Internet voice winner for Housing NZ

Increases in staff and increases in phone usage all with a decrease in telecommunication costs have impressed the CIO at Housing NZ

Voice over IP may well be one of the most hyped technologies in the industry to date, but for Housing New Zealand the decision to move to a VoIP platform is paying off in spades.

Housing NZ’s rollout is one of the biggest VoIP implementations in New Zealand.

The project began last year and required the government agency to switch its 55 offices, 1,250 desktop phones and 1,200 PCs to a VoIP environment.

It jettisoned 50 PBXs and replaced separate voice and data networks with a converged VoIP environment.

It was the ability to merge the networks, not just the potential of cheap voice calls, that presented a compelling case to switch to VoIP, Housing NZ network and user support manager Paul Duxfield says.

Speaking at the CIO magazine conference in Auckland last month, Duxfield said that while VoIP phones and gateways don’t match the functionality of a modern PBX, VoIP equipment coupled with a converged voice and data WAN, and integrated with other office productivity tools, does.

“We wanted to build a similar architecture for voice as we had for data,” Duxfield told the conference. “We wanted to make voice an application.”

Housing NZ chose a consortium approach to provide different services that made up the whole contract.

“By mixing and matching, we found we got a better deal — a better TCO over three years,” Duxfield said.

Adopting VoIP has been a success, says Duxfield.

“Between February 2004 and February 2005, Housing NZ staff numbers increased by 18%, the number of cellphones by 28% and internal cellphone usage by 35%, but actual telecommunications costs went down 6%,”says Duxfield.

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