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How ShoreTel enables a data-centric approach to communications at Williams

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We live in the age of Big Data. In business, at home, in the high street and even in sport, data collection and analysis impacts decision-making at every level. The granularity and volume of the data around us enables prediction of future events – not just a recap of the past. Based on probabilities, these crystal ball predictions range from the outcome of an F1 race through to inbound call volume and resourcing needs for a business switchboard.

Formula One teams like WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING embraced the concept of Big Data many years ago and have been refining it ever since. When the racecars take to the circuit, around 200 sensors are monitoring every imaginable parameter on the car – including steering and slip angles, tyre temperature, oil pressure and mid-corner speed, helping to generate up to 100 gigabytes of data over a race weekend.

Often when F1 drivers get out of the car and talk to the media they comment, “We need to look at the data,” whether to assess an issue or simply to compare performance against a team mate. The data gathered over the weekend is used not only to optimize performance parameters but it is also fed into computer servers before and during the race to run real-time simulations that combine known facts with probabilities to explore likely outcomes and race scenarios.

Back at its base at Grove, Williams also generates and manipulates huge amounts of data from its wind tunnels and computing resources used for computer-aided design (CAD), simulation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These tools not only produce large amounts of data in their own right but also correlate the data captured from testing and racing around the globe in order to ensure alignment of the real and virtual worlds.

While car development and race operations have been using data to optimize and improve performance, the opportunity to do the same in business operations is a more recent evolution.

The complete ShoreTel communications solution provided to Williams includes unified communications and mobility capabilities as well as tools to support inbound call management. With powerful data analysis tools, the ShoreTel Contact Centre can enable businesses like Williams to configure business process and resources, ensuring that they align with the demand from internal and external audiences.

The ShoreTel Contact Centre empowers businesses to better serve the needs of callers, improving the “customer” experience while at the same time streamlining operations.

By easily creating real time reports and statistics that pool data on inbound and outbound call patterns, business managers are more easily able to not only manage performance, but also to optimize process flows and match resources to demand. This can free up staff in one area such as reception or switchboard and seamlessly re-allocate tasks to other people within the business as needed.

The ShoreTel Contact Centre has built in tools to deliver actionable business intelligence that can help to improve productivity and optimise performance while at the same time providing a better “customer” service or experience. In the case of Williams, those “customers” could be media or fans or conference centre visitors, one of the growing number of Williams Advanced Engineering customers or partners or suppliers of the Formula One team.

But the data story doesn’t end there. ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple solutions are no longer stand-alone telephony systems. Instead they usher in a new area of data integration where the unified communications platform links directly with other business systems such as Salesforce CRM or even broader business ERP platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics.

All of these capabilities further enhance the return delivered from the investment in unified communications. Far from being a simple telephony switchboard replacement, the ShoreTel system suddenly becomes a business enabler that links internal and mobile staff and external callers with the critical software platforms that power the day-to-day operations of the business.

This data-driven perspective from the cutting edge of F1 through to the use of business intelligence to improve processes and workflows in all areas of the business is just one aspect of the continual improvement at Williams that ShoreTel is able to support.