VoiceCon Day 2 – Shell Keynote

Johan Krebbers, Group IT Architect, Royal Dutch Shell


Johan gave an excellent overview of Shell’s strategy for their 108,000 employees in 130 countries.  Their solution is a Microsoft Office Communication Server infrastructure with other software as shown in the slide below:


80% of teams are globalised, it is not uncommon for people to work anywhere at any time, it is not uncommon for Shell to have significant input in projects from partners and people beyond the enterprise boundary.  Their aim is to implement a single interface for unified communications.  For remote workers today OCS is the voice communication channel and softphones will be rolled out across shell, replacing the majority of desk phones.  They see OCS as removing the need for much of their video conferencing capability.  They see a growth in telepresence but OCS will replace much of the room based capabilities today.


Overall the collaboration architecture for information looks like this:



His conclusions were to:

  • Take the user as the starting point, what and how do they work
  • Then examine the business drivers
  • Treat voice as you would any application
  • Ensure different generations are supported by what you propose
  • Be clear with your roadmap and targets for delivery, don’t focus on today
  • Cover real time collab and information sharing at once.
  • Forget the borders, you’ll collaborate beyond them from day 1


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  1. It’s interesting to see that Shell sees OCS as a viable replacement for their existing video conferencing rooms. I’m assuming their existing Tandberg rooms are standard def, but then so is the video within OCS, even with Microsoft Roundtable. Correct me if more insight was provided by the presenter, but it appears as if Shell prefers the integrated nature of video within OCS over the technically superior audio/video of today’s standalone HD end-points. If so, this case should serve as a warning to the end point vendors (i.e., Polycom, Tandberg, LifeSize) to enhance the ability of their end points to integrate nicely into the broader UC environment or possibly be edged out.


  2. Hey Stu

    Long time no speak – Just a quick one to say thanks for upping the slides. Interesting for me to see Shell dropping Telepresence . I can understand why but as Chase says it seems weird that they are dropping something aimed at the higher end of the market for something with much lower quality. We are currently in the process of pushing out TP as much as possible.


  3. @4. Hi Anthony, good to hear from you. They’ve actually said that telepresence will expand, so high end CISCO Telepresence. They’ve said that room based solutions will reduce. I think this is likely to ensure that more people can participate without travelling to / booking a video room.


  4. Hey Stu – what do you do?
    Have you ever thought about hosted managed services – much easier than trying to lash up multipoint virtual meetings yourselves. We’ve just won a large global contract for a 150,000 employee energy company for “managed” telepresence and “managed” meeting rooms and manage News Corps global estate as well


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