tas gov CASE STUDY
Tasmanian Government propels communications into the future by replacing ISDN with SIP trunks
Industry: Government - 30,000+ staff, 300+ sites
Challenge: ISDN replacements, digital transformation
Result: Future-proof communications, cost savings and enhanced productivity
Key benefit: All sites and devices connected in the cloud
Although the smallest of the six Australian states, Tasmania is home to over half a million people. With some of the cleanest air in the world, breathtaking scenery across the island and a wealth of great wineries and restaurants, it’s no surprise that close to 1.5 million people visited Tasmania last year.
Headquartered in the state capitol, Hobart, the Tasmanian Government administers a wide range of public services from healthcare, agriculture, forestry and mining through to tourism, manufacturing and transport.
The Tasmanian Government relied on ISDN landlines and legacy telephony to underpin a wide variety of government entities, including Government agencies, hospitals and emergency services. However, a review of the State’s IT revealed that modernising carriage services would provide a foundation to improve customer service and enhance staff productivity.
The Tasmanian Government required a solution that would allow them to reduce costs and futureproof telecom infrastructure. They also needed the freedom to select their preferred UC vendors and communication technologies, rather than being locked-in. This was a different approach to their legacy telecom – whose solutions were considered aging, costly and inflexible. In a competitive tender process, MNF Enterprise was selected to provide whole of government carriage services, replacing ISDN and copper landlines - the first large-scale ISDN replacement of its kind.
What was needed?
Any introduction of new technologies needed to enable the Government to connect remote sites outside the major metro areas. This included rural clinics, local government offices, national parks and even the Ferry service. The legacy provider was not able to connect these sites due to the cost and complexity of legacy technologies. Given the ease-of-use VoIP that presents, however, all that was needed was broadband or 4G.
Eliminating the costs and complexities of legacy services was a high priority, as was the desire for a whole-of-government solution rather than individual agreements. This was a key part of cost management, allowing the Tasmanian Government to deliver their telecom services in a uniform way with consistent cost and quality.
Another key part of reducing operational costs was the desire to consolidate PBX phone systems and get rid of unused ISDN and fax lines. They were tired of paying underutilised telecom services and wanted to only pay for what they would use. In addition, routing the VoIP calls via the MNF network meant extra cost savings. As a national carrier, MNF could provide the desired quality with a lower cost and more inclusions.
Looking ahead, the Tasmanian Government could see that ISDN and copper line services were legacy technology that would need to be replaced. They sought a future-proof alternative with features that enabled Government staff to work from home – in particular the ability to have landline calls work on any device.
Risk-free migration to cloud communications
Legacy phones underpinned a variety of critical government services including: hospitals, police, fire, courts and social services. If these mission-critical services experienced downtime, lives and livelihoods could be lost. It was crucial to manage the technology risk and prove the capability of the MNF Enterprise network.
MNF deployed a full-service team in Tasmania, working closely with the Government over the long term to roll out their new carriage services. The team deployed infrastructure and software services incrementally, ensuring a phased and low-risk roll out. This meticulous, careful and expert approach ensured that critical communication services were not disrupted by the transition.
The solution that MNF Enterprise implemented for the Tasmanian Government consisted of a range of technologies, all designed to help reduce costs and enable their telecommunications to be future-proof:
- SIP Trunking (equivalent to a phone line)
- Cloud numbers (including managing porting from Telstra, Optus and legacy vendors)
- 2-way (inbound and outbound) calling in Australia, NZ and international routing
- Ongoing call quality assurance
- Fax replacement service
In addition, conferencing and UC services are now being adopted, but the Government have the ability to choose whichever vendor best fits their needs. No lock-in contract means more flexible options for them going forward.
What were the outcomes?
Moving to SIP enabled the Tasmanian Government to virtualise numbers, consolidate landlines and replace aging PBX phone systems. They were able to extend communication over IP to employees in all offices, regardless of whether they were located on a main site, at a branch office or even working remotely.
This meant that staff could work flexibly, taking advantage of improved call quality in regional locations in the process. With increased call capacity for contact centres and PBX features now available to all offices, productivity was increased internally, which in turn drove customer satisfaction higher.
SIP achieved more than simply updating the Government’s communications infrastructure, however. The SIP platform can be used to replace PSTN, as well as offering a wide range of over the top services, such as audio and web conferencing, SMS portal, and eFax.
“MNF Enterprise is a young, energetic and innovative company which has proven it is capable to develop services that meet the Government’s requirements.” - Piero Peroni, TMD General Manager