Case study: All hands on DECT

17 Oct 2005

With more flavours of business communication solutions than Italian ice-cream, it’s up to companies to search out the one that best meets their needs. For small firms that run a warehouse alongside a front office, Digital Enhanced Cordless Communications (DECT) solutions are becoming a popular choice. It certainly works for Sika Ireland.

Sika might be one of the world’s largest producers of specialist building chemicals but its local office is a tightly managed operation that employs approximately 30 people. It supplies a complete range of innovative products for problem solving in all aspects of building construction and refurbishment. Providing 48-hour delivery and comprehensive technical support for its whole range is the name of the game, so robust and reliable communications are a must.

“Our business telephone system is the lifeline of the organisation,” says Declan Carroll, managing director of Sika Ireland. “We needed to replace our existing system to suit our needs today and we wanted a solution to cope with our growth and our business and warehouse needs.”

To improve communications between all departments, the company chose to implement an OpenCom telephone system from Bandwidth Telecommunications. A cordless telephone system that plugs into Eircom’s ISDN service, OpenCom uses DECT, the digital cordless standard that has proved ideal for small and medium-sized companies where employees need mobility.

Eamonn O’Donnell, managing director of Bandwidth Telecommunications, explains its appeal: “It means the forklift driver or the guy in the stores can be contacted from reception. It’s not necessary to run through the offices to try to find them anymore. Staff members are not tied to their desks – they can wander wherever they want in the building and they’re still contactable.”

A feature of the system is that an incoming call for a given handset is automatically routed to wherever it is on the premises without involving the switchboard. “It’s important that our people with mobiles can, for example, get directly through to the warehouse,” says Carroll.

The phones run off two base stations on the premises, one in the office, the other in the warehouse, and each with a range of up to 600 metres. O’Donnell describes it as miniature mobile network where users can wander around, roaming on the system.

The OpenCom solution is flexible and user friendly, its voice capabilities bolstered by Computer Telephone Integration for data features such as automatic number identification and automatic telephone dialling from an address list. The system also has an application for sending and picking up messages either via the DECT handsets or on to desktop computers.

“We need as much intercommunications as we can get,” adds Carroll. “Sometimes staff members might be in a noisy environment so we send them a text instead of trying to talk to them. It suits our particular needs.”

Ian Campbell

Pictured: Eamonn O’Donnell, managing director of Bandwidth Telecommunications, with Declan Carroll, managing director of Sika Ireland