Unified Comms Investigate

Montana Tests Unified Communications to Boost Responsiveness to Citizens, Cut Costs

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Executive Summary

The highly dispersed nature of state government offices and other facilities throughout Montana makes communication there a challenge. So, the state is responding by adopting communications of all types - and unifying them with a single technology backbone that makes them "Realistic and manageable for them," according to a state executive. The main support behind the state's unified communications is the Active Directory service, which is making possible a more effective e-mail system, as well as Internet telephony, presence information, instant messaging, and Web conferencing. Time to administer e-mail has been slashed in half, a single-office deployment of Internet telephony has saved around U.S.$100,000, and the state is testing instant messaging and Web conferencing that could enhance call center operations and telecommuting by remote workers.

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