Jabra delivers highest quality audio equipment

Move to Jabra Headsets delivers highest quality audio experience for Russell Investments Group. After thorough testing of different headsets, the Jabra solutions stood out as more comfortable and consistently more reliable than any of the competitive products.

Business Challenge

While year over year revenue and employee growth presented Russell Investments Group – a leading US headquartered multi-management investing company – with various business opportunities, the situation also created two immediate challenges, including making a decision about a data center that had reached capacity and a need to upgrade its technology infrastructure.

“We are confident we selected the best quality headset in the market”

- Dennis Grant, Associate Partner, Infrastructure Architecture and Engineering, Russell Investments

The company’s IT leadership team decided to tackle both issues at once. First, a decision was made to relocate its headquarters and existing data center from Tacoma, Washington to a new, state-of-the art facility located 30 miles away in Seattle. At the same time, Russell Investments would upgrade the company’s overall IT infrastructure, including its operating system. This technology improvement was designed to boost employee productivity and enable associates and other employees to leverage and access the same company technology whether they were working in their respective office or remotely.

The technology overhaul included a move to Microsoft Office Communicator, an integrated communications client, enabling Russell Investment’s associates to communicate efficiently in real time. In addition, Russell Investments also made a strategic decision to move to a 100 percent laptop environment to provide employees with better telecommuting and mobility options.

Another major technology decision involved a desire to move a majority of the company’s associates to softphones, eliminating the hardware from traditional phones and improving compatibility with other devices, including web cameras and headsets.

THE SOLUTION

Already using headsets in many departments throughout the organization, Russell Investments’ technology team set up a month long evaluation process so associates – the primary users of the headsets – would test between 20-30 different headsets from four or five vendors, including their existing vendor.

“We spent about a month testing competitive products on headset models that we thought would work,” said Dennis Grant, Associate Director, Infrastructure Architecture and Engineering at Russell Investments. “The process was crucial because we received a lot of feedback from the associates on what worked and what did not.”

According to Grant, whose team was largely responsible for the overall technology migration, associates commented on a variety of challenges with some of the headsets, including audio quality to the physical headset configuration that, simply put, hurt the associates’ ears.

In the end, the associates favored the Jabra products – largely due to better integration between the Jabra solution, Microsoft Office Communicator and the enterprise phone, Grant added. Moreover, the Jabra solutions are more comfortable and consistently more reliable than any of the competitive products. One of the tested and selected Jabra solutions include the Jabra BIZ™ 2400 headsets, a suite of headsets that provide an unparalleled corded headset quality and performance experience.

The Jabra BIZ 2400 Series proved to be ideal for Russell Investments associates, who often work in an open area environment, because of the greater call clarity and compatibility with different microphones and noisecanceling systems. Other Russell Investment associates are using Jabra GO™ 6430 – a cordless Bluetooth® headset option that also delivers state-of-the-art noise-cancelling which eliminates background noise and offers great range to increase associate mobility.

“We provided our associates with various headset choices to test because it was important that we selected a solution that would enable them to do their jobs to the best of their ability,” Grant said. “The reliability and audio quality of the Jabra solutions blew our team away. In our environment, we live inside Outlook. The integration with Microsoft OC is extremely transparent – improving associate productivity and greatly reducing our trouble ticket volume. And the functionality where OC “remembers” the headset device is amazing”

THE RESULTS

During the testing process, the Jabra team also offered a level of customer service that gave Russell Investments confidence in their ability to ensure a smooth transition, Grant said. From providing on-site training and support to developing product fact sheets, the Jabra team provided the necessary hands-on support so associates would have little to no ramp up time on the headsets. Today, the company is standardized 100 percent on Jabra.

“We are confident we selected the best quality headset in the market,” Grant said. “The headsets are easy to put on and take off, the voice experience is better, and the simple configuration means my team spends far less time dealing with headset related IT issues.”

CUSTOMER
Russell Investments Group

WEB SITE
www.russell.com

COUNTRY
United States

INDUSTRY
Financial Services

PROFILE
Russell Investments Group is a leading multi-management Investing company, providing products and services in more than 40 countries around the world. Managing more than USD 200 billion in assets, Russell advices clients worldwide, representing USD 2.4 trillion. The company, founded in 1936, is a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual and is headquartered in Seattle. The company’s 1,200+ associates work in offices from Toronto to Tokyo and Singapore to Sydney.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Russell Investments were faced with two immediate challenges – a physical relocation of company headquarters and existing data center and a need to upgrade its technology infrastructure.

PHONE SYSTEM
Microsoft® Office Communicator

JABRA SOLUTION
Jabra solutions were ideal because of their quality, unprecedented performance and compatibility with Microsoft OC. Russell Investments chose Jabra BIZ™ 2400 and the wireless Jabra GO™ 6430 for those prioritizing mobility. An important feature is that Microsoft OC “remembers” the Jabra headset.

BUSINESS BENEFITS
  • Increased employee and associate productivity
  • Customer service which secured smooth transition
  • Jabra offered best possible integration with Microsoft OC

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