HSBC launches unified comms pilot

HSBC is piloting unified communications technology from Nortel at its London headquarters, with a view to extending its reach to elsewhere in Europe and North and Latin America.

The pilot will initially involve 1,000 executive staff based in its Canary Wharf headquarters in London and thereafter some 50,000 users worldwide.

The aim of the project is to try and enhance the bank's existing business and support processes, by providing a features set including dial-by-name, click to video, click to conference in addition to making that functionality accessible from multiple devices spanning desktops, laptops, BlackBerrys and mobile phones.

Tim Cureton, HSBC's group head of telecommunications, said: "It is aimed at joining up the decision-makers within our company globally and placing the control and convenience of their personalised communications environment in their hands."

He said that ensuring voice, video and text communications are user oriented rather than the user having to adopt around the technology was vital in increasing HSBC's competitive advantage.

Richard Tworek, general manager of SOA at Nortel, described some of the technology that HSBC employees would be using. "Because the HSBC unified communications solution enables presence capabilities, users can see immediately if a person they need to contact is available and be able to click-to-call from the desktop," he said.

"The solution enables these capabilities directly from business applications, so that a person can determine, for example, who provided information from a spreadsheet, find out if that person is available and be able to contact them instantly from a mouse click."

He added: "The solution also determines how best to reach that person, be it via IM, telephone, videoconference or email."