WA Attorney-General embarks on telephony rip and replace

Aging Panasonic PABX system to be ditched under Government rollout

The Department of the Western Australian Attorney-General in Perth is looking at options to replace its aging PABX telephony setup.

Tender documents state that its Supreme Court and AXA building sites are serviced by traditional PABX systems, with a mix of analogue and system integral digital handsets.

Users are provided with internal dialling capability and a range of standard call handling features.

“A Panasonic TD500 PABX system with an integrated Panasonic voicemail system is used at each location, however there is no direct interconnectivity between the sites,” state the documents.

The government also wants to reduce costs by providing economies of scale in the utilisation of network services and enable readiness for a wireless IP phone deployment.

The PABX system at each site has reached system capacity and end of life status.

"Availability of parts for expansion has been diminishing, requiring the department to rely on a fairly robust second-hand market," department documents stated.

However, the second hand parts market has dropped off in recent times, and it can no longer continue to procure from an unreliable and aging second hand market.

“In addition, the lack of integration features between the two sites place limits on operational efficiencies and service to clients, particularly in the reception, handling and redirection of incoming calls from the external public.”

The replacement is part of the Western Australian government's introduction of enterprise IP telephony services, supported by a scalable IP-based open network, with carrier connectivity to the public switched telephone network utilising SIP links.

It believes that this strategy will bring a number of benefits such as providing convergence of voice, video and data and enabling rapid deployment of voice offerings to users, including remote workers.

“It is recognised that the transition towards this outcome will be a gradual process, taking place over several years as opportunity, need and financial constraints permit,” state the documents.

Documents also state that the department has embarked on a program to introduce unified communications based upon the Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) platform.

“It will be vital that the proposed offering is capable of future full integration with the OCS platform to maximise the value of unified communications to its stakeholders and to support the on going development of staff collaboration facilities.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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