S Central's newly formed IP Telephony business has won its first contract to provide a fully fledged Cisco communications solution to Australia's largest stock feed manufacturer and salt refiner, Ridley Corporation.
The deal involves delivering, configuring and supporting about 1000 IP telephony handsets to the company's 37 locations nationally. The first part of the contract, which is now underway, will see S Central perform the backend network integration work and fit out its main call centre in Melbourne with Cisco's Call Manager IP telephony platform.
It is understood the integrator was up against three providers for the contract, including Dimension Data.
S Central managing director, Peter Mavridis, said it had undertaken various network integration jobs for Ridley over the past three years.
"We'd been talking to them about their communications needs for the past two years," he said. "One of the most important parts of this was to converge a lot of what they were doing on the network in various areas into the one solution. The benefits for them are reduced costs and infrastructure requirements."
Ridley had left it up to the integrator to choose the best IP telephony platform for their business, Mavridis said.
S Central had opted to go with Cisco.
"This is a deal that went to S Central, which we then brought to Cisco," he said. "By doing this, we received a lot of support from them."
Although financial details were not disclosed, the deal is slightly smaller than the integrator's largest contract with Coles Myer, worth more than $1 million. The rollout is expected to be completed by mid-2006.
S Central's telephony business, dubbed the Cisco Alliance Group, was created after its acquisition of the Com Connexion business in February last year.
Mavridis said it had invested $500,000 this year to set up the practice and certify its engineers in IP telephony technology. It has also obtained Cisco silver partner status.