If deploying a voice-over-IP system is proving more difficult than vendors have claimed, help may be here from Logicalis Group, which this week is adding an IP telephony managed service to its offerings.
Logicalis, a division of Datatec Ltd., is expanding to support IP telephony systems from Cisco Systems Inc., following customer demand, said Terry Laber, Logicalis CIO. Such services will enable customers to migrate voice traffic to the data network with an IP telephony support system behind the migration. The result: savings in time and expense.
The company, based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., monitors networks remotely to catch and correct disruptions before they are visible to users. Rather than monitoring traffic patterns alone, Logicalis also monitors the performance of services and applications.
Businesses outsource this area of service management so that their IT professionals can concentrate on their own businesses rather than on network disruptions, said Wayne Kiphart, director of managed services operations at Logicalis. "We do the daily firefighting so their engineers can focus on projects," Kiphart said.
University Healthcare Services Associates, in Augusta, Ga., began deploying a VOIP system from Cisco two years ago at its seven remote home health offices after an enthusiastic IT employee convinced the organization that he could manage the implementation, said Rob Tiller, University Healthcares technical support manager. Unfortunately, the enthusiastic employee changed jobs before completing the project, and Tillers team got bogged down battling deployment glitches, Tiller said.
"We found out pretty quickly that it does get pretty involved," Tiller said.
At one remote site, a telephone did not ring when callers dialed it—a dire problem for a medical facility. University Healthcare had contracted with a large telecommunications company to facilitate the VOIP implementation, but the company was unable to solve the problem. Eighteen months after beginning the deployment, Tiller turned to Logicalis, which identified a router as the problem.
Logicalis now manages the health care groups core switches, as well as its IP telephony system. By outsourcing these tasks, Tiller can focus his team on projects and can save money on training as well, he said.
"I am looking to save money in technical and training services by outsourcing some of these services," Tiller said. "Its a cost-effective way for me to maintain expertise."
Among widespread problems Logicalis has found in managing enterprise networks is that WAN circuits managed by carriers are not actively monitored to stop disruptions at the user-service level, Kiphart said. In addition, enterprises often have a hodgepodge of network gear and are unaware of the full inventory and its capabilities.
Logicalis is also unveiling this week services covering security and intrusion detection. Evaluating network vulnerabilities is the first step, followed by instruction on what parts of the network need to be better locked. ´