VoIP decision hit like a bolt from the sky

A Perth-based industrial packaging company has ditched its TDM phone system which was "burning out" and being impacted by lightning strikes.

To cope with the volatile communications system DSL Packaging (DSL) has moved to IP telephony to better exploit its global WAN.

The company was using a Panasonic TDM phone system, and then dabbled with ISDN, but the system linking its operations was unstable and susceptible to disruption.

The company uses a Telstra IP WAN to link its Perth head office, factory and data centre with its Melbourne and Brisbane operations. DSL's other centres - including NSW and New Zealand - run on an Internet VPN, as do its offices in Malaysia and Indonesia.

DSL's impetus for moving voice calls to its IP infrastructure was to leverage its investment in the IP WAN, to share the production facility's telephone system over a fibre connection and for the company's offices and remote workers throughout the region to make intra-office calls toll-free.

DSL's group administration manager Angelika Reinhardt said the company evaluated systems from Cisco, Panasonic, Toshiba, Avaya and even the open source Asterisk, but in the end start-up Zultys was chosen to supply the equipment.

"The Avaya offering is not based on open standards and we were concerned with the long term support [for] Asterisk," Reinhardt said. "The feeling was that if we became locked into a proprietary system we would not have much choice when we wanted to add an accessory from another supplier or improve functionality. With proprietary systems we would run the risk of additional costs down the track."

DSL's IT services manager Gerrit Brokken reviewed the Zultys solution and was happy to go to VoIP. "It is very flexible. With its advanced features and open standards platform, you can expand it easily as your operations grow," he said. "It allows you to do things internally, like change and add extension numbers, instead of having to bring in technical support people like you do with a proprietary PABX system."

DSL purchased a Zultys MX250 exchange for 28 users and 28 Zip IP handsets. In Malaysia it installed a Zip 2x2 handset, which is registered to the Perth-based MX250 via a VPN.

Reinhardt said DSL is satisfied with the features of Zultys' MIXIE software which provides mobile workers with instant messaging, inbound call information and roaming features when they are out of the office.

The MX250 exchanges support routing of voice, data, fax, and video content via traditional PSTN and ISDN circuits, and IP connections back to an ITSP.

An Avaya spokesperson said the company is committed to open standards, compliance testing and interoperability support.

"We conform to all international standards and are part of many global standards bodies that direct and set the open standards agenda," he said. "We recognize that open, standards-based applications are the key to business agility and value. Avaya has focused on network interoperability through ongoing exchanges with network equipment vendors and service providers."

Panasonic was unavailable to comment by deadline.

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