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VoIP deployment eased with hosted IT

VoIP deployment for one company looking to upgrade its voice and data network is helped along by a hosted IT company.

Deploying Voice over IP (VoIP) meant a lot of legwork and research to find the best solution for the needs, budget and expectations of Pentax Medical.

So to alleviate the additional stress that comes with researching the multitude of solutions available, Vito Micciolo, Pentax's director of IT, went to an existing partnership Pentax Medical had with CDW Corp. to get some help.

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Joining Pentax Medical 14 months ago, Micciolo said he recognized the opportunity to migrate the company to an updated and more efficient telecommunications system because the previous one was no longer providing the type of service needed and was beginning to have frequent outages. In choosing to revamp the entire system for the life care systems manufacturer, Micciolo said he found he needed to implement an MPLS system, a VoIP system and a VPN for remote workers. He also realized he was going to need some help researching the many and various options.

"We have a very lean IT department," Micciolo said, "and RFPs are a tedious process."

Micciolo said he turned to a partnership Pentax Medical already had with CDW, a corporation that researches and presents possible solutions for a company's specific technological requirements.

In this case, Pentax Medical had worked previously with CDW to find various hardware solutions. Relying on that established relationship, Micciolo went to CDW to find a VoIP solution that would fit his requirements -- without having to do the tedious research himself.

Working with both the Pentax Medical account representative at CDW and CDW's telecommunications solutions team, Micciolo described the capabilities the new telecommunications system must have, the type of workers the system would serve, and other specific requirements.

CDW's telecommunications team handles various services, including local and long-distance voice service, Internet connectivity, video and audio conferencing, co-location services, VoIP, VoWLAN, TDM and other traditional voice communications services -- working to find the technology that best fits the specific needs of individual companies.

After the customer approaches CDW, the parties sit down for a one-on-one discussion about the company's existing technology, what exactly the company wants the new solution to accomplish, and why it wants a specific technology. CDW's telecommunications team started the research process, checking with its own partners, completing the call for proposals, and determining a handful of solutions that would best meet Pentax Medical's needs.

With regard to VoIP, CDW voice and data specialist Chuck Ludwig said, "Customers are looking for different flavors of VoIP, whether they are an SMB or a large enterprise, and what their previous voice solution was influences what they want for the next step."

Once the process was under way, CDW returned to Pentax Medical periodically with its findings and presented the various solutions. The continual feedback throughout the process helped CDW narrow the options to ones that would best fit Pentax Medical's needs. After three months of research and consideration, Pentax Medical selected its choices from among CDW's suggestions.

Pentax Medical chose Global Crossing as its new service provider, replacing its aging frame-relay system with a new MPLS wide area network to boost its Internet service, and improving its voice services in the process.

Micciolo said that after nearly a full year of satisfactory service, the decision to let CDW handle the legwork in finding the various solutions was a good one.

"Our experience has been excellent," he said. "On the rare occasion when there is an outage in the system, they call us before we have time to call them. Plus, we have reduced our total service bill by about $22,000 per month -- more than half of what we had been paying with the former provider."

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