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UK construction firm A1 Lofts lowers costs and drives efficiency with Alcatel-Lucent’s Office Communications Solutions


Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that A1 Lofts has deployed its ICT solutions for small to medium-sized organisations to improve its mobility and internal business processes, and enable the delivery of enterprise-class customer services and support.

Alcatel-Lucent partners, The Comms Company and Amigo Software, have equipped A1 Lofts with a complete solution for telephony, call management, email, internet, CRM and web-based resource-sharing across sites at Chertsey and Grimsby. The solution’s unique open-source approach lets the UK-based construction firm enjoy the same productivity-enhancing tools and CRM resources as those of its larger competitors, at a fraction of the cost.

A1 Lofts has deployed the Alcatel-Lucent Office Communications Solutions portfolio, including the OmniPCX Office IP telephony platform, along with the Alcatel-Lucent Extended Communications Server (ECS), which provides secure E-mail, Internet and instant messaging, and shared access to information for on-site and remote workers.

ECS is running open-source software from Sugar CRM and Drupal’s content management system. By using these applications, A1 Lofts avoids paying user licence fees and is able to easily optimise applications according to their needs. Both Sugar CRM and Drupal, which have been fully integrated with the OmniPCX Office by applications partner Amigo Software, are accessible to employees remotely via a web-browser from any PC or web-enabled mobile phone.

“We’re under pressure to maximise the use of our internal resources in order to win new business while maintaining a high standard of support for existing customers. We’ve always recognised the value of CRM and resource-sharing tools, but were deterred by the substantial licence fees involved in deploying other systems,” said Steve Mills, managing director at A1 Lofts. “The Comms Company identified Alcatel-Lucent’s open-source approach as the most cost-effective solution for our needs.”

The Comms Company, employed by A1 Lofts to evaluate the organisation’s existing communications channels and design an affordable ICT solution, also selected the Alcatel-Lucent Office Communications Solution for A1 Lofts because of the superior integration it offers for linking applications with the OmniPCX Office.

“The initial evaluation revealed a need to automate basic IT functions and standardise the applications used by staff, as well as improving collaboration between the organisation’s two offices,” said Jerry Ryan, sales director at The Comms Company. “Alcatel-Lucent’s solution met A1 Lofts’ existing needs and offered a platform that will grow with the business.”

Alcatel-Lucent is working with its applications partner, Amigo Software, to integrate open-source software into the Alcatel-Lucent Office Communications Solutions. “A number of Alcatel‑Lucent compatible business applications are free to use,” said Marshall Sherman, managing director at Amigo Software. “These advanced IP convergence tools deliver substantial productivity advantages to small and medium-sized businesses.”

Alcatel-Lucent’s UK distributor, Sphinx, is building a professional services offer to help Alcatel-Lucent business partners move into this new market. These partnerships help SMBs like A1 Lofts transform themselves into dynamic enterprises that interconnect network, people, processes and knowledge for increased user and customer satisfaction and greater productivity.

“The A1 Lofts installation demonstrates Alcatel-Lucent’s ability to provide highly customised, flexible communications solutions,” said Peter Tebbutt, support centre director for Alcatel‑Lucent’s activities in UK and Ireland. “For business partners, truly engaging with customers to overcome specific communications challenges fosters close long-term relationships and boosts revenues through retained consultancy.”


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