Through expansion and acquisition, a financial institution located in northwest Wisconsin was quickly finding their telecommunications network was becoming a limitation to their growth. They were faced with the challenges listed below:
- The branches each had various manufacturers and models of telephone systems minimizing branch to branch communications.
- The VPN network established added multiple points of security concerns and was unstable.
- As Internet connectivity became increasingly essential to overall operations, redundant access was required.
- In order to implement voice and video conferencing applications, the customer needed to increase bandwidth with a limited operating budget to proceed.
- With expansion, the customer wanted to centralize customer service. Limitations of their current telecom services made this very difficult.
- The various implemented services of acquired branches made it very complicated to integrate communications effectively.
- There was a solid knowledge of the telecommunications environment, but they expected they were paying too much for services with limited functionality.
- As branches were added, the customer wanted a solid, simple template to incorporate the locations.
Understanding the operational and network objectives and challenges, Orion Communications explored several network solutions provided by multiple carriers. After a thorough examination of the options, it was decided to move forward with the following network elements:
- An Ethernet network between the branches.
- SIP trunking was deployed at the two main branches to provide primary and back up voice access to centralize call flow and reduce individual branch costs.
- A single telephone system was deployed at the two primary sites. At the remote branches, only IP based phones were implemented minimizing capital costs.
- Internet access was implemented at these two branches to provide dual access points for greater capacity and redundancy.
- E911 was designed and tested to confirm emergency services would be directed to the correct location as required.
The network topology that was implemented is illustrated below.
- The SIP trunking allowed the customer to centralize call flow to the call center at the primary branch. As required, calls could be distributed to other departments utilizing the wide area network. The dual SIP connection provided automatic overflow to the secondary site should the primary connection become unavailable or reach maximum capacity. In addition, the overall available voice capacity was increased by over 200% to provide support future growth.
- With the centralized phone system, users independent of their location were able to effectively intercommunicate. And, since new branches only required deployment of IP phones, on-going CAPEX costs were minimized.
- The Ethernet network increased capacity by an average of 250% to each branch and provided a more stable infrastructure. The customer was also able to prioritize critical applications such as voice and video to ensure quality.
- The dual Internet connections increased capacity significantly and provided redundancy should primary services become unavailable for any reason.
- A complete inventory of services enterprise wide was provided for future change management.
- The customer was able to centralize customer service functionality, but, at the same time, utilize users at multiple locations in a single queue.
- Monthly telephone bills were reduced from 17 to 4, simplifying AP processes.
- The new network provided ample capacity to prepare for the expected branch expansions.
- Orion Communications continues to provide support to the customer as their organization continues to grow offloading many of the functions found to be tedious and time consuming.
- Considering the increase of data and Internet capacity, the customer was actually able to maintain their telecommunications OPEX budget AND actually decreased other monthly cost elements such as telephone system and equipment maintenance.
Overall, Orion Communications and the customer built a solid, flexible network to meet both short and long term needs. New branches could easily be added and immediately integrated into their enterprise. In addition, the customer was able to standardize their customer service platform to increase overall satisfaction.