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Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre implements Nortel Networks IP Telephony

  • 17 August, 2004 10:17

<p>Converged network improves reliability and performance, adds business-critical functionality such as voicemail, call queueing and open-standard IP support</p>
<p>Melbourne, Victoria – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac), Australia's premier specialist cancer centre, has implemented a Nortel Networks* Succession* IP PBX with an eye on added functionality and reliability for its 1300-extension telephone system.</p>
<p>Peter Mac has been an integral specialist service provider, researcher and integrator for more than 50 years. The centre treats all forms of cancer, including one third of Victoria's breast and lung cancers. Rare and complex diseases are also treated. Each year Peter Mac sees 90,000 outpatients, 14,000 inpatients and 6,000 new patients with cancer.</p>
<p>"Because we're an ambulatory service – meaning our patients come in for a visit, see a specific doctor, and go home the same day – we rely heavily on communication between patients and doctors so that appointments are kept as scheduled," said Peter Mac's IT Services Manager Len Gemelli. "It is also critical that our service delivery remains uninterrupted; in fact, one of the unique features of the Succession implementation was the rapid cutover from our old analogue system."</p>
<p>The project marks the first step in building a converged network that introduces functionality such as voicemail capabilities, department-specific call queuing and drill-down reporting facilities which, according to Gemelli, will result in better management of phone usage, eliminate call bottlenecks and improve customer service.</p>
<p>"One of the challenges we inherited when we moved into our current premises was an ageing analogue PABX that was nearing the end of its lifecycle," said Gemelli. "We went to selective tender in search of a replacement IP PBX, with the intention of adding core functionality and, at a future stage, moving up to new technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and digital technology.</p>
<p>"Nortel Networks Succession fit the bill perfectly, with its rich array of call functionality, solid reliability, and industry-standard support for new and emerging communications technology."</p>
<p>"The biggest gain for us so far has surprisingly been the voicemail facility," he added. "Previous to Succession we had no voicemail on site, which made it difficult to reach staff and doctors who are constantly on the move. Voicemail ensures callers can leave a message for the right person, and they have the option of returning to the switchboard for further assistance.</p>
<p>"Another plus is the Call Pilot system that gives different departments an automated, voice-prompted queue so callers are routed to the correct department, are assured of reaching that department, and retain the option of retuning to the switchboard. In addition, from July, we will use the system's reporting facilities to conduct a complete high-level KPI on the converged PBX and voice infrastructure, eventually drilling down to individual extensions to determine metrics such as peak call times, abandonment rates and usage patterns by extension."</p>
<p>The new system was implemented by integrator Netstar Networks, a member of Nortel Networks nPower channel partner program. While cutting over from one phone system to another can take a weekend to complete in a typical corporate environment, Peter Mac completed its ISDN cutover from old to new in 15 minutes – with total downtime less than two minutes.</p>
<p>"This would not have been possible but for the technology on the one hand, and the brilliant backup and support we received from the Nortel Networks and Netstar teams," noted Gemelli.</p>
<p>"In a mission-critical environment like Peter Mac, there's no leeway for communication bottlenecks, so building a converged network on an open systems architecture helps companies get more out of their telephone systems today, and further down the line as they scale up to new technologies," said Steve Wood, president of Nortel Networks Australia and New Zealand.</p>
<p>"Succession is just one example of Nortel Networks convergence strategy, designed to simplify communications and lower the barriers to entry for new and emerging technologies. As technologies like VoIP gain momentum in the market, mission- and business-critical centres will be considering their PBX investments with a view on present-day compatibility and future scalability."</p>
<p>Gemelli says VoIP will eventually replace the centre's analogue devices, in conjunction with digital handsets.</p>
<p>"We are running a multi-vendor pilot – with third-party mobile IP handsets, switches and the Nortel Networks Succession server – that allows our security guards to remain in contact irrespective of where they are in the centre," he said. "Go live date is July, followed by further deployments in other departments. Succession gives us the flexibility to migrate to VoIP as and when we need to, taking advantage of new and emerging technologies that meet our requirements at the time."</p>
<p>Nortel Networks is an industry leader and innovator focused on transforming how the world communicates and exchanges information. The Company is supplying its service provider and enterprise customers with communications technology and infrastructure to enable value-added IP data, voice and multimedia services spanning Wireless Networks, Wireline Networks, Enterprise Networks, and Optical Networks. As a global company, Nortel Networks does business in more than 150 countries. More information about Nortel Networks can be found on the Web at or</p>
<p>*Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks logo, the Globemark and Business Without Boundaries are trademarks of Nortel Networks.</p>
<p>For more information:</p>
<p>Elizabeth Lovett
Nortel Networks
02 8870 5625
Hannah Watterson
Watterson Marketing Communications
02 9437 6122</p>

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