CSC switches on IP telephony

CSC switches on IP telephony

IT services giant CSC has migrated some 1300 staff to IP telephony as part of a corporate headquarters relocation to Macquarie Park in Sydney.

CSC’s director of network engineering services, Iain McGregor, said the company consolidated five office locations into one last year and the decision was made to implement a converged network.

“The new campus has new LAN and telephony systems and there are 1300 IP and 200 analog phones,” McGregor said.

“We already have a WAN between our offices and have been IP-enabling existing PABXs to do on-Net calling.”

McGregor said the whole project – which began 10 months ago – has been painless and is successful.

“We’d like to keep the cost to ourselves but so far we’ve experienced somewhere between 10 and 15 percent savings and the payback was less than two months,” he said.

“We are now demonstrating the capability of Macquarie Park to potential customers.”

CSC chose Nortel Networks as the equipment vendor, and although the two companies have a global agreement, McGregor said CSC does have equipment from other vendors and there was “nothing automatic” about the decision.

With the network in place, CSC is now deploying Nortel’s Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) and IP Softphones for more control over the company’s telephony.

“Softphones give the capability for free phone calls from remote places like home and hotels so we are starting to see real savings as staff are not using mobile phones from home,” he said.

“We have a vision around using the MCS for teleconferencing and videoconferencing which is a killer application. If we can do this internally we will make significant savings and it brings more functionality in, in terms of managing calls and collaborating around applications like PowerPoint.”

Although McGregor conceded the softphones have “taken time to mature”, he is happy with the overall VoIP quality of service and “as an active user I find it quite acceptable”.

“We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from end users and no additional training was needed,” he said. “Our contact centre was also IP-enabled and to do this we made sure the fundamentals were right.”

CSC’s next step is to extend IP telephony to some 4000 staff throughout its 15 offices around the country.

Nortel Networks’ Asia Pacific enterprise networks director, Rick Seeto, said the company has now officially launched its convergence strategy in Australia and New Zealand.

“IT strategies have recently been focused on reducing costs and driving employee productivity and convergence helps customers save money and make money,” Seeto said.

“A lot of people get confused about convergence as it’s more than just VoIP. It’s about delivering VoIP, data, video, and applications over one network.”

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