Published on 25-Sep-2008
Full transparency is high on the list of benefits when the Municipality of Hørsholm’s IT Manager Michael Voel Jensen, and IT Operations Manager, Flemming Pihl Knudsen, talk about the municipality’s choice of IP telephony. And full transparency covers both the financial and technical aspects of the solution
Following a reorganisation of the town hall in the Municipality of Hørsholm, the municipality decided that the time was ripe for switching to IP telephony. The solution needed to link all the municipality’s 40+ institutions together in a large fibre-based telephony and data network
The Municipality of Hørsholm invested in an IBM/Cisco IP telephony solution with Cisco Call Manager, a central Netwise exchange which, among other things, offers access to calendar information about employees’ whereabouts, and Cisco Unity Unified Messaging, which gives all municipal employees a personal voicemail. In addition, the municipality chose Cisco’s IP unified phone model 7961 as a desktop model, Cisco’s mobile model for wireless IP telephony and Cisco’s Communicator as softphone.
For the Municipality of Hørsholm, the IP telephony solution means that the municipality’s 40-50 institutions, including the town hall, will have free internal telephony. Moreover, the municipality has achieved a level of simplicity and transparency in calculating its telephony costs, and also expects the central administration and maintenance of the system to result in tangible savings in terms of both time and costs.
Full transparency is high on the list of benefits when the Municipality of Hørsholm’s IT Manager Michael Voel Jensen, and IT Operations Manager, Flemming Pihl Knudsen, talk about the municipality’s choice of IP telephony. And full transparency
covers both the financial and technical aspects of the solution: “Previously, it was almost impossible to assess whether the pile of phone bills that arrived at the town hall each month were all correct,” says Flemming Pihl Knudsen, and continues: “It was extremely demanding yet almost impossible to retain a constant overview of whether the numerous
local exchanges and telephone installations in the municipality’s 40+ institutions were up to date and well
maintained. In both these respects, IP telephony has made our working lives easier with far greater transparency.
In future we will receive a combined telephone bill for the whole municipal organisation, and there is a single exchange at the town hall, which manages the municipality’s entire telephony.” Savings on several fronts Michael Voel Jensen and Flemming Pihl Knudsen are in no doubt that the IP telephony will result in financial savings on several fronts for the
Municipality of Hørsholm. In future, all internal calls in the municipal network will be free, there will be considerable
savings in man-hours in the centralised management and administration, while maintenance and replacement costs for the numerous small exchanges out in the institutions will cease altogether.
“We have not tried to calculate the expected savings in detail with the new system. However, I am certain that when we take all the various factors into account, we will see a considerable reduction in telephony costs, while also gaining completely new options and functionalities,” says Flemming Pihl Knudsen.
Project roll-out in two phases What prompted the shift from analogue telephony to IP telephony was a major refurbishment of the town hall, where a new job centre and citizen service centre were being established. The Municipality of Hørsholm’s IT department has previously, together with IBM, handled the implementation of IP telephony in the former municipal
tax centre in Northern Zealand, so for Michael Voel Jensen and Flemming Pihl Knudsen, it was the obvious time to take the leap to the new telephony platform.
“It is obvious that you need to think long and hard before switching technologies. However, IP technology is now such a mature technology, and IBM is so experienced at implementing Cisco’s telephony solutions, that we were convinced
that it was the right thing to do for the Municipality of Hørsholm,” says Michael Voel Jensen.
Work on rolling out the IP telephony was split into two phases: Phase one involved implementing the solution at
the town hall, while the second phase – which will be concluded in May 2008 – involves roll-out to the municipal
institutions such as nursery schools, residential homes and the library. Central administration For the Municipality of Hørsholm, the IP telephony solution means that all telephones at the town hall and out in the various institutions
are linked together in a single network. One of the key advantages of the IP model as opposed to the analogue one is that operating and administering the system can be centralised and managed from a single locality. This means, for example, that telephone lines, groups and numbers can be set up, discontinued and moved centrally. Likewise, errors can be rectified and the overall operation can be monitored from the town hall’s IT department.
“Administering the system is based at the town hall, so now employees have only one place to go to if something doesn’t work. It makes life so much easier. So far we have not experienced any breakdowns, so it looks as though the system works, just as IBM said it would,” says Flemming Pihl Knudsen.
Wireless possibilities at the institutions
The new IP telephony system boasts a wealth of functions, and the Municipality of Hørsholm as appointed a group of superusers to assess which of these functionalities the municipal employees need so that only the most important are activated, and thereby ensure that the system is as clear and functional as possible. For example, the exchange system from Netwise
enables access to calendar information, while Cisco Unity Unified Messaging gives all municipal employees a personal voicemail. However, what was really wanted from the new system was the possibility of using wireless phones at institutions such as nursery schools, where the staff are able to take the phone with them out to the playground, and at residential and old people’s homes etc., where the staff often need to be able to answer or make a call while in
the residents’ living units.
The Municipality of Hørsholm has been working with IBM since 1991, and Flemming Pihl Knudsen says that this latest project only confirms that the collaboration is positive and will
continue in future. “On this occasion too, we have worked well and positively together, and concentrated on finding the best possible solution. IBM provides a sense of continuity. The requirements specification and the project plan are prepared, action plans are established,
and the project is launched based on close and personal dialogue with the consultants. Collaborating in this way ensures that the project stays on track, and that the process can be easily and smoothly adjusted as we go,” says Flemming Pihl Knudsen.
New communication and collaboration opportunities
The Municipality of Hørsholm now has a technically fast and well-functioning telephony platform with a vast array of modern functionalities and services. However, the system is also
prepared for the next generation of telephony, the so-called Unified Communication & Collaboration (UCC), which offers the possibility of direct interaction with the municipal applications and for integrating collaboration capabilities such as Sametime. “There are still new possibilities, which we look forward to employing together with IBM. They will contribute
to streamlining our organization further and, at the end of the day, enable us to offer an even better service to citizens in the Municipality of Hørsholm. After all, that is why we are here,” conclude Michael Voel Jensen and Flemming Pihl Knudsen..
”There are still new possibilities, which we look forward to employing together with IBM. They will contribute to streamlining our organization further and, at the end of the day, enable us to offer an even better service to citizens in the Municipality of Hørsholm. After all, that is why we are here.”
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
GTS ITS Integrated Communications: Converged Communications, GTS Enterprise Services
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2008w IBM Danmark A/S Nymøllevej 91 DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby Tel: +45 45 23 30 00 02 - 08 All Rights Reserved