Munich, Sep 30, 2014
Awarded for innovative use of unified communications to modernize the city’s communications infrastructure
Unify, a leading communications software and services firm, today announced that the City of Mannheim has been named as Germany’s first “New Way to Work Global Ambassador.” As part of the program for the New Way to Work (#NW2W), Unify regularly honors visionaries in the area of communication and collaboration who have put new strategies on their agenda to meet the complex challenges of today’s business. With modern communication technology such as Unified Communications, today’s “anywhere workers,” can intuitively collaborate while working from any location.
“The city of Mannheim exemplifies how technical innovations associated with a new way of working has a positive impact for citizens in a community,” said Martin Kinne, director and general manager for Central Europe at Unify. “A significant part of the work day is taken up communicating by phone, email and social media. Assuring information runs smoothly and efficiently means inquiries from citizens can ultimately be answered more quickly and efficiently. Intuitive technology that allows you to swap between all devices and platforms, independent of location, plays a central role here. The leaders of the City of Mannheim have recognized this key function and we are excited to appoint theCity of Mannheim as Germany’s first ‘New Way to Work Global Ambassador.’
”The City of Mannheim broke new ground in communications with a project known as “7,000 dial tones.” The idea behind the project was to provide an integrated communications system and no longer operate an in-house telephony infrastructure. Rollout of the new solution began after an intense planning phase on almost 7,000 workstations at approximately 300 city administration locations, simplifying communications across all channels.
“The employees all required available communication channels – regardless of whether they work at the town hall or at a district’s citizens’ service, at a school, a children’s home, a museum, or another local institution,” said Mannheim’s mayor and IT councilor, Christian Specht. “At each of these workstations there is now an identical basic communication infrastructure that can be expanded as required for specific tasks. Through the managed services model, we can reliably plan the communications expenses for the entire city government,” adds Specht, who is also the treasurer of the city of Mannheim. “This is an important advantage in times of uncertainty about tax revenues and expenditures.”
A call center was also set up by Unify based on the Unified Communications attendant console OpenScape Concierge, providing citizens with only one local authority number to dial – 115. Under the nationwide standardized 115 number, Mannheim’s population of around 325,000 citizens can now discuss their local authority-related issues and concerns conveniently on the phone with the city administration staff who have access to a database with information on all key topics and can quickly deal with more than 80 percent of concerns correctly in the first call.
The “7,000 dial tones” project was part of an extensive plan known as CHANGE2, which has been underway in Mannheim since 2008 and includes new targets for the city’s IT department meant to simplify and speed up processes. Commonly known as the “city of squares,” Mannheim will now have one of the most modern city administrations in Germany.
One of the goals from the beginning was to create a modern IT infrastructure for nearly 7,000 users to simplify communication across all channels (email, fax, IM and telephony) and also to optimize the availability of the city administration staff.
This was made possible by Unify’s OpenScape Fusion Integration Plug-in, which allows employees to use telephone features from within their Microsoft Outlook and Lync client user interfaces, in which Unify’s telephony functions are integrated. With this, the city of Mannheim wants to better meet the needs of the digital natives. On one hand, this generation has new expectations of communication with their city government. On the other hand, it represents the talents that are important for the City of Mannheim as an employer. The city also wants to be more attractive in this respect.
Unify started the “New Way to Work Global Ambassador” program in March 2014, when it was launched at Enterprise Connect, the industry’s premier conference and exhibition on enterprise communications and collaboration. The future ambassadors have recognized the impact of global trends on the business, placed new strategies for communication and cooperation on the agenda and have found optimal technical solutions. They invest in research, technology and partnerships to promote the workstation of the future.
Further information about the New Way to Work can be found here
Unify is one of the world’s leading communications software and services firms, providing integrated communications solutions for approximately 75 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Our solutions unify multiple networks, devices and applications into one easy-to-use platform that allows teams to engage in rich and meaningful conversations. The result is a transformation of how the enterprise communicates and collaborates that amplifies collective effort, ener-gizes the business, and enhances business performance. Unify has a strong heritage of product reliability, innovation, open standards and security.