Tien Wah Press switches to Mitel’s IP-based unified communications solution and saves 50 percent on telephony costs.
- Network infrastructure provider Allied Telesis had an aging telephone system unable to accommodate new users or integrate users across departments, and it incurred high maintenance costs.
- Mitel offered a compact system that is simple to use, can be managed in-house, and is equipped with an array of new features. The deployment included a Mitel unified communications (UC) system with Mitel Voice Switches, conference room, and IP phones.
- More efficient call routing
- Remote routing capabilities
- Centralized management
- Cost savings on maintenance and calls
VoIP system that would cut IDD costs
The company had been using analog phones for the past 75 years and wanted to make a change to reduce communications costs. TWP already had VPN connections among offices, so the obvious choice was to move to IP telephony.
Affordable and flexible solution
TWP’s two main locations are its sales office and manufacturing plant in Singapore, and two manufacturing plants in Johore Bahru in Malaysia. Approximately 700 employees work for TWP in Singapore and another 1,000 employees work in Malaysia.
“The reason for wanting to make a change was to reduce communications costs. We have several offices overseas, as well as our head office in Japan, so we do a lot of International Direct Dial (IDD) calls between offices, particularly between Singapore and Malaysia, so the cost is quite hefty,” says Yong Kwei Hong, IT manager for Tien Wah Press.
In an extensive evaluation of the options, TWP compared the cost of upgrading its existing analog platform and also compared other offerings in the market, including Cisco and Alcatel. According to Hong, most were “pretty expensive.”
“We looked at the startup costs and the implementation costs, and the subsequent maintenance costs for the different solutions.
After a long period of discussion and developing an understanding of the solution, we decided on Mitel due to affordability and flexibility. Also, Mitel’s team understood our requirements, where our business wanted to go, and how we could get there,” says Hong.
One of TWP’s challenges during implementation was that, due to the criticality of communications and coordination with the carriers to get digital ISDN lines, it wanted to take a phased approach to the deployment to ensure that there was no disruption to telephony services. Mitel was able to architect a solution to accommodate that scenario, ensuring the coexistence of both the legacy analog environment and the new Mitel UC platform during the phased deployment.
Mitel delivers ease of management and communications
The TWP solution includes three Mitel Voice Switches across its main office in Singapore and two sites in Malaysia, and Mitel Voice Appliances for IP and analog resourcing. TWP also deployed a standby Mitel Voice Appliance, offering N+1 redundancy for any hardware failures across the network.
Mitel Director provides TWP with a single intuitive web-based management interface to manage its unified communications and telephony network centrally, freeing up IT resources and empowering TWP staff to manage moves, adds, and changes (MACs) internally.
TWP has approximately 280 Mitel IP Phones and the UC client Mitel Communicator installed on most PCs. “Having a single image eases administration. We can actually control and contain our management costs more easily with Mitel,” says Hong.
Prior to the implementation, phone calls between TWP’s Singapore and Malaysia offices were limited due to the number of lines available, and the IDD call costs were very high. Now, anyone can make calls from office to office using TWP’s existing VPN, at no cost.
“THE REASON FOR WANTING TO MAKE A CHANGE WAS TO REDUCE COMMUNICATIONS COSTS. WE HAVE SEVERAL OFFICES OVERSEAS, AS WELL AS OUR HEAD OFFICE IN JAPAN, SO WE DO A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL DIRECT DIAL (IDD) CALLS BETWEEN OFFICES, PARTICULARLY BETWEEN SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA, SO THE COST IS QUITE HEFTY.”
Yong Kwei Hong, IT Manager
Tien Wah Press
“With Mitel, the user experience is very good. It’s great that the user can call someone and, if they are not there, the call routes directly to their mobile phone. With an analog phone, those calls would just stop at the desk,” explains Hong.
“We can actually locate people wherever they are. That is one key factor that has improved in terms of our competitiveness in being more responsive in providing services to our customers,” Hong says. An added benefit was the fact that TWP did not have to upgrade its existing VPN data links among locations to incorporate voice traffic.
Plans to go worldwide with Mitel
While TWP plans to deploy Mitel to its other worldwide offices in the near future, Hong is still developing his understanding of the capabilities and potential offered by Mitel UC. For now, there are still really positive benefits to be gained from the continued deployment of the Mitel core IP telephony solution across the TWP organization. “We feel quite confident in moving forward with Mitel,” concludes Yong. “We are now looking to extend our implementation to our other offices in the U.K. and France, based on our single image in Singapore.”
“WE FEEL QUITE CONFIDENT IN MOVING FORWARD WITH SHORETEL. WE ARE NOW LOOKING TO EXTEND OUR IMPLEMENTATION TO OUR OTHER OFFICES IN THE U.K. AND FRANCE, BASED ON OUR SINGLE IMAGE IN SINGAPORE.”