The Arthritis Foundation, since 1948, has led the fight against arthritis and related conditions. As the largest national non-profit in the area of arthritis, the organization provides public health education, pursues public policy and legislation, and conducts evidence-based programs aimed at improving the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Based in Atlanta with multiple service points across the country, the Arthritis Foundation offers information and tools to help people live a better life with arthritis.
With headquarters in Atlanta and more than 60 sites across the U.S., the Arthritis Foundation knew that networking all their office phones would make a significant impact on cost as well as efficiency. However, with each office under independent contracts, they knew it would be difficult to make a switch all at once. In early 2010, Arthritis Foundation headquarters was nearing the end of a five year phone system lease. Management decided it was the ideal time to pursue a systematic, organization-wide phone system overhaul.
After considerable research, Jeff Hulsey, Senior Director of Technical Services selected Cisco as the preferred product. The challenge then was ensuring the best options were chosen for the nationwide deployment of a unified system and selecting a vendor for implementation.
“From the beginning, Adcap Network Systems helped us find the right fit by bringing in a MPLS carrier that could handle SIP voice traffic as well as position us for video conferencing in the future,” said Hulsey. “That initial consultation with Adcap really gave us the confidence to move forward.”
At Arthritis Foundation headquarters, the solution they moved forward with included C200M servers and the UCCX (Unified Contact Center Express) to run their contact center. While the number of phones varies at each location, the typical set up at headquarters as well as each office includes 2911 Voice Gateways, 2960 PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches, 7942 phones and 7937 conference phones. This setup has allowed the organization to offer remote dialing for off-site employees.
Since project inception in April 2010 through August 2012, about half of the Arthritis Foundation offices have been rolled into the new phone system with hopes that the majority of all offices will be integrated within the next year.
“When we signed on, Adcap understood this was going to be a long-term deployment. It’s easy to lose focus over such a period of time, but our account managers have stepped up and kept the process moving. Plus, we have maintained the same project manager which is a great help with project continuity.”
Even with only half of the offices online, the long-distance cost savings the Arthritis Foundation has experienced has been considerable. “And the more sites we can bring on the more savings we will realize,” said Hulsey. The organization has also experienced several significant operational benefits—most notable being 4-digit dialing across regions for improved ease of use.
“Adding the call center helps us deliver better customer service and utilizing the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator desktop application to help our users manage their calls provides a better user experience,” said Hulsey. “Plus, we have experienced significant time management boosts with the ability to create and manage contacts so employees know who is available within the organization.” The Arthritis Foundation is also leveraging remote dialing, allowing off-site employees to enjoy the same in-office experience.
While IT personnel have noted that administration of the new system is slightly more complicated, Hulsey has also seen the benefit of leveraging Adcap’s support services. “Utilizing Adcap’s support actually augments my staff and helps us manage the project from more of a full network view which makes us fully vested in bringing these sites on and managing them.” Hulsey continued, “It’s my job to find solutions. From sales through support, Adcap has guided us and helped us find and implement the most ideal solutions.”
Last Updated: January 8th, 2013 |