Lloyd's introduces VoIP communication system

Lloyd's introduces VoIP communication system

Lloyd's of London has implemented a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system throughout its operations in an initiative designed to generate £4 million of savings over the next four years and pave the way for the introduction of integrated PC/telephony services.

The system - which enables the transmission of sound information over a data network as opposed to a standard analogue phone line - links the user's phone to his or her desktop PC which allows users to play voicemails on their PCs. The new VoIP phones are also equipped with extra functions including access to phone directories through a built-in LCD screen.

The Lloyd's kit is supplied by Cisco Systems, and managed and implemented by the Information Technology Group (ITG) at Lloyd's and BT Syntegra.

Chris Rawson, head of information technology at Lloyd's, says: "We had reached a natural break in our contract for BT's FeatureNet service and were due to move out of one of our headquarters buildings. This gave us a great opportunity to review our phone systems. VoIP is an extremely cost-effective system. It makes our data networks more efficient and gives us plenty of scope to introduce new technical innovations in the future."

Rawson says the new system will cost the firm £1.4 million to introduce but will generate savings of £4 million over four years.

"In future, the system will give us the potential to move to voice recognition software for various functions, use PCs to send all faxes and display information such as national and international news on the phones' display...In theory, ultimately we could do away with phones altogether with calls being made through users' PCs," adds Rawson.

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