Vodafone: Getting ready for the challenges that lie over the horizon

Being a ‘ready business’ is being prepared to deal with unforeseen challenges

Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 01:00

Michael Grehan, managing director of Sherry FitzGerald Residential, says: “At Sherry FitzGerald we are operating in the property market and one thing for sure is that nothing stays the same. For us it’s to try and be ahead of the changes and to anticipate the changing customer trends and to constantly improve the customer experience. So communication has always been terribly important to us.”

According to Sherry FitzGerald IT director Brian Dooley, the company’s relationship with Vodafone has grown and developed over the past five years. “We initially engaged with Vodafone in 2009 but solely as a mobile provider. After two years we had an opportunity to engage with them on broadband, mobile technologies and cloud solutions as well as on fixed line telephony. That allowed us to bring everything in-house under one umbrella which created efficiencies both from a management perspective and from a cost perspective.”

Telephony has of course been central. “Through the use of Vodafone’s collaboration and cloud-based services we now have the ability to plug and play from a telephony perspective. Our staff frequently move from branch to branch and they can just log into their phone and receive their calls as if they were in head office.

“Being a ready business means having the ability to be responsive, proactive, adaptive and scalable – and achieving all of those things in a short space of time. One of the key things with Vodafone is that no is not an answer with them. I can pick up the phone and speak to my account manager at any time to discuss ideas and things like technologies that might not even exist yet.”

According to Sisk IT director Ken Kennedy, being a ready business will prepare the company for the long-awaited upturn in the economy. “Being a ready business for Sisk is making the adjustments we need to make from both an infrastructure and services perspective so that we can seamlessly grow our business as the economy begins to grow again.”

Sisk Group finance director Ger Penny adds: “We have operations in Ireland, the UK, the Middle East, and continental Europe. We’re able to use the technology to simplify our own business, to manage and control the businesses as cost effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Kennedy points out that becoming a ready business has also delivered cost reductions for Sisk. “We had a vision to centralise all our data centres which basically meant taking everything out of local zones and bringing it back into a central hub. Vodafone architected that infrastructure centralisation process. As a result, we’ve massively reduced our capital outlay for each of our group companies because we invest in the centre.

“Traditionally everyone would have understood Vodafone as a mobile provider but they really are much more than that to us. Voice, data, instant messaging, presence of people, video conferencing, voice conferencing all over our wide area network (WAN). Vodafone manages our WAN and provides us with the capability to implement these solutions. They are now our total communications provider.”

Helping businesses become ready for the future is just a starting point according to O’Leary. “Vodafone is on a journey and we will continue to innovate and invest to ensure that our customers benefit to the maximum extent possible from their investment in IT and communications services.”