Fast learner

Fast learner

Steve Cox
Steve Cox

Formed in 1998 as an IT services company and with over 50 employees today, Hornchurch-based Utilize only moved in to the comms sector two years ago so it was quite an achievement when the company won the Siemens Channel Award this January for Small and Mid-sized Enterprise Open Communications Solution with their installation at Napier Scott, the City-based executive search company.

“We have only been selling telecoms solutions for a short while having bought a company that had Siemens and LG reseller agreements,” says Steve Cox, Operations director at Utilize.

“We very quickly decided that the company would focus on just one vendor and that it would be Siemens. Already our telecoms sales account for approximately 15% of our turnover so together with the Siemens Award we have achieved a lot in a short space of time.”

The Hi-Path OpenOffice installation that Utilize undertook for Napier Scott was

part of a general overhaul of the client’s network infrastructure and communications platforms.

After years of dealing with separate providers for various aspects of its ICT systems, Napier Scott felt its support had become very disjointed.

“Following several meetings with Utilize and a visit to our Hornchurch offices, Napier Scott was impressed by the depth and breadth of the solutions we offered and the company soon made its decision to opt for a Utilize SLA on all hardware and telephony equipment.

“After taking the time to understand the medium to long-term goals of Napier Scott, we recommended the Siemens Hi-Path OpenOffice system as being the best way to achieve a truly unified communication solution for this fast-paced legal and financial search firm.”

Cox says that the system ultimately went live in October 2008 after an exceptionally smooth installation and switchover during which just 30 minutes of downtime were incurred.

“We believe a big contributing factor in our winning the award was how smoothly the install went and how much the user gained from the system considering only a small amount of training was required.”

The solution consisted of the Hi-Path OpenOffice, 30 handsets, My Attendant Console, Outlook Plug-in for all users, My Portal for all users and video-conferencing running through the system.

In terms of business benefits Napier Scott say that the new Siemens’ solution helps them make better use of their business processes which in turn enables them to spend more time ‘selling’ and providing customer service.


Cross Selling

With a history steeped in IT support services Cox says that one of their primary opportunities now lies in cross selling services to their IT and Comms user base. In addition to being a Siemens’ accredited partner they are also a Microsoft Gold Partner.

“HiPath OpenOffice ME has a great integration with Microsoft Outlook and users find the ME easy and intuitive to use. In terms of unified communications Napier Scott take advantage of features such as seeing if people are on line or in meetings via the Outlook integration and voice mail to email messaging.

“The decision to have Siemens as a single telephony systems supplier was made easy because of the quality of their products and the tremendous service we receive. From account management to pre and post sales support and training the whole experience is excellent.”


Business Outlook

Cox is very confident for the future despite the gloomy picture of the economy being painted by some sections of the media.

“Looking at the market today there has never been a better time to be selling outsourced services such as IT and telephony rather than keep it in house as there are huge cost-saving opportunities for users to realise.

“People are also taking CRM much more seriously today in the light of the economy. They want to hang on to all their customers by providing service excellence; knowing their customers, their needs and what you can do for them.

“At Utilize we have a product set to meet this need with, Act! and Sage for example, as well as the HiPath OpenOffice ME of course.”

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