ASI Solutions and The MS Society of Victoria

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Victoria Ltd is a registered charitable organisation with over 3,500 clients, and affiliated societies in every state of Australia. The MS Society provides multiple sclerosis (MS) affected people with life-care services (financial advice, employment services and in-home care); offers support to the family and carers of MS sufferers, advises and trains health professionals, researches to seek a cure, and supplies information to clients about the latest developments.

Challenge and Project Scope

The MS Society of Victoria needed a solution that would utilise as much of their existing 3Com network infrastructure as possible and provide a new 10 / 100 / 1000Mb switched network — allowing both Voice and Data within the one network. The solution also had to allow for other neurological organisations such as the Tourette’s Syndrome Association who lease office facilities within the newly developed “Nerve Centre” at Blackburn, together with The MS Society’s Footscray office, to co-habitate within the wide area network environment. Sharing of common resources such as telephony, printers and network infrastructure by all users was required, whilst delivering full functionality and autonomy, as well as capturing cost-centre information that would allow correct billing of various departments tenants for their usage.

Price, service and quality were the key criteria for the selection of the solution providers for this project. After looking at a number of options, the organisation selected Australian systems integrator ASI Solutions and their networking vendor partner 3Com to design a scalable networking solution that would not only meet the MS Society’s immediate needs, but also allow for future growth.

Opened in early 2002, the “Nerve Centre” is the The MS Society of Victoria’s innovative head office campus, which combines a range of services such as a call centre, “Lifestyle Planning Unit” assessment and consultation rooms, a training centre, etc. — all in one centralised facility.

The MS Society of Victoria originally had five sites across Melbourne: Williamstown, Watsonia, Footscray, Toorak and Camberwell. The project aimed to merge the Toorak and Camberwell state offices in to the “Nerve Centre”, and to fully integrate the Footscray regional office — enabling The MS Society to centralise all servers, services and telephony.

Solution

ASI scoped the supply of networking and telephony systems and internet access, with a number of products implemented in the project, including:

  • 3Com® networking
  • 3Com® Super Stack 4924 Gigabit core switches
  • 3Com® Super Stack III 4400 24 port edge switches
  • 3Com® wireless access points
  • 3Com® Super Stack NBX IP Telephony system.

The network’s core switching solution consisted of one 3Com® Super Stack 4924 1000Mb switch, three stacks of 3Com® Super Stack 3300’s, and three stacks of 3Com® Super Stack 4400’s connecting in a star configuration. The 3Com® Super Stack NBX consisted of a single call processor and two expansion chassis, with 162 hand sets and a site license of IP on the fly.

The completion of this IP-based (Internet protocol) telephony system enabled The MS Society staff to move from desk to desk (hot-desking) using “portable extension” technology, by simply entering a pin number that automatically activates their assigned phone number profile on the phone at the desk. Using the wireless network and soft phone interface installed on each notebook computer, users are able to use their notebook as a portable office that gives them their phone, voice mail, email and internet / intranet access in any part of the building.

The NBX solution can be upgraded to accommodate a comprehensive range of functionalities, such as least-cost routing which automatically selects the most cost-effective carrier for each call.

Cost Saving

The MS Society had struggled with the management of three antiquated legacy PABX systems which were draining the organisation’s IT budget considerably — costs were blowing out of control with multiple maintenance agreements, each port addition, add-on’s such as a third-party voicemail package, etc.

The new NBX solution has revolutionised the organisation’s IT management, with huge savings compared to their former PABX nightmare.

It is anticipated that through cost savings in maintenance and ad-hoc moves and changes, as well as other saving through efficiencies and integration, The MS Society expects a full return on investment over a three year period. The NBX implementation has certainly proved its worth with a degree of ease for end user functionality, along side the more sophisticated capabilities such as database connectivity, allowing The MS Society to better meet its mission to assist people with MS.

About ASI Solutions

ASI Solutions offers quality-integrated products and services to the government, defence, corporate, SME and education sectors, operating sales and service branches in major capital cities around Australia.

