Empired has replaced the Western Australian Department of Communities’ legacy phone system as part of a $1 million-upgrade if its communications network.
The new platform, which utilises Microsoft’s Teams Phone service, has been rolled out in stages starting in 2020 and is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.
Currently, 3,300 of the Department’s 6,500 employees are using Teams Phone on-site and remotely, with the rest of the staff currently using a Cisco telephone system.
The change came as the department, which covers disability services, child protection and family support, housing and community and regional initiatives, found its legacy platform wasn’t flexible enough for staff working remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perth-based Empired's rollout started through a trial, which then progressed to production hardening and testing, followed by a limited rollout to the department’s IT team and then to the 1,600 staff moving into its Fremantle head office.
“That went so well that we’ve rolled out Teams Phone to the rest of our offices that are involved in child protection and family support services, because they were using a legacy Avaya phone system that needed to be replaced,” said the department’s director of infrastructure services, Nathaniel Witt.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams Rooms has also been deployed within the Department in 170 meeting spaces, which has proven more effective in its interactions with the courts and families over its legacy meeting space solutions.
“Our child protection workers need to appear in court from time to time in relation to the children in our care,” Witt said. “That’s something where our frontline was previously using a legacy system to do that, which was a lot harder to use and integrate with other videoconferencing platforms.
“We’ve been switching over the branch office to Teams Rooms and that’s become a much simpler process for them.
“In other situations, they might have a family member and an officer from the Department at one of our branch offices and they need to talk to another family member. By giving them the meeting room technology, it just makes that whole experience a lot easier to have on a big screen and with proper audio, rather than just huddling around a laptop.”
While Empired has been working with the WA Department of Communities, it also won an IT services contract with the WA-based water, wastewater and drainage services company Water Corporation in February this year.