles are continuing to grow across all types of employees and all generations of employees, from Baby Boomers to Millennials. According to the Telework Research Network (source: TeleworkResearchNetwork.com) in the U.S. telecommuting has increased by 73% over the last six years. Along with this increase in telecommuting businesses have also recognized savings, with the average company saving up to $11K per year per employee. As one of the leaders in the business communications market, NEC is working hard to support these enterprise trends with innovative unified communications and collaboration solutions such as UNIVERGE 3C. We are extremely pleased that these efforts are being recognized in the marketplace and can be highlighted through forums like Enterprise Connect and in particular the RFP workshop.
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