- Consolidate network providers
- Convert PRI circuits to SIP trunks
- $300,000 per year savings on network costs
- Increased network capacity
- Improved network performance and service levels
NWN Upgrades Network While “SIPping” Own Champagne
- Industry: IT Solutions
- Location: Waltham, MA
Client Snapshot: NWN Corporation helps clients solve business problems through technology. With more than 500 employees in 14 offices in the US and one in China, NWN provides clients with a complete range of information system services and solutions.
As do many organizations, NWN had been using Primary Rate Interface, or PRI, circuits for voice. This older, copper wire technology has been in common use for decades. It provides a high quality signal, but has some drawbacks.
PRI circuits are purchased in bundles of 23 channels. If one of NWN’s offices needed 24 voice channels, it would have to pay for two PRI circuits.
In addition, PRI circuits have a defined, inflexible termination. They go to a particular endpoint, period. The only way to provide backup in the case of a disaster is to purchase excess capacity.
SIP (for Session Initiation Protocol) trunks provide all the benefits of a virtual approach. They can be scaled up or down easily to meet demand. They can also be redirected quickly to different endpoints.
For example, if an NWN office suffered a power outage, the SIP lines could be directed to another location so no call would go unanswered. No costly extra capacity or redundancy is required as a result. Capacity can be added flexibly and quickly, in contrast to the long wait required for a new physical circuit to be installed.
Finally, NWN can purchase exactly the number of channels it needs for each office. Costs per SIP trunks are likely to be significantly lower than those of PRI circuits.
When NWN CIO, Brian Wheeler, set out to rationalize telecommunications, he anticipated simplifying a tangle of contracts, clearing up a few bottlenecks and saving some money. The company had been organized regionally when Wheeler stepped into the corporate CIO’s role, and he found NWN was doing business with 18 carriers in 13 locations. In some cases the carrier had different teams handling different NWN locations, with no coordination. Wheeler says, “It stands to reason that we weren’t getting any purchasing leverage.”
Wheeler and his team set to work. They collected detailed information about each carrier contract as well as requirements from each NWN location. In some cases, the office had hit bandwidth constraints; in others the employees needed more advanced features to support their business. From an architectural point of view, Wheeler’s team also wanted to move from PRI to SIP circuits.
Wheeler and team persevered when carriers responded sluggishly to their requests for data. Ultimately, they gathered detailed information about the services, costs, contract terms, and cancellation clauses. They used a detailed market analysis to select six highly rated carriers and sent out a comprehensive RFP.
The result? Wheeler and his team will soon have the network upgrades in place—flexible SIP circuits and improved service levels for voice, data, and Internet. All for half the cost NWN paid last year.
By doing this project for ourselves, we worked out the tools and analytics that will make it much easier to do the next time. We have also proven that the benefits are real.
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