ASB and Public Trust join the VoIP bandwagon

TelstraClear and Telecom score a customer each

Both Telecom and TelstraClear have scored big wins in the emerging voice over IP market.

ASB Bank is trialling VoIP at three branches with a view to rolling out services across its national branch network. The bank's head of technology, Clayton Wakefield, says the trial is progressing well.

"We're using Telecom's next generation network for the service and I'm very pleased with the way it's all going."

The VoIP trial is part of an ongoing upgrade of ASB's branches, which currently deploy a "strange and varied" array of network technology, says Wakefield, who adds that the savings in toll calls alone makes the project worthwhile.

"We're seeing a reduction in toll calls between branches, we're seeing a reduction in network costs and at the same time we're able to increase the network's functionality," he says.

Wakefield won't say what the project cost or how long it will take to complete.

Meanwhile, TelstraClear isn't missing out on VoIP action. The Public Trust hast signed a five-year contract with Telecom's archrival to introduce a national VoIP system in 41 offices.

The rollout begins with the Wellington corporate HQ and the two customer and service centres, and then on to the 39 regional offices by November this year.

IS manager Cathy Budd says the Trust is interested in new services as much as in cost savings. She expects to make savings in terms of network duplication and staff resources as well as toll call costs.

"Our most important strategic business driver is to enable new and improved ways of working that will benefit and get expertise right in front of our customers," Budd says.

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