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 more than 13,000 customers 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
As part of its search for enhanced service offerings, Duo County decided to move to a MetaSwitch softswitch to allow more flexibility and features in its voice offerings. Duo County migrated its PBX customers to the new VoIP offering. leaving its Centrex customers to be moved over at a later stage. Having evaluated the process it had been through for the PBX customers, Duo Country realized that the time, labor, expense and the learning curve for their Centrex customers in moving to IP phones would be unacceptably high.
Duo County had wanted to provide as seamless a transition as possible for its customers from the DMS100 platform to the MetaSwitch hosted platform. However when it first started out replacing the Centrex phones with IP phones, it found the process to be both cumbersome and labor-intensive. It would require new cable runs in many areas, additional power requirements for the phones, along with UPS considerations in many cases. The learning curve, along with unavoidable service interruptions for the customer, led to a rethink.
“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
To overcome the problems it had identified, Duo County turned to the Portico™ TVA™ from Citel. Duo County acquired an evaluation unit and worked with Citel’s engineers to understand how it could simplify life for both itself and its customers.
By installing the Portico™ TVA™, Duo County could migrate its 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 is located. Duo County can then 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 could locate the TVAs in its own central office and use 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 has been able to hold customer changes to a minimum, something for which the customers are most appreciative. 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.
“We’ve had these units (“TVAs”) in the field for long enough now that we’re extremely pleased with both their stability and reliability”
– 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.