Duo County Telephone Simplifies VoIP Migration with Citel’s Portico™ TVA™ – A Year On
Re-using existing handsets and wiring saves time and eases shift to VoIP for customers
Duo County Telephone, headquartered in Jamestown, Kentucky, is a membership based cooperative that has served South Central Kentucky for more than 50 years. It offers a range of services including voice, broadband, LAN / WAN services, computer repair, cable television and IPTV to extended rural areas, and Fiber Optics to the Home (FTTH). As a member-owned organization, it continually looks at enhancing service offerings in a cost effective manner.
New Challenges Require New Solutions
Following migrating its PBX customers to their MetaSwitch softswitch to provide more flexibility and features in its voice offerings, Duo County wanted to provide as seamless a transition as possible for its Centrex customers from the DMS100 platform to the MetaSwitch hosted platform.
When Duo County first started out replacing the Centrex phones with IP phones it realized the time, labor and expense in that process, the unavoidable service interruptions and the learning curve their Centrex customers would have to climb in moving to IP phones would be challenging.
To overcome the problems it identified, Duo County turned to the Portico™ TVA™ from Citel. Duo County acquired an evaluation unit and worked with Citel engineers to understand how it could simplify life for both itself and its customers.
“When we first started our migration process, we considered the Portico™ TVA™ a viable option to the IP phone. We quickly realized it was more than an option; It was the solution. ”
– Kerry Flatt, IT Dept., Duo County
By installing the Portico™ TVA™, Duo County was able to migrate its Centrex customers to VoIP with minimal disruption, because it could re-use existing phone lines and power, so no rewiring was needed. For most of its clients, Duo County simply has to install a TVA where the existing demarc block was located. Duo County is now able to access the TVA remotely to make any local changes or additions from its own offices. For clients located close to its head office, Duo County located the TVAs in its own central office and used its own copper pairs to complete the migration, without ever going to the customers’ premises.
Handset retention was another important positive factor, and directly affected the time spent training the customer after the migration. Duo County was able to hold customer changes to a minimum, something highly welcomed by the customers. The advantages gained by moving to VoIP, including better Caller ID, easier transfer of calls and no longer needing to push a direct line key for an incoming call, more than outweighed any small changes that resulted from the switch.
Having completed the migration process over the last year, the one issue of concern at Duo County was the resiliency of the Portico™ TVA™. Kerry Flatt, IT Dept., stated that they’ve had the stormiest season in quite a few years here this past summer, with some lightning storms that were off the charts, causing damage in areas for us that I haven’t seen in my 20+ years of experience. However, the Portico TVA units withstood this test and passed with flying colors as we only had one unit damaged, and we traced that back to a malfunctioning electrical circuit.
Mr. Flatt further stated that Duo County serves some units via a broadband DSL connection, some with a Fiber connection, and some are mounted directly in our Central Office. Voice quality and handset functionality are superb, and I would highly recommend the Portico™ TVA™ to anyone without any reservations whatsoever.
“Since I’m such a huge fan of the Portico units operation, the longevity of the units in this type weather was my last remaining question, and it’s now been answered fully.”
– Kerry Flatt
Citel enables SMBs, large enterprises and service providers to realize the cost and productivity benefits of IP telephony while at the same time leveraging their existing PBX infrastructure. Businesses with single or distributed locations and PBX vendors can now deploy next-generation IP applications and services at their own pace, with minimal business disruption. Service providers can deploy Hosted IP telephony services quickly, without having to “rip and replace” existing enterprise PBX handsets and LAN cabling. Citel now offers its own IP PBX and, in cases where rip and replace is applicable Citel now offers its own IP Telephones. Citel is based in Amherst, New York with offices in Loughborough, England (UK) and Toronto, Canada.