Wesfarmers Federation Insurance is forging a new integrated voice over Internet protocol future after completing a massive network rollout using the jewel in Cabletron's crown, Spectrum Enterprise Management.
Wesfarmers used Spectrum's project management capabilities to manage the rollout of over 70 Cisco routers to cater for around 400 desktops, while simultaneously monitoring network performance.
The company has installed a Cisco 3640 router in each of its WA, Queensland, Victoria and SA state offices and around 67 Cisco 2610s in various branches.
The national network - valued at over a million dollars - is a win for integrator Anite Networks, which was recently acquired by Datatec. Anite also employed the services of Spectrum specialist Full Spectrum for additional network design consulting.
Laurie Stevens, Anite's CEO, said Spectrum remains an important product for his company for two reasons.
"One is obviously because we sell and install the platform for the customer, and two is we offer it as a managed service," Stevens said.
Wesfarmers has only just agreed to publicly announce itself as a Spectrum user after running it successfully for the past six months as part of the network rollout.
"The customer is extremely happy with it," Stevens said.
He said the site validates Spectrum's claim to offer advanced network management across varying environments.
"Spectrum supports everything that's got an IP address," Stevens said.
Alan Shirley, Wesfarmers' rural division IT manager, said the network has transformed a legacy "green screens" environment to one that incorporates complete voice and data integration.
Shirley said Spectrum minimised disruption to normal business operations while the network rollout was in progress.
"It allowed us to measure the impact of a change in one area, and its effect on business operations, before we rolled it out fully," he said.
In addition, it allows the company to maintain internal control of network management functions.
Craig Bowers, Wesfarmers' technical services manager, said the company is working to improve the integration between Cisco routers and the company's PABXs.
Meanwhile, Spectrum itself has eased the pain of network management. "I believe it has significantly improved our service provision," he said.