Wanganui Council software upgrade boosts old telco system

Web-based softphones and email-based voicemail improve efficiency

New software delivered as part of a telecommunications network upgrade is producing financial benefits for the Wanganui District Council.

DownerCommspec was able to upgrade the existing Alcatel system and provide additional functionality through the use of software alone, saving the council time and money and, because of improved functionality, allowed it to add a new tenant, Wanganui Gas, and its contact centre to the council’s telecommunications system.

“We took the council’s existing Alcatel telephone system and used software to increase its performance,” says the designer of the system, John Howsam of DownerCommspec.

“This means the council was able to retain all of the telecommunications equipment purchased five years ago — including their handsets — to leverage their original investment.”

User efficiency has been improved with web-based soft-phones and email-based voicemail through Alcatel’s OmniTouch Unified Communication applications. Voice messages are now stored directly in each staff member’s email inbox to leverage the existing Outlook 2007 email system.

Another Unified Communication application, My Phone, gives users access to their work phone from a laptop, mobile phone or PDA. They can now make calls while away from the office via these devices just as if they were in the office. This results in lower call costs for the council because all calls now originate from their offices instead of via mobile phones.

Howsam says the council also has the ability to manage and self administer the system for any programme changes, such as expansion, which allows it to save on operational costs. All calls to the council are now fielded through a call centre, as opposed to an operator.

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Tags softphonesNetworking & Telecomms IDwanganui

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