More than a phone system.It’s a better way to communicate—and save. Asterisk ® Open Source Communications
CheektowagaObjectives:Replace an end-of-life Nortel® analogtelephone system (that is patched withequipment from various vendors) witha web-centric VoIP infrastructure toreduce communications costs for thisNew York municipality. The projectincludes designing and implementinga VoIP infrastructure for 500employees in 15 separate locations,including the mission-critical policedepartment; the town hall campus,which contains six buildings; and thecore location on Alexander Street.
Challenges: Solution: 1. With Nortel equipment at the end of its Asterisk phone system, Polycom® 15-year lifecycle, Cheektowaga was phones, and Dell® servers.Cheektowaga has a lot having difficulty managing the system Quoted at thousands of dollars less than themselves. There were also problems traditional PBX systems, Asterisk usesmore functionality than hiring external vendors for support. broadband (Internet) connections to tie athey did before, with business network to the traditional global 2. The system needed a completeunified communications telephony network. Since it uses broad- overhaul with highly-customizedthat allow voice mail to band instead of phone lines, employees infrastructure that would accomplish can work remotely, as long as they areemail communications; both an upgrade to VoIP, and cut connected to the Internet. They use acall queues; group rings; communications costs. centralized administrative console atand Find Me/Follow Me 3. The system was non-expandable. each of the three main locations withcapability. auto-call routing and direct inward dial 4. Cheektowaga was experiencing (DID). They also installed 300 Polycom limited voicemail capability desk set phones, and redundant Dell 5. Cheektowaga required multiple levels servers at each of the four main of redundancy for what they termed campuses. DID enables callers to dial “Continuous Government” — that in the directly into an extension without using event of a power failure, server failure, an auto-attendant and they utilize SIP or telecom outages at any one location, trunks that replace legacy PRIs and the phone system would continue to analog lines that were driving up function. communication costs.
Results: About the Company: Since Asterisk is an open source Cheektowaga, New York software solution, Asterisk was able to This New York Township is a suburb of save the City the $60,000 they had Buffalo with a population of nearly 96,000 allocated for network upgrades by residents. olling $60,000 in equipment into what Phone system being replaced: amounted to a $100,000 communications Mixed-bag analog telephone system budget with no out-of-pocket product costs. This alternative proved significant in terms of cost savings to implement the overall task.“Cheektowaga is very happy with the system because it is engineered for flexibility, reliability, functionality, and expansion that will keep up with the growth of the town.”Eric HeuserPresident & CTOSource Technical, Digium Preferred Partner
Nimble GroupObjectives:Having expanded into two callcenters in Cape Town, Nimble Grouprequires a scalable telephony systemto support the rapid growth of theircall center, while also building an ITinfrastructure to support an existingstaff of 350 - 400 representatives,with plans for 750 - 1,000 callersby the end of 2011.
Challenges: Solution: Two years ago, Clarotech installed a Combined Asterisk with an Intel® single, non-redundant server on which Modular Server.Nimble Group felt open source Asterisk software could The Intel Modular Server has six separate connect up to 60 calls, simultaneously. modules and a built-in Storage Areaprice was important With the aggressive expansion of the call Network (SAN) as the platform. Onebut not exclusive. center, Nimble Group needed to add to module runs the database for Asterisk,Functionality and the existing Asterisk solution and install one handles incoming calls, and thereliability was at the a scalable and fully redundant solution remaining four are split into two dual- that met the unique needs of a growing node clusters that manage the thousandscore of the decision. call center. This was important because of outgoing calls made every day.Functionality and if the system went down long enough to Configured in pairs, the modules (orreliability are Asterisk’s be realized by the call center employees, servers) were scattered randomly acrossbiggest advantages and it caused a significant disruption which four quadrants of the call center. could negatively impact sales.it gave Nimble Groupthe confidenceeverything would work,as designed.
Results: About the Company: Each module is capable of handling Nimble Group 200 calls at a time. By scattering them Nimble Group is a leading credit throughout the call center, only one in management company located in four representatives would know if a Cape Town, South Africa, providing server went down, thereby causing little anextensive range of services that if any disruption of workflow in the event include outsourced receivables of failure. With each server acting as management, collection services, and backup, no caller should be down more credit-risk consulting. than two minutes at a time. Phone system being replaced: A SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server running Asterisk open source software, designed to support a 20-person call center. The expansion now supports 1,000 users.“Three separate companies recommended … implementing Asterisk. Why should I consider anything else … just get on with it!”Tony RussellIT ManagerNimble Group
MichiganCaterpillarObjectives:Implement Asterisk open sourcesoftware and redesign the entire IT/telecommunications infrastructurethroughout corporate headquartersas part of an effort to overhaul theexisting Avaya 8500 Definity G3telephone system. Use a web-centricVoIP system that could include theirsix additional locations throughoutMichigan and implement SIP trunkingtechnology to greatly reduce costs.
Challenges: 1. Needed to design (from scratch) the 4. The existing infrastructure did not IT infrastructure to support an entirely support more than 15 VoIP phones, new telephony system consisting of and there were problems transferringMichigan Caterpillar corporate headquarters, two call cen- calls into and out of the call center.implemented Asterisk ters, and six other remote locations. 5. Call quality was not up to standardacross seven locations 2. Six locations had Centrex lines and 6. An aging AT&T network backboneand successfully additional analog lines connecting had been overhauled in order toreduced call center them to the other stores and the PSTN accommodate upgrades in the oldcosts by more than (analog lines) so they had 4-digit Avaya system.40 percent. dialing within the state of Michigan. 3. Many of the locations utilized one or Solution: more PRIs operating within the ISDN in Upon implementing Asterisk, the cost order to implement multiple DSO. This savings were immediate. The open process enabled them to work faster, source Asterisk solution was flexible at a more reliable rate, and at a lower enough that Michigan Cat could continue cost; however, it still could not com- using Cisco hardware, switches, and pete in cost savings with SIP trunks. routers — because it was compatible with the existing hardware infrastructure. Even with the added cost of the Cisco equipment, the end-product savings were undeniable.
Results: About the Company: By implementing Asterisk with Cisco Michigan Caterpillar hardware it costs only $200,000 Michigan Caterpillar, whose corporate compared to the cost of using Cisco’s headquarters is located in Novi, Michigan, complete VoIP telephony system half-hour northwest of Detroit, was (including hardware) which would have founded as Michigan Tractor and run Michigan Cat about $550,000. Machinery Co. in 1944. In January 2011, the company sold to MacAllister Machinery Co. Inc., the primary dealer of Caterpillar equipment in Indiana. The Asterisk project consisted of improving the telephony for nearly 400 employees in two customer call centers, the Power Systems division, the corporate head- quarters in Novi; and locations in Grand Rapids, Mason, Kalkaska, Shelby Township, Saginaw, and Brownstown Township, Michigan. Michigan Cat“Asterisk has provided Michigan Cat with a grosses $400 million in revenues annually. seamless, flexible system that is easier to Phone system being replaced: use than we ever expected.” 15-year-old Avaya 8500 Definity G3John Laffey Other solutions considered:Open Source VoIP Programmer Cisco, ShoreTel, Siemens,Michigan Caterpillar upgraded Avaya