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Guardian Implements Siemens Unified Communication Solution

The OpenScape Unified Communications Server and OpenScape Voice Application solution will enable Guardian to deliver advanced features, centralize and streamline its network and protect its existing technology investment, vendor says.

Guardian Life (New York) has deployed an open, unified communications solution from Siemens Enterprise Communications Group (SEN Group, Boca Raton, Fla.). The OpenScape Unified Communications Server and OpenScape Voice Application is designed to enable Guardian to deliver advanced features, centralize and streamline its network and protect its existing technology investment, according to a Siemens press release.

A SEN Group customer for nearly two decades, Guardian looked to the vendor to examine ways to update its network without having to replace all of its existing technology, according to the SEN Group release.

"We had over 70 Siemens solutions in place, and we didn't want the expense and challenge of having to replace our entire system at once," says Bryan Agate, AVP, Corporate Network Services for Guardian. "The OpenScape Voice Application proved to be an ideal solution, since it allows us to move to IP gradually and at our own pace, while giving us the immediate benefits of greater centralization and advanced unified communications features."

The open nature of SEN Group's OpenScape Voice application provided another key benefit, according to the SEN Group source. While other solutions they'd considered locked them into proprietary solutions, the OpenScape Voice Application leverages the SEN Group's OpenSOA architecture and is designed to integrate easily with solutions from any vendor, the SEN Group release reports. Also, since it is a SIP-based solution, Guardian has the flexibility to incorporate other SIP-based tools and applications into its environment in the future, such as SIP integration into their Genesys Call Center system for potential "agent anywhere" applications.

As part of its initial deployment, Guardian has implemented a comprehensive abbreviated dialing plan and calling party display, as well as routing internal calls over the network. This has made it easier and more efficient for employees to collaborate with one another while helping to dramatically reduce long-distance telephony charges, SEN Group claims. Guardian also monitors network traffic in order to plan network maintenance, ensure network availability and minimize disruption to employees. Guardian has seen traffic increase to over 70,000 network calls per week, which previously would have been routed as costly long distance carrier toll calls, according to SEN Group.

"Users have really embraced the ease of using the network dialing plan, which has enabled us to dramatically reduce our telephony costs," adds Guardian's Agate. "The OpenScape Voice Application has fit easily into our network environment, providing immediate productivity and cost benefits, plus the flexibility to continue to expand the system to new sites and provide new applications if we desire."

With the success of this deployment, Guardian has the ability to proceed with the gradual upgrades to IP for additional sites, SEN Group says. Guardian is also exploring how best to leverage the centralized, license-based approach of the OpenScape Voice Application to further centralize their telephony environment to simplify adding new applications and upgrades and lower ongoing telephony and service costs, according to the vendor.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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