Friday, 15 February 2013

Unified comms and staff survey

This morning we had a demonstration of a technology which could integrate our voice platform (telephones!) with Google apps.  We need to upgrade our voicemail very soon, and this sort of technology might be an appropriate way to do it.

If implemented, we would be able to receive voicemail though our gmail inbox, ether as an MP3 file to listen to, or transcribed as a message. As the systems are integrated, when the message is accessed via mail, it is recorded as being read on the phone.  Emails can also be sent to the phone, and listened to there. Faxes can be sent and recived as PDFs in a browser - I was surprised to learn that faxes are still in use -  so we could use this sort of technology to replace them.

Presence awareness is included, using  integration with Google calendar, and a lot of voice features including voice access to applications, one click dialling, soft-phone support and call following to different locations, devices and numbers.  All very exciting. Lots to think about before we decide what to implement, but I can see great benefits in this sort of technology.

This afternoon we had a meeting with the company who carried out our recent staff satisfaction survey. We had some feedback and discussion about the actual survey - its length, the questions asked and the response rate, and also looked at the responses, both the satisfaction ratings and the verbatim comments. We're starting to share and discuss the data in the department, and will be putting together an action plan to address the issues raised. What is always frustrating is an issue which is annoying or frustrating for our customers which is mainly outside of our control. Issues with browser compatibility from some of our vendors for example.

The verbatim comments are always useful, often giving us an insight into why people answered as they did. Some of them are however a little obtuse.  I am struggling to understand one about this blog which described it as an inappropriate use of hard-raised charitable donations to the medical school. Given that it is hosted by Google for free, written in Blogger which is free, and the date-stamps for the last 10 entries show that 9 of them were written after 5pm, and the vast majority late in the evening in my own time, I'd love to know how they got to that conclusion. Perhaps I should ask for a donation towards it...   :-)

Have a nice weekend folks.


Anonymous said...

This looks an interesting development. I prefer using softphones, and having voicemail and email in the same place would be well receive.Keep us posted.

Chris Sexton said...

Hopefully we'll have some more news in a few weeks - will make sure I post about it

Dave Berry said...

It sounds like Microsoft's Lync system (except I doubt the MS offering will integrate with Google).