Colombian National Police Improves Efficiency, Cuts Costs with Microsoft Communications Server

I’d like to share the story of how the Columbia National Police are using Microsoft Office Communications Server to improve police work and save money. The 150,000 police officers on the force work in a range of locations, from busy urban streets to isolated jungle villages. Prior to deploying their Microsoft solution, the organization used a Cisco IP telephony system for voice communications, and many police officers also relied on their personal mobile phones to keep in touch with each other. Officers had no way to see if colleagues were available for email or voice communications and frequently experienced poor audio quality on calls. The telephony solution was also expensive to maintain.

“Rural sites sometimes had no access to communications at all, and we had to travel to those areas to deliver news and orders,” says Jairo Gordillo, Colonel, Colombian National Police, explaining just how difficult communications could be. “Previously, we had to send a message from headquarters to a regional capital, and then that message would be sent by boat up a river, through a forest, and finally to the officer. That process took an entire day.”


In the process of replacing a portion of their telephony capabilities with Office Communications Server, the police force gained the ability to make use of instant messaging and rich presence information among nearly 18,000 officers.   Many field officers equipped with laptops can make VoIP calls, view presence, or send an instant message right from their squad cars. “Officers are using our improved communications tools to prevent crimes by sharing intelligence about criminal activity, for example,” says Gordillo. “Using Office Communications Server 2007, we can locate and apprehend criminals more easily because we have real-time information about their movements. In some cases, we have also equipped officers with smartphones that have Office Communications Server 2007, which means they can locate and apprehend criminals on the move more effectively as well.”





A Colombian policewoman answers phone calls utilizing OCS Enterprise Voice solution via                 Polycom CX-700 (Tanjay) phone



Picture of Office Communicator and Jabra UC handset being used in Colombian National Police daily communications 


Colombian Police Dispatcher with GN2000 UC headset communicates with officers in rural area.



 A police officer in rural area communicates inside police truck with dispatcher and other officers via laptop utilizing OCS technology.

The organization expects to save thousands of dollars annually on hardware costs and phone charges.  It can also use the solution’s integrated video and audio conferencing functionality to provide additional employee training opportunities. The IT department has full control over the entire communications infrastructure, making it easy to manage. “We will save around $200 per computer or mobile device by using Office Communications Server 2007 because it will help us greatly reduce mobile phone costs.” Hardware costs, too, will be much lower. “We can easily manage all communications now because we have a single solution and single vendor for voice and email,” says Gordillo.  “As a whole, this new solution helps our IT department do its job better and faster, just as it does for our police officers.”


This story impresses me because it highlights the value and importance of real time communications beyond the desk. The Colombian National Police officers are taking advantage of unified communications capabilities from Microsoft to fight crime. At the same time the organization is saving a lot of money compared to the telephony solution it replaced.


Read the written case study


Kind regards,

Rainer Podjoutomo

Product Manager, Office Communications Group






Comments (1)

  1. Please see numerous comments and questions on this post by @brian_riggs on Twitter. Thanks!

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