As the name suggests, the business philosophy of ASI Solutions is based on providing total and taking full accountability for all aspects of system integration — with robust, industry-proven technology that provide high up-time and reduced management overheads, scalable for each client’s current and future needs.

The ASI range of computer equipment, manufactured in Australia, offers a variety of customised configurations. ASI also offers a comprehensive suite of Servers, Storage (inc. DAS, SAN and NAS), Caching and Tape Back-up, Network, IP / VPN, Telephony, Scanning, and Firewall Solutions. • We also excel in Consultancy, Design, Project Management, and Maintenance Services

A selection of key contracts that ASI participates in: Federal:
• Defence Data Storage
• Federal Health
• DPCS
• PE60
• EdNA
• GITC3

NSW: NSWITS:
• 2000
• 2006a
• 9602100
• 2028
• 009-A 2065
• 2066
• C2100 9602018
• 2006
• Uni/TAFEs
• Indep’ Schools
• NSWDET CISP

Qld:
• EDPSA-033
• QGITC

Vic:
• EV9697-0006-01
• EV9697-0005-02
• DEETVIC99/00-51-02

WA:
• 070A1995
• 070B1995
• WAMA
• 040499
• EDTC039/1999
• 40499
• 40599
• 82400c
• 82400a
• CT000302c

NT:
• QED98-576
• 99-5236 SA
• SPC

Further detailed information can be obtained from your ASI Solutions representative or projectmanagementgroup@asi.com.au.

ASI Solutions Head Office, 8 Lord Street, Botany NSW 2019 Australia.
Telephone: 02 9384 8000 / Facsimile: 02 9666 5460
Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide
www.asi.com.au

About 3Com® NBX

3Com® SuperStack® 3 NBX® Networked Telephony Solutions present a powerful opportunity to enhance your communications. The award-winning 3Com® SuperStack® 3 NBX® networked telephony solution delivers a robust call-processing feature set coupled with a suite of telephony applications. Designed for central or branch offices having from two to more than 1,000 phones per location, it features fifth-generation 3Com NBX (R4.1) system software that simplifies third-party applications integration and offers extensive multi-site IP connectivity options.

  • Ensures high system availability with a real-time operating system, resilient 10/100 Mbps Ethernet uplink ports with failover, optional redundant power supplies, and disk mirroring, so server and PC downtime does not impact your telephone service
  • Powerful call-processing features built in: voice mail, automated attendant, hunt/call groups, call detail reporting, computer telephony integration (CTI), PC-based visual voice mail/email clients (IMAP4) (IMAP4), and with optional software that delivers versatile unified messaging capabilities, and more…
  • Easily integrates a wide range of off-the-shelf applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), call centres, and speech recognition; optional software-based 3Com NBX WAV application ports make TAPI/WAV CTI affordable
  • Simplifies voice mail message exchange between sites with optional 3Com NBX VPIM Multi-site Messaging Exchange
  • Extensive range of multi-site voice networking options: 3Com NBX IP Virtual Tie Lines, NBX ConneXtions H.323 gateway software, and T1/E1 PRI/Q.SIG
  • Supports telecommuters and remote access users with optional 3Com NBX IP licenses
  • Simplifies day-to-day operation with Web-based administration and user programming
  • Can eliminate the cost and administrative overhead of having separate voice and data networks
  • Includes resilient 10/100Mb Ethernet uplink ports with failover for high availability; offers optional redundant power supplies and disk mirroring
  • Wide range of worktop options to meet performance and budget requirements; 3Com® NBX® Phones and Attendant Consoles feature business-quality voice clarity, easy access to a company’s internal user directory, speed dials, and even personal call logs
  • Compatible with a range of 3Com and third-party products, including the optional 3Com NBX Call Centre application and 3Com NBX Unified Communications
  • Software for managing a phone from a PC screen included for all users, letting them view recent calls, make calls, access the system directory, even drag and drop telephone numbers from other PC applications or web pages
  • Software-based 3Com NBX Media Driver Application Ports make adding capacity for applications such as call centers easy and cost-effective— additional hardware isn’t necessary.

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