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Connecting business

By various authors
The Guardian
20 January 2009

In January 2009 The Guardian newspaper teamed up with Cisco and PA Consulting Group in a three-month experiment to introduce IT enabled change to a small young business – the award-winning travel company Black Tomato.

On the Guardian website one of the travel company's owners, Tom Marchant, describes his expectations for what the upcoming project will achieve:

"It's all about efficiencies for us", says Tom. As co-founder of bespoke travel company Black Tomato, Tom Marchant is in charge of a quintessentially 'people business'. He knows the value of good communication and, with a little help from Cisco, is aiming to improve the way his colleagues talk to each other and their customers over the course of the next three months – and beyond.

"As a growing business that has moved from working in a bedroom in Putney to an office of just under 30 people in Shoreditch, strong and efficient operating processes have always been crucial to us. What was once a very manual and labour-intensive business has definitely moved to more automated one but we still have a number of areas that we want to improve in and from the initial discussions with Cisco it sounds like they can really help us with this."

Read Tom Marchants' Blog in full here


Some of those involved in the roll-out of the new technology – Black Tomato's own people, and experts from PA and Cisco – describe their hopes and plans for the project in this four-minute video.

View video on Guardian website

The PA expert's blog

In his first diary entry David Elton, IT and change management specialist at PA Consulting Group, has his first meeting with Black Tomato and Cisco.

"Internet protocol (IP) telephony will feature in the solution Cisco is supplying. It's likely to save Black Tomato money, but more importantly will change they way they work. Precisely how will be thrashed out at the scoping meeting – we'll see a demo then and also get our hands on the detailed implementation plan."

Read David Elton's first report here

Contact the telecommunications team

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