Namasco was a company on the move. They were quickly growing through acquisition of other steel distributors, and each time a branch was acquired they had to integrate that branch's communications with their existing infrastructure.
This became fairly difficult to do because many branches had their own PBX systems and their own bills associated with their communications. These PBXs were also a mix of non--major brands and used different connectivity methods, including PRI, analog and TDM. None of the equipment was Cisco.
"We have 30 different locations and at some of our older facilities we had very old phone systems," said Leo Ducharme, IT director, Namasco. "We had the PBX and we couldn't even replace the equipment."
Namasco not only needed a complete hardware overhaul, but they needed a system that would unify each branch and also allow them to easily integrate new branches into the system as the continued to grow. They were also in need of security solution that would protect the infrastructure. Namasco was also looking to centralize the system and come from one vendor, as the IT staff was small and was not represented at each site.
West IP Communications was chosen by Namasco based on their portfolio of unified communications tools designed to work together over geographically dispersed locations and experience in dealing with migrating sites with legacy infrastructure to a cloud-based model. The first order of business was to implement MaxxSecure, West IPC centralized security management tool that provides unified protection of the entire communications infrastructure without on--premise hardware.
The center of Namasco's solution was VoiceMaxx, a cloud--based voice communications platform featuring full PBX functionality, advanced enterprise and personal call management tools and leading edge Unified Communications features. In addition to nationwide 4--digit dialing between locations, Namasco recently began using AMP, a chat and presence client that fits into the VoiceMaxx portfolio. Although the company was already under contract with a national network provider, Namasco was able to leverage the MAXXIS MPLS application--aware network as a built-in failover network.
The steel industry is very traditional, and is still an industry--wide practice to have orders come in via fax. Using DirecFax has changed Namasco's business by allowing these orders to be sent directly to email, saving time and order confusion.
As a result of West IPC's suite of cloud--based communications applications, Namasco was able to improve their communications between their nationwide office locations. As the entire infrastructure is managed by West IPC and applications are hosted in the cloud, the burden has been taken off of the already small IT department. In addition to better security throughout the whole system, Namasco never has to worry about losing network connectivity due to the multiple redundant networks.
"I can't have every one of our locations calling us, so we try to encourage them to call West IPC," Ducharme said. "They have a direct dial number for us, four digits, and they have NOC center that's on 24/7 to give us notification ahead of time if there's a problem that's happening, like we've lost power to the building or the circuit is down. They let us know and we can then take corrective action to switch it over to a backup network."
West IPC was also able to perform extensive training with many of the employees of Namasco who were unfamiliar with the potential for cloud--based communications. Many had never seen as Cisco phone, and much less knew how it worked. Trainers set up a demo room at each location and brought all employees up to speed in a relatively short time.
"The best thing about how West IPC is when you're going to through the installation process, how they help you step by step, because as we all know," Ducharme said. "Telecoms are not easy to deal with. They can take a lot of that pressure off of you. Then going forward, you have one place to go. You have a problem, you know you are going to take care of it."