Damovo, a provider of communication solutions and services, has launched its Client Innovation Centre at its head office in Horsham, which acts as a simulated work environment to match the customers' own, showcasing the latest communication technology solutions on offer.
Damovo's Client Innovation Centre (CIC) is a way for customers to explore the latest advancements in collaboration and to go on an interactive discovery, seeing the communication possibilities for their organisation. The centre was officially opened by Horsham MP, Francis Maude, on September 27, and was host to a number of Damovo, Cisco and Aastra representatives.
The CIC is a place for clients to visit to get hands-on experience of what they can expect Damovo and its partners to deliver. In an open, airy space, clients can see demonstrations of potential communication solutions, using a range of phones, tablets, computers and cameras. This allows the visitor to experience a 'try before you buy' arrangement, letting them test products and procedures. The CIC showcases Damovo's communications infrastructure and allows clients to connect and interact using their own devices, applying a BYOD environment that replicates the needs of the customers.
CBR spoke to Damovo's MD for the UK and Ireland, Simon Payne, who emphasised the company's target audience and who would benefit most from the CIC: "It used to be large companies with deep pockets were the ones that would invest in the cutting edge technology and then it would drip down to the SMEs and then the end user.
"That's been completely flipped on its head now so it's the consumer that is driving the trends, so you'll get people coming into the workplace saying 'I've got my iPhone and my tablet and I want to stick it onto the corporate network'. So it's actually flipped from the companies being the leader of innovation, to employees demanding what they want. It's very important that we understand consumer trends because largely speaking, that will dictate how we evolve our client innovation centre."
The CIC has four main goals. The first is to create employee efficiency, by improving communications amongst employees at a client's organisation using new technology. The second is customer interaction - the goal to improve the quality and efficiency of customer communications, by allowing customers to see potential solutions in real life. The CIC emphasises the need for a mobile workforce, showing the possibilities of maximising the productivity and availability of mobile knowledge workers, reducing costs and improving the working environment. Finally, the centre shows clients how they can create a collaborative environment within their organisation, bringing business experts together across locations and time zones using the latest technology.
Damovo works proactively with several companies including Microsoft, Cisco, Aastra and Mitel.
Richard Roberts, MD, UK partner & commercial sales, Cisco, spoke to CBR about the CIC and how this can help innovation and communication: "The innovation centre is an environment for a conversation more than anything else, because the amount of expectation and ambition that the customers bring into the room now has never been higher. So the innovation sometimes comes from the customers. And if you can provide an environment where they can talk about what their business problems really are and the things that they'd love to be able to do, then you can show the art of the possible. You can also then start to innovate in a way that makes sense to them, because innovation is very personal."
This level of personalisation is apparent in the CIC, as customers are able to make things work for them, applying their own needs to innovation and making their communication problems the priority.
Aastra's MD for the UK and Ireland, Alan Reeve, believes that Damovo has a firm grasp on what clients need to best communicate: "I picture it as Damovo is the front end of the sales cycle; they have a lot of customer relationships and skills. They manage to take applications, solutions and technology and transform them into business needs. Without Damovo's feedback about what's happening in the marketplace, it's a challenge to be able to do that. You can't develop anything blind, you need intelligence."
One of the key reasons that the CIC can work is that customers can have a hands-on experience and see real-life demonstrations, as Reeve clarifies: "If you don't show and tell, people don't get it. You've got to be able to demonstrate how people can actually use stuff."
Damovo knows that the young people of today are the future, which is why it invested in a, now very successful, apprenticeship programme. Simon Payne, managing director, UK & Ireland, Damovo, believes that this programme is crucial to the business: "I am a massive advocate of apprenticeship programmes. For me, it is inextricably changed the culture of the business. If you look at the technology that we operate it, it is so important to have young people in the work force. They come in with the new ideas, new working practises; the apprenticeship programme has been incredibly important to us.
"I'd definitely say that some of the smartest and most advanced individuals that we have, have come through the apprenticeship programme. They come in with a completely different perspective. We've won the award for the top 100 apprenticeship employer in the UK for the last two years running.
"Unfortunately, in a downturned economy, a lot of companies turned away from apprenticeship programmes, whereas we've always seen it as critical, because people you bring through the programme are incredibly loyal and in tune with what we're trying to achieve with the business."
That's the thing that makes Damovo different from the rest, its focus on people, from workers to clients. The CIC demonstrates the company's loyalty to being upfront and honest with customers, allowing clients to see for themselves what sort of communication technology solutions Damovo can offer.
The CIC is the latest innovation for Damovo, with aims to see it expand and evolve with the company.
Payne sums up the future for the CIC and its role within Damovo: "For us as a business, we are looking to constantly innovate. The CIC is only the start of the journey. It's been driven by end users and how people want to communicate, so we will constantly evolve the CIC. We look at what we need to do, applications we need to devise, what services we need to devise, to give everybody the freedom of choice and the ability to communicate in whatever way they need. The CIC will be a constantly evolving thing."
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