Case Study

DYWIDAG-Systems International (DSI)

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The Company

DYWIDAG-Systems International (DSI), manufacturer and supplier of specialist strata reinforcement and support products to the mining industry, has reduced call and rental costs, improved communications reliability and introduced smarter ways of using its telecommunications, since switching to IP telephony.

The company’s Systems Administrator, Brenten Smith, said: “With call savings outweighing the monthly rental costs, plus multiple associated benefits, the new IP phone system is yielding valuable savings and improving our communications technology.”

The Solution and Outcomes

DSI switched from an Ericsson business phone system to a Mitel MCD IP telephony system after its former lease expired. The company now operates six Mitel controllers, located at the Australian head office at Bennett's Green, Newcastle, plus branches at Emerald, Mackay, Mt Isa, Bassendean (Perth) and Kalgoorlie. These are connected by a Telstra Wide Area Network (WAN). Under the former system direct communication between branches was impossible as each branch had its own standalone system, with larger branches using PBXs and smaller Commander systems. Brenten Smith estimates that IP telephony saves a typical branch about $1,800 a month in STD call costs and Commander rentals, and further efficiencies also result from implementing the new solution.

Now all the branches are connected nationwide, he says there are no call costs because everything is IP-based. Before, the company made frequent STD calls between branches that were not extensions of the phone system. Another benefit of the single system is branch redundancy, which means that if a controller should fail (none have), the company’s communications can simply fail over automatically to the controller at another branch, resulting in only limited downtime. The IP phones, too, offer advantages.

“We are very happy with the handsets which are easy to program and use,” said Brenten. “Also, when we need to set up a new extension, or make changes, it’s a lot easier to do this from a centralised location.

“The convenience is impressive and the cost savings can be substantial. Teleworker is reducing overheads as well as increasing the productivity and efficiency of remote employees.”

Brenton Smith, Systems

Two IP applications– Mitel UC Mobile and Mitel Border Gateway - are allowing DSI staff to use their IP solution in smart ways previously unimagined. Mobile UC allows users to have one number and one voicemail. When someone calls that number, their desk, mobile and Teleworker phones ring simultaneously. It is also possible to switch a mobile call to a desk handset mid-conversation and vice versa, cutting out any unnecessary mobile calls. A caller can be placed on hold and transferred to another extension on the network, at a local branch or a different branch location, all from the mobile phone.

Brenten Smith says about 20 staff, mainly at head office, have their handsets integrated with their mobiles using Mitel’s UC Mobile. Both ring simultaneously so that no calls are missed. Typically people on the factory floor or in the depot use this facility, since they do not spend much time at their desks. A few do not have desk phones, so they use their mobiles as an extension.

Mitel Border Gateway allows employees across remote sites to work collaboratively and access distributed company data and expertise, from home, across Australia or across the globe. Currently DSI has a number of Telworker devices, with full access to voice mail and conferencing. Some employees use a Mitel handset while others have a softphone loaded on to a USB key and a headset, so they can turn any computer with internet access into their Mitel extension.

“The convenience is impressive and the cost savings can be substantial,” says Brenten Smith. “Teleworker is reducing overheads as well as increasing the productivity and efficiency of remote employees.”

The Mitel Integrator

DSI’s IP telephony was supplied by Newcastle-based Modcoms Voice Data Mobility and is supported by Telstra.

“When we evaluated new technology, Modcoms demonstrated the Mitel solution, then we visited Mitel in Sydney and were impressed,” said Brenten. “I did a cost justification for the roll-out which gives us significant savings. The technology was a good fit and we were offered a leasing arrangement, which suited us. Another advantage of the new system is centralised fault reporting from log calls to Mitel via Telstra. Modcoms handles the calls.” He adds: “Modcoms are always very competent and professional in their response and service, and we are looking to have a long term relationship with them. When we made the decision to roll over to Mitel, we were confident it would go smoothly knowing that Modcoms would be handling the service work.”