Nutanix implementation partner, BEarena, and Avaya partner, CCNA, have teamed up and pooled their virtualisation expertise in a bid to help not-for-profit counselling organisation, Relationships Australia New South Wales (RANSW), undergo a major digital transformation.
The aim behind the transformation was to give the organisation the ability to provide its counselling services anytime, anywhere, while maintaining the anonymity of its clients and protecting their sensitive information.
The project saw BEarena implement the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, running the native Nutanix AHV hypervisor. The Nutanix solution was chosen to create a secure, on-premise Cloud environment that could deliver critical applications through Citrix's XenDesktop virtual desktop infrastructure.
The project also saw CCNA (Converged Communication Network Applications) implement Avaya’s IP Office Server Edition. This Nutanix/Avaya combination provided support to help protect the organisation’s customer data and secure Avaya’s contact centre and video conferencing platforms.
“Security is paramount to everything we do – our clients trust us to help them in a safe environment,” RANSW head of technology, Mark Hindle, said.
“The Nutanix and Avaya technologies create that safe environment so our counsellors can interact with their clients while ensuring their confidentiality.
“Nutanix and Citrix keep all data private so there’s no risk of that sensitive information leaking, while Avaya allows our staff to deliver support to people when and where they need it,” he said.
For CCNA Avaya platform operations director, Craig Sim, privacy and security was top of mind during the implementation of the new infrastructure.
“We knew that the organisation would have individuals looking to keep their information confidential and only talk to a particular person,” he told ARN. “We were able to set up the Avaya system with database interaction that routed calls to the appropriate people."
According to Sims, the combined solution not only gave RANSW the ability to meet its privacy needs, it also delivered a swiftly-implemented system that could scale according to the organisation’s needs.
“Future scalability had a lot to do with it,” Sims said. “The organisation wanted a fully virtualised solution that was scalable. The IP Office Server Edition scales out to more than 4000 users. Additionally, the virtualised infrastructure made it very easy to implement; it’s definitely future proof. There’s no need to replace hardware, as it will all be upgraded with software.”
The level of virtualisation involved in the project has also helped to substantially reduce RANSW’s hardware footprint, according to BEarena managing director, Darren Ashley.
“We took [Relationships Australia] from what was essentially half-rack of traditional three-tier equipment, and we condensed that into less than a quarter of a rack,” Ashley told ARN. “So, we’ve effectively shrunk their footprint, their power, their cooling. That’s all important, but the simplification of their infrastructure is the biggest thing.”
Ashley also cites the combined solutions’ scalability as a core reason behind RANSW’s decision to go with the Nutanix and Avaya solutions in its technology overhaul, along with an increased level of redundancy.
“Mark [Hindle] had some very specific business outcomes that he wanted, and one of the things that he needed was predictable growth and the cost around that,” Ashley said.
“If the organisation grows its Avaya platform by a certain number of handsets, for example, Mark now knows how many nodes he needs. He’ll never have to deviate from that, and that is a big thing. So it’s very predictable, but also reliable.”
Since the rollout of the infrastructure, which was completed earlier in the year, RANSW has revealed that it expects to save more than $150,000 annually, with the new platforms in place to support its 23 sites.
The next phase of Relationships Australia’s digital transformation includes the deployment of a new version of Avaya’s video conferencing platform, Avaya Conferencing 9.0. To date, the organisation has seen a rise in uptime across all of its systems, along with an increase in application performance, and overall growth in confidence of the IT systems by employees.