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Swish Maintenance, Ltd, a Toronto-based sanitation and manufacturing company, opened 24 new locations throughout Canada and the United States within a 9-month period. As the company grew at a rapid pace, it became evident that their existing phone system was simply not enough to support their needs, so they set out to find the perfect telephony solution that would enable them to easily communicate across two countries.
Swish’s multi-location strategy includes the company headquarters, which houses a call center, an offsite warehouse, and an increasing number of remote locations. This complex arrangement was the recipe for a robust and intricate communications solution. Initially, Swish had considered upgrading their existing NEC digital system, but its capabilities were no match for the level of connectivity the company demanded. Swish also considered Shoretel and Mitel phone systems, but their expensive price tags were just too much. Swish was in need of a local reseller who could not only install a new telephone system at an affordable price, but would help them to design an entire communications infrastructure that could be expanded upon in the future. After much research, Swish contracted Golden Integrated Solutions (GIS) to assist them in the implementation.
“Swish’s main objective was connectivity,” says GIS president, Stanley Yim. Swish was operating an outdated system with a single PBX at their headquarters in Toronto. All of the other offices had separate phone numbers and incurred long distance charges whenever they needed to call another branch location. Yim stated, “Since their company was growing so quickly, it was a good time for them to replace their previous phone system with a solution that would centralize everything to one main location so they could streamline operations and project a unified corporate image.”
After evaluating Swish’s situation, they developed a plan that would improve Swish’s overall communication strategy. Yim stated, “We came in with a much focused, concentrated approach to their overall needs.” Leading with Digium Switchvox, GIS saw an opportunity to truly transform and streamline Swish’s communications by creating multisite networks at their locations across Canada and the U.S. “Digium’s Switchvox gives them an innovative solution that connects all calls, including customer service and the call center, from a single point at the main office,” says Yim.
GIS was asked to give a quote on installing a new phone system, but they were experienced enough with open source Asterisk, Switchvox’s underlying software, to realize there was even more they could do for Swish in terms of creating a private network. Yim stated, “With Asterisk, we knew we could do this and still stay within budget — in fact, we came out slightly under budget.”Asterisk, sponsored by Digium is the world’s most popular Open Source telephony platform. Asterisk does voice over IP in four protocols, and can interoperate with almost all standards-based telephony equipment. This was an important factor because Swish required a great deal of infrastructure since they were not currently using IP for voice. They needed more than just a new telephone system; they needed a Unified Communications solution to connect their multiple sites.
With a resume of over 800 Asterisk deployments, GIS knew the power of Asterisk and how to leverage it to improve Swish’s communications. GIS installed PRI lines in Toronto at the company’s headquarters and created an MPLS private connection using T1s or E10s between the other sites, then implemented DSL at the warehouse. The Switchvox UC system located at the main office enables all locations to finally communicate as one and will allow Swish to easily add new lines as the company continues to grow.
Swish purchased Digium high-definition IP phones for the entire staff and call center, and SIP/softphones for the teleworkers. Since Digium IP phones were designed specifically for use with Asterisk, GIS knew they were the perfect addition to Swish’s new Switchvox system.
In addition to the much-needed connectivity, Swish employees enjoy the call recording and call reporting features of Switchvox; as well as the Automated Call Distributor (ACD) and call queues where they can route large volumes of calls to offices all over Canada and the U.S., or to the call center for sales or customer service. Their warehouse workers and many teleworkers also use Find Me/Follow Me, which enables incoming phone calls to be received at different locations, on different phones.
“Swish is very happy with the result. They awarded us with a Vendor of the Year award, which is very flattering. We are appreciative for the honor and proud to be a Digium Switchvox representative,” says Yim.