After ALM transitioned its datacenter to VMware® vSphere™ 4 virtualization platform the one item that was left on the table was a unified business continuity plan.
"Telephony was a significant issue when designing our datacenter disaster recovery plan," says James Strack, chief information officer with ALM. "Voice is the single most important application IT manages. Having the ability to incorporate telephony into our disaster recovery plan fills a big strategic hole for us. With Mitel Virtual Solutions voice no longer is an island unto itself requiring duplication of planning and resources, which spells simpler and more reliable continuity strategies at a lower cost."
ALM deployed Virtual Mitel Communications Director (Virtual MCD) which leverages VMware vSphere 4 to enable the consolidation of Mitel's voice applications alongside ALM's non-voice business applications in its datacenter.
Five Star Telecom, Inc., a Mitel Platinum Plus business partner worked with Mitel and ALM to design and implement the virtualized voice solution.
"Having the ability to run Virtual MCD on VMware vSphere 4 has allowed us to expand the services and capabilities we offer our customers," says Chad Midtlien, vice president of operations with Five Star Telecom Inc. "The deployment and management of the solution is easy, flexible, and seamless – making it an ideal solution for organizations of any size."
The initial Virtual MCD rollout includes about 300 users at ALM's corporate office and the switch over has gone so well that employees are unaware of the change. "It's a great testament to the merits of a new technology when a major deployment is a non event," says Strack. Over the next two years, ALM plans to deploy Virtual MCD to the rest of its offices and is looking at Virtual Mitel Applications Suite (Virtual MAS), which will give them advanced IP functionality including unified messaging, advanced mobility applications, audio and web conferencing, speech auto attendant, customer service management, and teleworking.
Since virtualizing its datacenter ALM has consolidated 70 servers to five and has reduced its cabinet space from six to less than a half of one, which freed up 50 percent of their server room for storage and other uses. Less hardware also means cooling requirements are lower. ALM has seen the heat load produced by their datacenter reduced by over 60 percent which, together with other power savings, translates to a 45 percent reduction in the overall electrical bill.
"ALM's new solution allows them to consolidate all real-time and non-real-time applications together into one virtualized data center environment," says Rick Dell, Mitel president U.S. sales."“Working with Five Star we have designed a solution for ALM that has solved their disaster recovery plan issue and gives them the foundation to deploy future virtualized unified communications applications."
About ALM Holding Company
ALM Holding Company is a privately held diversified company founded in 1945 with operations in several states.
About Five Star
Established in 1973, Five Star Telecom is one of the largest interconnect companies in the Upper Midwest, with multiple locations serving the tri-state area. A Mitel Platinum Plus business partner, Five Star Telecom continually meets the needs of their customers - and exceeds their expectations.
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