When Kyocera Mita SA, a printer and multi-functional products (MFP) manufacturer, found its communications infrastructure floundering in the wake of significant business growth, it selected KSS, a converged network integrator focusing on integrated data, voice and video solutions, to revamp and expand its networks, install an IP-telephony system and roll out a standardised Microsoft messaging platform.
Kyocera Mita is committed to delivering premium quality digital copiers, laser printers, wide-format imaging and MFPs with a focus on exceptional service levels and after sales service.
Due to the company's constant growth in market share, it is continuously driven to reassess its infrastructure, and expand and renew it in order to keep up with increasing business demands. Its communications infrastructure was stretched to the limit. The analogue Private Analogue Branch Exchange (PABX) was old and could not cater for much needed staff growth.
Reliability was also an issue. The organisation required a stable communications platform to support its reseller base which relies on the manufacturer for telephonic support.
In addition, Kyocera Mita needed to overhaul its network to cater for the growth and expansion of the business. Lotus Notes was used as a messaging platform and the company outsourced the support function to reduce complexity.
However, due to standardisation requirements from the international head office, the manufacturer needed to bring this function in-house and migrate to a Microsoft Mail environment.
KSS was selected to revamp the company's communications infrastructure.
Werner Engelbrecht, manager: shared services, says: "KSS was chosen as the local supplier as result of the professional solution presented, its BEE status and commitment to high-quality service delivery. Kyocera Mita SAalso chose Cisco as the preferred brand as their products are reliable and the company is focussed on short repair or replacement response times in the event of down time."
KSS recommended an overhaul of the network with standardisation on Cisco products. Cisco's Unified Call Manager 4.2, an IP-based solution, was implemented, replacing the existing analogue PABX. Cisco's Unified Communications Messaging 4.0 delivered integration of unified messaging (converting and managing email, voice and fax messaging) with Microsoft Exchange, reducing the complexity of business communications.
Cisco 7900 IP phones were deployed using power over Ethernet throughout the company's office and warehouse, providing staff with a wireless handset that allows them to be completely mobile.
The IP-based solution will scale to cater to Kyocera Mita's constant growth and will make its planned move to new offices a breeze. Meantime, the use of the Cisco Call Manager and Communications Messaging products improve office productivity, efficiency and customer service.
Says Sydney Q. du Pont, senior voice engineer at KSS: "KSS created 'pick-up groups' for each department. This functionality means that if a staff member's phone rings and they are not at their desk to take the call, a colleague can use his/her phone to answer that person's call. The solution also features remote voicemail access. An employee can dial into the office telephony system remotely and retrieve voice mail messages from 'outside' the office. This is done securely as authentication is built into the process."
Extension mobility is another convenient function that promotes efficient service. Users are not 'tied' to a specific phone. They can key in their own unique password on any phone, which then means their extension is routed through to that specific phone. All the attributes of that extension are linked to that phone.
This was a key consideration for Kyocera Mita's call centre that provides after sales service and support to its clients, as well as handles warranty issues and general queries. The system also accommodates toll free numbers and transferred the old analogue numbers onto the new system, routing callers to the correct person. This limited the disruption that a change of numbers would have created.
Security is an important consideration for Kyocera Mita and KSS deployed Cisco Wireless Access Points (APs) using a Microsoft RADIUS server that provides built in security, including authentication and encryption. This ensures all data – including voice – is secure.
In line with international standards, KSS migrated Kyocera Mita's Lotus Notes messaging platform to Microsoft Exchange, a task that was not without challenges.
Herman Vletter, Microsoft specialist at KSS, comments: "The migration was fairly complicated as we needed to ensure that all users' information such as email, calendar appointments and contacts were successfully transferred onto the new platform, providing a transparent user experience for staff. We had to ensure the guidelines and processes were strictly followed to ensure the success of the migration exercise."
KSS also supplied and installed two Cisco MCS servers (a Unity server for voice mail and a call manager server for the soft PABX) to cater for the new communication platform and growth requirements. This provides the company with a stable server environment that is reliable and meets performance requirements.
The implementation took just over two months to complete and fell within the required deadlines.
Engelbrecht continues: "The convenience of receiving an e-mail that includes your voice-mail message has proven to be a huge benefit for those users that are mobile and spend a number of days away from the office.
"Kyocera has also realised substantial savings with costs associated with moving users around or adding new users. We no longer require technicians to program our PABX and new phones can be added easily. All that is required is a network point and handset and the staff member is ready to use his phone."
Training was a key component of the acceptance and user adoption of the IP telephony solution and new messaging platform. KSS provided the necessary training and the company is benefiting significantly from the investment.