Achieving Operational Optimization for Retail with VOSS-4-UC
Rob Hamlin, Director Solutions Engineering, VOSS
From my personal experience as a UC deployment specialist, often times I find myself “head down” working on my current projects and rarely get feedback from past projects. This is a twofold issue. Firstly, not being on an individual account team actively interacting with the customer; there is not much opportunity for collaboration. Secondly, most of the solutions that I develop are polished and work well enough that there is little reason for the customer administrators to reach out to me!
I had the opportunity to attend Cisco Live in June in San Diego, and had the unexpected experience of reconnecting with a couple of customers with whom I have worked in the past years. It is a great validation of the work I do when speaking to customers who have been running VOSS-4-UC for a year or two, who come back with stories of success.
Not being terribly specific, I worked with a retail customer a little over a year ago to establish his dial plans into the new dial plan model tooling. We worked together for a couple of months to sort out the kinks and add in any new dial plan elements that were important to his way of running his Call Managers. When the VOSS deployment services were complete for the engagement, the retailer’s team was fully perficient in editing/pushing their own dial plan models into Call Managers and converting the retail locations with these tools from a local PBX to centralized Cisco Call Manager.
At Cisco Live this year I reconnected with the lead administrator of this retailer’s UC infrastructure. He told me stories of converting the chain of 1800+ retail locations from the PBX to Call Manager with great speed and accuracy, beating their required timelines. I was of course gratified to hear his team had achieved the objective we had established from the start of the project. He then added, after converting the stores they then re-deployed the dial plans in all 1800+ stores two more times all within the 1 year since we last talked. This is an amazing feat to have achieved, and completely beyond my expectations.
In most retail enterprise networks in which I have been engaged, change comes slow. It makes sense since change can introduce interruption and interruption can introduce negative sales impacts. It is beyond amazing and quite gratifying as a VOSS engineer that this retailer embraced the VOSS-4-UC dial plan toolset and became so proficient in the tools use that they were able to re-deploy their dial plan two more times with virtually no help from VOSS Global Services.
When I first met this engineer he had an entire architecture/engineer team. Every Call Manager was built by hand from the dial plan perspective. By utilizing VOSS-4-UC, he has been able to take that monotonous build work, automate its deployment and through the toolset offload those build actions to lower level engineers within his organization. The dial plan models allow his junior engineers to deploy the Call Manager configuration without higher level understanding of every element they are building in Call Manager.
I believe, operationally, this retailer could not have achieved this kind of optimization in deployment of so many retail locations without VOSS-4-UC. The costs of manpower to achieve this sort of volume would be cost prohibitive. The retailer now possesses the skills and tools to be able to adapt to their own changing business needs rapidly. The retailer’s lead engineer now also has a less stressful work/life balance and that is priceless.
Nothing makes my job more rewarding than hearing stories from a customer who is ecstatic with their results. I am glad to have attended 2019 Cisco Live if for no other reason but to have this one conversation.
To find out more about how VOSS can help you get more from your UC environment, please contact us.