07th Mar 2013

City of Langford enjoys more collaboration features and offers improved customer service, while achieving significant cost savings.

City of Langford, a young city incorporated in December 1992, has been the fastest growing municipality in British Columbia for over a decade. Between their two main sites, the City Hall and the Fire Hall, they have roughly 90 employees. As a small and agile city, with a visionary mayor, they wanted to leverage technology as much as possible to reduce costs as well as increase staff efficiency and collaboration to ultimately improve customer service.

City of Langford was an early adopter of Unified Communications (UC) messaging solutions from Microsoft and had been following the Lync product from infancy, starting with Exchange Instant Messaging. They relied heavily on presence information and when they approached ThinkTel, they were using Nortel’s Converged Office with Microsoft’s OCS 2007 R2 and a CS1000 Call Server to meet UC chat and voice requirements.

City of Langford was looking to perform an upgrade from Exchange 2007 to 2010 and in order to maintain, upgrade and integrate everything, they were looking at a complex proposal with a high level of investment amounting to $60,000-$70,000. This upgrade prompted them to review their UC solution and look at the option of discarding CS1000 and using voice-enabled Microsoft Lync as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) replacement.

Mike Palmer, Manager, Information Technology Department at City of Langford said: “We were using the complete Microsoft office suite including Outlook, SharePoint and Exchange. Their seamless integration and Lync’s rich feature set was a good argument to move over our legacy PBX to Microsoft Lync.”

With Microsoft Lync, the initial investment dropped by nearly 50 percent and also presented significant daily operational cost savings of over 50 percent. Mike Palmer said: “We are now getting more features and paying less. PRI with long distance used to cost us $800 per month and now we’re definitely under $400.”

City of Langford chose to work with ThinkTel to provide both Lync Professional Services and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking for both their City Hall and Fire Hall. Mike Palmer said: “I was looking for both a Lync Professional Services and SIP Trunking provider. ThinkTel could provide the whole package at a competitive rate.” He added: “I looked at other SIP Trunking providers and they all have multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) based network infrastructures, run on a dedicated environment and do not offer bursting, thus basically offering standard Primary Rate Interface (PRI). ThinkTel’s SIP Trunking offering is much more interesting and they are also the only Canadian company certified by Microsoft for SIP Trunking to Lync, so choosing them was a relatively easy choice.”

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