The Canadian branch of a global organization that includes over 300 firms has deployed an IP telephony network it says will ramp up customer service and boost employee productivity.

Wurth Canada Ltd., part of the privately-held

Wurth Group, switched from a Nortel Systems’ Meridian Norstar solution to Avaya’s IP Office, said Richard Kipin, the firm’s IT manager. Working with Avaya business partner BrantTel Networks, Wurth Canada used the all-in-one converged voice and data tool to link more than 250 employees across the country.

Kipin said bringing together voice, data and communications applications will enable Wurth Canada staff, whether working in the company’s Edmonton, Alta., and Mississauga, Ont. offices, at their own homes or at other remotes sites, to better collaborate with team members in a way that facilitates customer service and decision-making.

According to Kipin, whose company sells fasteners and assembly materials for the automotive, trucking, construction and industrial marketplace, Wurth Canada assessed both Avaya and Nortel when seeking to replace Meridian Norstar with something designed for SMBs, and cost was just one of many considerations.

“”The single biggest factor was how the Avaya product could evolve for voicemail,”” said Kipin. While the Nortel product was cheaper, he stressed, it would have cost more in the long run because it would have met his company’s needs for only about three years, whereas the Avaya solution would have lasted for about five years. “”As the IT manager, I can have it set up in my computer room, and we can do configuration ourselves.””

According to John Williams, head of small and medium-sized business solutions at Avaya Canada Corp., Avaya IP Office provides SMBs with the type of enterprise-strength mobility features that many rival products in the same general category lack.

“”One of the key market drivers is they have multiple branches and a lot of remote workers,”” said Williams. Features such as unified messaging, voicemail, conferencing, contact centre capabilities and support for remote workers, he said, are all beneficial. “”Our product brings all those mobility aspects very easily to an organization of this size.””

Brian Sharwood, a telecom analyst with the SeaBoard Group, said that the Avaya tool is a good fit for SMBs in Canada, with one of the benefits being that users can always add more capabilities as needed.

“”For a business of that size, the Avaya solution is a nice solution,”” said Sharwood. “”It allows for a lot more flexibility. Being a smaller business you normally wouldn’t have access to this stuff. If you think about replacing one phone with another phone, you’re going to save some money. But what they’re really trying to do is gain productivity.””



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