March 02, 2009
Mobile Vets Use Avaya's VoIP, UC Solutions
By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor
A veterinary practice based in northern Kentucky reportedly is using an international unified communications provider’s technology to keep its staff of mobile technicians and doctors connected when they’re healing dogs and cats in the field.
Officials with the Highland Heights Animal Hospital – a traveling facility with a surgical home-base – say they’re using a small business IP system from Avaya Inc. in three vans that have with mobile examination rooms and pharmacies.
According to Shandon Stamper, co-owner of the animal hospital, mobile teams of doctors and technicians, and staff and medical teams at the surgical facility must keep in touch with each other constantly.
“It’s also vital to keep our clients informed about their pets’ condition if they need further medical care,” Stamper said.
Stamper’s organization worked with Cincinnati-based voice, data, and home technology provider G&C Interconnects to arrive at an Avaya (News - Alert)-powered solution.
With Avaya VPN software, G&C came up with a solution using mobile broadband and Avaya’s VPN Remote telephones, where each mobile unit has a telephone off the main office’s PBX (News - Alert). Mobile workers are just a 4-digit extension away, and can respond to voice calls and group pages as if they were in the office.
The solution included Avaya IP Office 500, Highland Heights’ installation consisted of Avaya 5400 digital phones, Avaya 5600-series IP phones with Avaya’s VPN Remote software, a VPN gateway, and a high-speed Internet circuit from the local cable company. The phones in the vans are connected by a broadband Internet service provided by their cellular carrier.
For officials at Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Avaya, that kind of highly customized IP communications system relies on a concept as well as cutting-edge VoIP technology, such as a new type of media phone that the company introduced today.
Generally speaking, a media phone is a cross between a telephone and PC, allowing direct access to applications and Internet-based information through a large color touch screen with a high-quality phone.
As TMCnet reported, Avaya today unveiled products that analysts predict will generate between $4 billion and $8 billion in annual revenue worldwide by 2013, a company today unveiled a series of unified communications products. The company is coming out with a new addition to its one-X series of desk phones, with the so-called “9670G,” a media phone for enterprises.
According to Michael Frendo, vice president and general manager of Unified Communications (News - Alert) at Avaya, employees’ productivity can largely depend on their experience with the communications device at hand.
“An enterprise-class, software-driven device provides the flexibility to meet current and changing roles, tasks, locations, and so on, and take on a broader function within the communications spectrum,” Frendo said said. “Avaya’s strength is in understanding the range of communication needs within the enterprise, and providing a seamless, integrated experience across different business users, locations and technologies.”
That philosophy was applied to Highland Heights’ remote workers.
Now, those workers get the same secure communications they receive in the main office, because the VPN phones in the vans actually become remote extensions of IP Office. Mobile workers can route incoming office calls to their VPN phone, so they are seamlessly connected, and doctors and staff in the vans can get all of the capabilities they have at their main office, such as voice mail, messaging, and conferencing, without the cost of adding VPN gateways in each van, Avaya says.
According to Shandon, Avaya IP Office was a perfect choice.
“We can easily manage the system ourselves, make clients happier, and save money by using our staff resources wisely,” Shandon said. “When it comes to communications, even the smallest business wants the same benefits that big business gets.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan