Published on 11-Nov-2009
Validated on 01 Nov 2012
"“Many companies can build buildings, so it’s the personal relationship that makes the difference in winning jobs. By helping us stay connected with our customers, architects, and design partners, the integrated Cisco and IBM solution makes Miron an especially easy company to do business with.”" - Edward Ruffolo IT Director Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Miron Construction Co Inc
Construction / Architecture / Engineering
Established in 1918, Miron Construction Co., Inc. is a recognized leader in construction management, design-build, industrial services, pre-construction, and general contracting. Sales volume increased by 75 percent from 2004 to 2008, to US$610 million.
• Enable collaboration • Make mobile employees easier to reach • Reduce costs
•Replaced private branch exchange systems with Cisco Unified Communications • Integrated Cisco Unity Unified Messaging with IBM Lotus Notes email • Integrated IBM Lotus Sametime with Cisco Unified Communications Manager
•Gave office and mobile employees one interface for voicemail, email, and fax messages • Extended the same interface to Blackberry smartphones • Saved US$250,000 annually on travel costs
Established in 1918, Miron Construction Co., Inc. is a recognized leader in construction management, design-build, industrial services, pre-construction, and general contracting. Sales volume increased by 75 percent from 2004 to 2008, to US$610 million. Collaboration is crucial in the construction industry because project managers, architects, and owners need to react quickly to constantly emerging issues. Previously, Miron had private branch exchange (PBX) systems in its headquarters and three regional offices, plus IBM® Lotus® Notes® for email. When the company began planning its fourth regional office and the PBX lease came up for renewal, Miron realized that it needed a new approach to collaboration. The main criteria for the new solution included: • Integration with Miron’s Lotus Notes and Sametime® environment: Miron wanted
its employees to have a single interface for all collaboration tools, including voice, voicemail, fax, presence, and instant messaging. • Support for collaboration within a mobile workforce: In the construction industry, getting prompt answers is vital to keeping projects on time and on budget. For example, an onsite subcontractor who has a creative idea to improve a plan needs to get permission from the project manager. The opportunity is lost if the project manager cannot be reached. We needed a way to quickly reach out to mobile employees, says Wendy Diem, network administrator for Miron. • Collaboration tools for remote offices: Purchasing a high-end PBX system for smaller offices is not cost-effective for Miron. We wanted all of our office employees to have the same features and collaboration tools whether they worked in headquarters or a remote office, Diem says.
After evaluating several unified communications systems, Miron selected Cisco® Unified Communications. Cisco Unity Unified Messaging is already integrated with IBM Lotus
Notes, saving us the time and risk of custom integration work, says Edward Ruffolo, IT director, Miron. Employees can see a list of their voicemail messages in their Lotus Notes inbox, click to play them back in any order, and forward voicemail attachments like any other email. The integration between Cisco Unity® and IBM Lotus Domino® is much cleaner and saves time for employees every day, Ruffolo says. For assistance with the implementation, Miron engaged CDW, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner and IBM Premier
Business Partner. CDW helped ensure the deployment was smooth and advised the company on how to take advantage of the integration between the Cisco and IBM solutions. For example, instead of paging employees, which can contribute to a noisy and chaotic office environment, Miron uses IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging.
Schedulers who need to reach a project manager or estimator who is on the phone now just send an instant message instead paging. And the receptionist sends an
instant message to employees who are on the phone when visitors arrive. Employees can even receive instant messages on their Blackberry smartphones, using the Sametime Mobile Client. Lotus Sametime is integrated with Cisco Unified Communications so that employees who want to escalate the chat session into a phone call over the Cisco network can simply click in the Lotus Sametime window. Employees enthusiastically accepted the new Cisco Unified IP phones. New employees can use the phone right away
without reading a manual, Diem says.
Enhanced Collaboration Having a single interface for all types of messages helps employees to be more responsive. We just open Lotus Domino to access all of our messaging
and communications tools,Ruffolo says. We don’t have to switch back and forth between different applications for voicemail, email, presence, and instant messaging. Mobile employees especially notice the difference with the Cisco and IBM solution.For example, if they miss a call and the caller leaves a voicemail, they see the voicemail right away on their Blackberry smartphone. Project managers can see a list of all messages and their senders to play back the most urgent messages first,” Ruffolo says. Employees who work in multiple offices use Cisco Unified Mobility to make both office phones ring whenever their main office number is called. Customers appreciate not having to dial multiple customers, and employees save time because they receive fewer voicemail messages. Cost Savings for Training Miron conducts regular training sessions for employees on topics such as green building techniques. Previously, a trainer had to travel to each office. Now the company can conduct the meeting just once for all offices, using Lotus Sametime. Our Cisco network has the quality of service and bandwidth that we need to conduct video-based meetings, says Diem. Network-based training saves the time,
cost, and environmental impact of sending a trainer to all offices.
Executive Travel Reduction
Every week, Miron conducts a two hour meeting for either the executive team or marketing team. Previously, participants flew to the meetings, held at headquarters. Now executives just walk down the hall to a conference room, and five minutes after the meeting ends, they can return to work, says Ruffolo. Considering plane costs and executive
time, we’re saving $5000 a meeting, or $260,000 annually. Executives have embraced online meetings because video gives them an in-person feel. Voice-only
meetings were less popular because employees did not feel fully engaged when they could not see each other.
Many companies can build buildings, so it’s the personal relationship that makes the difference in winning jobs, says Ruffolo. By helping us stay connected with our customers, architects, and design partners, the integrated Cisco and IBM solution makes Miron an especially easy company to do business with. Remote meetings also contribute to a competitive advantage. In today’s construction industry, clients want to know that their contractor is committed to sustainable practices, Ruffolo says. We can point to the Cisco and IBM communications solution as evidence that we’ve invested in changing our cultures and processes.
Improved Caller Experience
Miron wants to transfer callers to a live person instead of a voicemail box. With the Cisco Unified Communications Attendant Console, the receptionist can
use IBM Lotus Sametime to see if an employee is available before transferring a call. If the employee is on the phone, the receptionist can send an instant message,
or give the caller a choice of whether to speak to someone else or be transferred to voicemail. The Cisco and IBM solution helps us deliver world-class customer
service, Diem says.
Return of Family Atmosphere
Cisco and IBM collaboration tools help employees in different locations reach out to each other as if they were in the same office. When our business began, the receptionist could just stand up and look around to see if an employee was in, and then transfer the call, says Diem. Even though we now have 106,000 square feet of office space, we have a similar capability with the presence and instant messaging in Lotus Sametime.
Miron is currently expanding its headquarters space, and appreciates the ease of moving employees to new offices. Rather than paying for a service provider to move, add, or change telephone extensions, employees simply reconnect the Cisco Unified IP phone in the new location. Cisco Unified Communications made the move much easier, Diem says.
• Cisco Unified Communications Manager
• Cisco Unity Unified Messaging
• Cisco Unified IP Phones
• Cisco Unified Communications
• Lotus Sametime
• Lotus Notes
For More Information
To find out more about Cisco Unified
Communications go to: www.cisco.com/
To find our more about the Cisco and IBM
Alliance go to: www.cisco.com/go/ibm or
To join conversations and share best
practices about collaboration, visit:
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