TAIS was using a 17-year-old Legacy digital telephone system, which was in need of replacement. It was time to move to a new, pure IP system, and Toshiba’s Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD) was preparing to introduce the IPedge™. The timing was right for TSD’s parent company TAIS to become a real-life beta site. Working closely with Kathy Wilbur, vice president of IT for TAIS, the TSD product management team selected Transcom Telecommunications, an Authorized Toshiba Dealer in Lakewood, California, to help provide the installation and user training. Having TAIS as a beta site gave the product management team and dealer a large enterprise with 800+ telephones spread across several buildings in a campus environment, including remote users.
“Our challenge was to smoothly move from the older system to a new system without hiccups or downtime,” Wilbur said. “There was a lot we had to do to properly engage the IPedge beta testing, which included preparing our network to be voiceready and accommodate Power over Ethernet and Quality of Service.” Handling approximately 400,000 calls at TAIS every month, it was important that the system work properly.
TAIS has multiple IPedge systems networked together to serve individual divisions with their own telephone servers. Although the IPedge is a single-server solution for up to 1,000 users, having multiple servers gave TAIS more control to accommodate the specific needs of the individual divisions, plus room to grow. The IPedge systems are hosted in the Irvine data center. Its small form factor takes up a fraction of the space and power usage of the older servers.
The system includes Toshiba’s Automated Attendant, Voice Mail, Call Center Application, ACD, IVR and Call Accounting. It also includes more than 800 desk telephones, attendant consoles and a variety of IP wireless telephones. TAIS ran its old system and new IPedge IP system concurrently to ensure a smooth transition. Simultaneous running of the two systems helped reduce risks and helped ensure that the IPedge was running smoothly before the transition. In the end, the cutover was smooth and seamless—with no downtime.
System administration is easy with the Enterprise Manager browser-based admin tool that runs right on the IPedge. The company’s IT managers can easily manage the telephone systems directly from their desktop or laptop computers anywhere there is Internet access. Enterprise Manager also lets individual users program their telephones without needing IT support. Wilbur said, “Having so much on-site control of our system means fewer service calls and faster response to changes, such as adding users, moving telephones, etc.”
Mobile and remote workers also received a boost in their productivity as the IPedge provided a wide range of endpoints, from the wireless telephones to the soft phone client on their laptops. IPedge users can also take advantage of the fixed mobile convergence feature, which enables the user’s office phone extension to ring on his or her smart phone and use the wireless LAN instead of cellular coverage while in range of the wireless LAN.
While it seems like a given that Toshiba would use its own products, the TAIS installation was the first beta site and the first enterprise-wide deployment of IPedge. The team members from TAIS, TSD and Toshiba ensured that the transition was smooth and seamless without any business downtime or disruption.
With the IPedge communication system, Toshiba will save about a quarter of a million dollars in the first year of use, and nearly $100,000 every year thereafter, based on reducing maintenance costs, eliminating conference call costs and by cutting long distance costs.