WSP’s phone systems were aging. They run numerous sites around the country and around the world, with thirteen different ISDN circuits and PBXs in their sites, all of which were coming up for maintenance or renewal.
“They were pretty much all old, wheels-falling-off type stuff,” says WSP’s Associate Director of IT for the Asia-Pacific region Dave Corbet.
“They were lacking firmware and software updates, and previously it was out of our IT department’s control.”
Brennan IT had been providing WAN services to global design, engineering and management firm WSP for some years. When the need arose for WSP to update their telephony solution, it was logical that Brennan IT were among the first people they consulted.
WSP knew there was a near- to short-term life expectancy on their telephone systems. They needed an arrangement that would seamlessly integrate with their global Microsoft Lync system that was already in place between WSP offices around the world.
The solution Brennan IT provided allowed them to acquire a best-of-breed system suited to their business needs, without any serious impact on WSP’s monthly bottom line.
Brennan IT provided SIP switches, giving IP telephony in the place of WSP’s previous ISDN-based telephony solution. Crucially it was also a centralised model.
Instead of having nine different termination points, there was a single SIP termination point – at the CISCO router in Brennan IT’s secure data centre. All calls terminate there, and are then routed over an existing WAN to WSP’s business sites. Similarly, all outgoing calls are directed through the WAN to the Brennan IT’s router where they’re routed to outside telephone networks.
There are redundancies built into the solution, with WSP having servers and routers available in Brennan’s Sydney and Brisbane data centres.
There is full intergration with Microsoft Lync, allowing WSP to use their Lync line as a stand-alone softphone. This is facilitated by a SIP trunk running between the CISCO server and Lync server.
The fact that Brennan IT was already providing a reliable WAN service meant that a separate WAN for an IP telephony system was not required.
The centralised model provided significant cost-savings for WSP. A more traditional solution would have required a SIP at each business site, which would have been costly, so the option of leveraging the existing WAN in a hosted solution significantly reduced capital investment in hardware for WSP.
Aside from this, the heavily collaborative nature of WSP’s work, combined with their global reach, meant that the centralised solution dramatically reduced the cost of calls between WSP’s many sites. Under their previous solution, the only free internal calls were ones made in the same building. Now WSP staff can contact each other anywhere for little or no cost.
The Brennan IT solution, which includes a finance agreement for hardware through CISCO as well as Level 3 support, is no more expensive than the call costs alone in WSP’s old ISDN system.
The scalability of the CISCO system means that the structure can be expanded to support WSP’s planned growth and acquisition in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The solution well and truly meets our current and forecasted growth needs,” says Corbet.
The failsafe system of having two separate SIP gateways in Sydney and Brisbane mean that if one were to go down, all IP telephony would simply be routed through the other.
“Previously we didn’t have that luxury,” says Corbet. “During the floods in Brisbane, the phone system went offline, and that was it. The ISDN trunks themselves failed, so were unable to even forward calls.”
Brennan IT’s Managed Service Level 3 support package ensures that both the hardware and software in the solution is fully supported for the next five years. Brennan IT provided training for WSP’s in-house IT team to make minor updates and changes themselves, where more complex system maintenance is handled by Brennan IT. There’s also 24/7 support provided through Brennan IT’s dedicated service centre.
This means that WSP didn’t have to train their own CISCO technician for more complex updates and changes.
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