Choice brings IP telephony to Water Affairs

Choice Technologies Pty. Ltd., an ICT systems and integration company, says it has implemented an improved communications backbone at the Department of Water Affairs, Roodeplaat Dam division.

Choice reports that the new IP telephony system, which is based on the original local area network (LAN) platform, delivers voice connections and new advanced telephony features to over 100 Water Affairs employees.

Choice says Water Affairs has moved from its previous outdated analogue telephony system to the new system. And with this, the department expects to be able to reduce its communications expenses by an estimated 35 per cent over the next three years.

Says Ultrich Looser, assistant director of Resource Quality Services (a division of the Department of Water Affairs and forestry): “We are improving our services to citizens while cutting our operating costs — and, in this age of streamlined government budgets, that is very important.”

Based on 3Com Corp.’s NBX IP Telephony solution, the new system is said to deliver built-in processing features — voice mail, automated attendant, hunt/call groups, call detail reporting, computer telephony integration (CTI), and PC-based visual voice mail/e-mail. Choice says that the system also features NBX system software that simplifies third-party applications integration and offers extensive multi-site IP connectivity options.

Choice says that, by connecting three operation centers at Roodeplaat through a secure virtual private network (VPN) the department has also made savings on wiring and installation, ongoing maintenance and administration.

“The old system did not offer the call management features required and caused bottlenecks. Additionally, our area is often affected by cable theft, and the new system, based on a combination of LAN and Ethernet connections, overcomes these challenges,” says Looser.

Adds Mark Morey, Choice Technologies sales executive: “The new system was chosen for its superior performance, pricing, and low total cost of ownership. The converged 3Com voice and data network is dramatically improving Water Affairs’ responsiveness to citizens, research groups and other government departments.”

“The advantage of the NBX system is its simplicity and ease-of-use. As NBX is Ethernet-based, the department is still able to rely on the existing network infrastructure for phone service without the need to use separate cabling. Moreover, the scalability of the NBX system ensures that the department’s telephony needs will be met well into the future,” continues Morey.

Choice states that the 3Com NBX system was implemented within two weeks, and, to ensure user adoption, the company conducted onsite training sessions.

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