Telephony with Snom: for those who work at home
Recently, I talked about three cases when companies built large telephone networks based on boxed telephone systems and Snom devices. And this time I will share examples of creating IP-telephony for employees working at home.
IP telephony solutions can be very beneficial for companies using remote employees. Such solutions can be easily integrated with existing communication systems; they have good mobility in case employees move. You can save phone numbers, which minimizes possible inconvenience for customers and reduces service interruptions. Snom phones allow workers to connect to an IP network simply by connecting devices to routers with a network cable or Wi-Fi. Phones can be configured in the office or in the warehouse, and then sent to employees by mail. Or you can use SRAPS - this is a special Snom service for automatic remote configuration, with its help you can set up your phone even on the other side of the planet.
By connecting to the telephone network of the company, remote employees get access to the same opportunities that are available to office employees. This includes transferring calls within the network, voice messages, sending voice messages to e-mail, forwarding to mobile phones, answering machine, CRM integration, recording conversations and free calls to other users within the network.
The benefits of using VoIP by remote employees include:
- Availability of features. Remote employees can use all the features of the central communication platform and easily interact with colleagues.
- Scalability. Ease of scaling up or down, depending on your needs.
- Direct dialing. This function is available not only to office employees, but also to remote employees.
- Processing a global customer database is accelerating with business growth.
- Cost reduction. VoIP eliminates the costs associated with headquarters and remote employees.
- Centralized management. Simplifies the entire communications infrastructure.
Studentenwerk is the German National Association for Student Affairs. Studentenwerk Freiburg is a mid-sized service company with approximately 400 employees serving more than 35,000 people. Studentenwerk is funded by the Student Union and helps organize events at nine universities: Freiburg, Offenburg, Gengenbach, Fuerthwangen, Köhl and Villingen-Schwenningen.
In 2007, the Student Union's 10-year contract for the support and maintenance of the Siemens-Nixdorf telephone system ended. The aging system no longer met modern requirements, it lacked the flexibility to configure, it was expensive to maintain, and did not meet the daily needs of universities. Studentenwerk no longer wanted to become dependent on another proprietary and inflexible system, and so they looked for technology that could be expanded as needed. The customer needed the independence of the new solution from vendors and the ability to integrate applications. They also required separate mailboxes for each new subscriber, and a central fax server capable of receiving and sending faxes directly from local computers. It needed a CTI connection so students could make and receive calls,
The contract for creating a new network was received by a service provider from Freiburg - badenIT GmbH, a branch of the city energy company Badenova. After consulting with the contractor, Studentenwerk employees decided that the VoIP telephone system meets their needs, and chose the Asterisk boxed open source PBX. The main advantage of the open source solution was the absence of license fees, regardless of the number of subscribers. The contractor recommended using Snom IP phones, and after testing, the Student Union agreed.
First, the customer checked to see if the existing network has the necessary bandwidth for VoIP. The result was positive, and a gradual transition was planned. New box IP PBXs were configured and connected to the existing Siemens system. During the migration period, the old and the new system worked in parallel. After a series of tests and settings, all calls were served by a boxed IP PBX, and then the telephone sets were replaced. The old system was turned off only after replacing the last phone.
The new VoIP solution consisted of 30 ISDN lines and about 110 devices. We used Snom phones of three models: Snom 300 had all the important functions for the office; The Snom 320 made it possible to communicate through wireless headsets and supported third-party conferencing devices; Snom 360 had more advanced features, such as detailed call information and fine-tuning.
Using phones has become much easier. The efficiency of using functions such as automatic directories, displaying unprocessed calls and caller identification has been improved. Users really enjoyed the convenience of their personal phonebooks, callback features and voice messaging. It has become possible to use advanced tools such as integrated voicemail and CTI-applications (allow employees to call directly from the applications). It is also now possible to centrally configure and configure devices through applications that use databases, and the default settings can be changed by users themselves, for example, assigning new ringtones.
