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Credit union overhauls communications network

Credit union overhauls communications network

The Australian Defence Credit Union (ADCU) is overhauling its communications setup with a converged voice and data IP network which is expected to save the financial services co-operative more than $50,000 a year.

To be phased in over the next two years, the new network, covering 43 offices across Australia, will save $40,000 in data communication costs alone.

With credit union offices located on remote Defence bases, ADCU head of technology Mark Favretti said the goal was to find a feature-rich solution that didn't break the bank.

"At the same time we wanted to use the upgraded network to carry voice traffic, doing away with our existing separate PSTN service, and take advantage of the many benefits offered by IP telephony," he said.

ADCU's last network upgrade was in 1997 and Favretti said it had certainly reached the end of its shelf life.

He said the co-operative selected Nortel for the project because security was an important factor and the vendor also has a relationship with ADCU's other service providers TransAction Solutions and Telstra.

The new network will have Nortel VPN routers and Ethernet switches with Power over Ethernet in all locations. Most locations will switch over to IP communications for voice and data, with business DSL (BDSL) services set up for more remote bases. ADCU uses a Nortel Business Communications Manager 200 at its main office as an IP communications hub.

Favretti expects up to 10 percent savings on current communications costs and this will increase once voice services are switched over to IP.

"We also expect some savings in moving from frame relay to BDSL. Also, once the voice network comes online, we'll enjoy further benefits, including reduced toll charges, and the ability to reach any office by dialling an extension rather than making a separate STD call," he said, adding that voice functionality will be phased in at the end of this year.

ADCU currently services more than 43,000 Defence Force members.


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