RonEK Communications: Case Study: Alpha ,Beta & Charlie LLC

postheadericon Case Study: Alpha ,Beta & Charlie LLC

The Scenario

The Law Firm of Alpha, Beta & Charlie LLC (not their real name) in Long Beach, California has a satellite office in San Francisco and was in the process of opening a third office in Pasadena. They wanted to connect the two existing offices’ voice services seamlessly so that calls could be transferred back and forth and facilitate easy inter-office communications. Additionally, the new pbx system had to easily accommodate their pending office without any redesign of the data network infrastructure or the extension numbering plan. The IT department’s wish list also included,

  • Centralized point of administration all voice functions
  • Be able to reuse the existing wiring scheme to reduce costs
  • Centralized point of Call Costing and Billing
  • An automatic backup and recovery process in place in the event of a failure of their PRI voice circuits to analogue copper pairs for both Long Beach and San FranciscoThe ability for San Francisco to operate autonomously in the event that they lose their data link to Long Beach.
  • Voice and Data services needed to be on their own separate IP networks for both the WAN and LAN.
  • They wanted to keep all their existing telephone numbers and also be able to give DID numbers (Direct Inward Dial) to key personnel.
  • The ability to license new features as needed and “on the fly” without a forklift upgrade.

Long Beach was the main site and had 120 stations, 32 analogue “POTS” lines and a four port voice mail all running on a vintage 1990’s dual cabinet Panasonic DBS. The San Francisco office had less than 20 stations and 8 analogue lines with a 4 port voicemail and was running on a Panasonic DBS as well. To talk inter-office, the users were limited to two paths of intercom-only connections that were provided by the existing Cisco 1700 routers. These paths were essentially analogue FSO/FSX hand offs to the legacy pbx’s that – in the words of most of the users – “weren’t the greatest.”

The Design

Setting up the Site to Site Infrastructure
As far as interoffice networking for VoIP services goes, this project was pretty straight forward. We knew that the key to a successful roll out wasux5000_network_design the bandwidth availability and reliability of the interoffice connection. CBeyond [hyperlink to CBeyond as partner with Ronek] was chosen for the Voice and Data provider as they have a presence in both markets, have a 5 9’s reliability (that means 99.999% up time) and are competitively priced.

In Long Beach, we made use of CBeyond’s BV3 [hyperlink to BV3 brochure] circuit – a very robust 4.5M pipe configured with 36 channels in a PRI hand off. The San Francisco office was set up with CBeyond’s BV1 [hyperlink to BV1 brochure] circuit which includes 1.54M of bandwith with an 8 channel PRI hand off. Sonicwall routers were installed at both ends to handle the inter-office VoIP calls and were configured for site to site VPN’s. Additionally, each router was licensed for GVC (Global VPN Client) access in the event that remote trouble shooting or programming was needed. The existing data Internet circuits were kept separate from any of the voice circuits allowing to the separation and independent operation that the IT department was looking for.

Choosing the PBX

The NEC UX5000 platform was chosen to handle the voice services for it’s flexibility, scalability and industry leading feature set. At Long Beach, the PBX was equipped with 2 PRI circuit cards and 130 stations including consoles and conference phones and a 12 port voicemail. The San Francisco office was configured for 24 digital ports as well as an 8 channel PRI hand off.

For the sets, the 12 line digital display sets were provided for the users and the consoles made use of the DG-34 with two 60 Button consoles. The use of digital sets allowed the company to make use of their in place voice cabling thus saving them thousands of dollars in rewiring costs.ux5000_network_design_single_unit

The Cygnalink Connection

The lynchpin to a seamless integration – once the bandwidth was in place – was the UX5000’s Cygnalink multi-site networking capability. This unique feature allows for both offices – and future offices – to operate as a single entity without having to segment each site into different numbering schemes. New offices can be added “on the fly” and their extensions are assigned automatically. Should some one move from one office to another, they can take their extension number and DID with them regardless of which office they go to. When it comes to ease of implementation and use, it is literally, “plug and play”. Cygnalink’s other major attribute is that in the event of a data-link loss, the satellite office can operate as a stand alone site allowing users to continue regular call activity. Once the circuit is restored, the satellite system “re-links” to the main office and things are back to normal.

Future Enhancements

One of the most highly regarded features of the UX5000 is the ability to add new enhancements through a simple licensing procedure. Integration of the phone set with popular contact management applications such as Outlook/Exchange and Goldmine can be done on an as needed basis. Other features include fax-to-email, voicemail-to-email, IP phones for remote users to operate from the field and softphones. The law firm’s IT department likes the idea that they can “roadmap” these features to the partners without a huge cash outlay and with no disruption to existing services.