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Back To CDN's 2008 Channel Elite Awards Winners!

Unity Telecom dispels UC myth for small business
By Paolo Del Nibletto


Unity Telecom has been able to dismiss the notion that Unified Communications is either too expensive or unnecessary for small business. For that the judges awarded them with the Gold Channel Elite Award for Best Small Business Solution.

The solution provider provided Westhill Community Services with an IP-based, multi-site Unified Communications solution. The original requirement was to provide a communications platform that would create a single image environment across multiple locations, with centralized administration, while allowing for dramatic growth in the near future without adding significant cost when expanding.

The solution included WAN upgrades to make the WAN QOS ready. At the time the solution replaced systems for a central site and two satellite sites. The new Avaya system allows the sites to operate as one, and to interact as a single site. In addition, the satellite offices had to be completely survivable in the event of a WAN failure so that the sites still would have full functionality (not just simple phone access to the outside) in the event of emergencies.

They have now commenced the addition of nine more locations, integrating them with the main site, and each other. Each was tied in with via an Internet connection, not requiring standard telephone lines and equipment. The client is able to bring these sites online on their own without the requirement of any support.

In the past, each site would have cost approximately $12,000-$14,000 each in hardware, and an additional T1 with a recurring cost of $600 a month.

Today they do it themselves, and the cost is $1,000 per site, and $60 a month for their Internet connection.

Unified Communications enables the staff to access their voice messages through their choice of media, which can be a standard e-mail interface, from their desktop, on their system telephone, or by cell phone, whatever is most convenient.

In addition they have IP based softphones, and a VPN to allow users to access the system anywhere they have an IP connection which allows for flexibility for workers, which also is an integral part of their disaster recovery plan.