Over the last 20 years the standard model for communicating within large scale organisations has changed dramatically. Legacy telephony sytems of 15+ years old tend to be large electrical solutions which as they have aged have become more challenging to maintain, expensive to support and (depending on their age) present a significant risk to the operational integrity of the businesses which are so dependent upon them.
The organisation in question is a Global Oil and Gas Operator with over 150,000 Users in 70+ countries. The existing telephony estate contained 350+ legacy systems, the large part of which was approaching or had already breached its End of Support status. As a result the organisation in question was paying escalating maintenance costs to support a telephony service that was constantly at the risk of jeopardising their key business
The brief that was issued was to develop the existing Unified Communications platform to become the primary telephony strategy, providing a stable, robust and supportable service that would enable the removal of the existing legacy solutions whilst generating the maximum cost savings for the business. The organisation was already using Unified Communications technology for Instant Messaging, Presence and internal Peer to Peer calling. The challenges were to ensure that this largely centralised solution still provided the same standard expected for localised voice such as survivability, emergency dialling, conference facilities and other standard voice service associated with the systems in place. In addition the organisation had a number of industrial sites where there are specialist requirements that must be met.
In order to meet the brief a centralised Programme was created to deploy Voice Gateways at 100+ of the organisations sites in order to facilitate the users with the same telephone number for their Skype client as was applied to their existing desk phones. This minimised the impact to the users. In addition, the use of additional gateways to facilitate the retention of Emergency and Analogue devices was also deployed where it was required and Lync compliant IP Telephony was used to meet the needs of common area devices as would be needed in meeting rooms etc.
The project structure needed to carry out this large deployment mimicked a factory type approach engaging each site to learn the requirements of the specific deployment by examining the existing configuration of the legacy telephony system, creating a standardised design using this information and deploying the solution in a controlled manner. Key to this project deployment structure was communication to the user population ensuring that at all stages the local IT representatives and the users understood the impact of the proposed changes and were suitably trained. The volume of experience and high number of lessons learned during this activity presents a unique opportunity.
Regardless of the Unified Communications product to be deployed it is possible to take the experience, project structure and lessons learned during this undertaking to benefit other organisations. A high number of companies are currently trialling how Unified Communications can benefit their business but may not have the relevant knowledge necessary to make the decision to make it their primary telephony platform. It is predicted that a significant percentage of the required project and deliverable time could be reduced by taking advantage of E-WAN Networks experience.
If you're interested in Deploying Unified Communications solutions such as Skype for Business and would like to know more or see any parallels with any of the scenarios above please get in touch with E-WAN Networks here.
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