Studentenwerk Freiburg gained the desired flexibility that was unattainable with old proprietary technology. In remote offices, you can now connect phones via VPN, so it is planned to increase the total number of phones by 56 times.
SanLucar Fruit is one of the main distributors of gardening products in Spain. The company was founded in Valencia in 1993 and consists of more than 120 employees and farmers in more than 30 countries who sell hand-grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, paying great attention to product quality. The company has offices in Valencia. In Germany, SanLucar distributes its products from Ettlingen (Karlsruhe), and Austria from Vienna. The company also has offices in Italy, France, Turkey, Tunisia, South Africa, Central and South America.
SanLucar Fruit needed a new, special telecommunication system, capable of integrating voice, video, text messaging and web access, as well as supporting mobile telephony. Customers were looking for a solution that matches the company of their size. They believed that creating an environment that provided high-quality, fast and efficient communication was necessary for the best business. Scattered across Europe and operating in a very active market, SanLucar Fruit employees needed real-time information about the status and availability of each user. They needed fast and efficient integration. In addition, customers wanted the new solution to combine modern functionality with their company's environmental philosophy.
EuropeSIP Communications has designed a system based on Microsoft OCS 2007 R2, which is compatible with Enterprise Voice, uses Snom phones with special Microsoft firmware (Snom OCS edition) and Asterisk clustering, which provides advanced gateway and fax capabilities. On computers, there is a Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 client with SCUPA Business for remote phone management. Communication with remote users is supported through the Snom client and phones through the Edge Server OCS infrastructure. The connection to the PSTN is through the Mediation Server, which is connected to an Asterisk cluster equipped with Sangoma cards.
The resulting solution provides the required integration of voice, video, text messages, web access and mobile telephony functionality. The new network meets the needs of the company in terms of communication speed and efficiency. In addition, the solution meets SanLucar's requirements for using Green Computing. This was achieved through the virtualization of various elements, the use of low-power Snom phones.
Rivit Srl is Italy's leading manufacturer and distributor of fasteners, quick-fix systems and related tools, bolts and screws, tools and machines for sheet metal working. The company was founded in 1973 and is located in Ozzano del Emilia, Bologna. It serves organizations engaged in metalworking, roofing, window glazing, automobile production, installation of air conditioners, photovoltaics and the manufacture and equipment of ships. The company exports products to more than 30 countries and sells them through a network of dealers.
In 2006, Rivit Srl deployed an analog telephone system, which was quickly outdated. Soon, the company faced telephony restrictions, but it did not have the ability to configure internal components and / or additional telephone services that would support the growth of a 41-year-old organization. Therefore, Rivit wanted to use its IP infrastructure to create a configurable, flexible voice communication system that would allow employees to easily communicate with colleagues in the office and beyond.
Rivit turned to Centro Computer SPA, an infrastructure and telecommunications advisory company and a certified Snom partner, who installed the Snom UC edition and Microsoft Lync for Unified Communications phones. Centro recommended Lync and Snom because Rivit has already invested heavily in Microsoft technology, as well as the functionality, ease of deployment and customization of Snom UC edition phones. After a thorough evaluation, the company introduced 60 phones - Snom 710, 720 and 760.
To date, only Snom phones natively support direct provisioning from Microsoft Lync Server, and can provide very important features compared to other Lync-certified phones. Rivit saved on installing additional provisioning servers when deploying telephones, which at that time was the main problem for other models certified for use with Lync. Moreover, Rivit got the opportunity to customize outgoing messages, music on hold and dynamic calls to suit its needs, and the company also benefited from the cross-platform ability to see each employee’s presence and the ability to communicate faster with customers and suppliers thanks to the Lync capabilities.
Today, Rivit is looking for ways to optimize communications in relation to its geographical expansion. In particular, the possibility of installing Lync on tablets and smartphones by sales agents in India is being evaluated.