Unified comms generates Verve for energy company

New severs to replace legacy network for WA energy company Verve Energy.

Muja power station

Muja power station

Western Australia-based Verve Energy will slash voice and data costs by centralising telecoms across its six power stations and additional remote sites using unified communications servers.

The government-owned company operates five power stations that serve the South West Interconnected System in WA. It was formed in 2006 from then-energy monolith Western Power which was carved into four entities following state energy reforms.

Verve Energy CIO Peter Lawrence said three unified communications boxes, the first deployment of its type in the country, will be installed to cut voice and data trunking costs between sites.

“We depended on the relationship with Western Power for all of our voice and data requirements up until now,” Lawrence said.

“We are upgrading our PABXs (Public Automatic Branch Exchanges) at Muja and Kwinana with the [NEC Univerge] SV8500s, and replacing the SV7000 at the Perth [head] office.

“It will give us one voice platform in three boxes that allows us to eliminate costs from voice trunks facilities that were part of the simple PBX relationship with Western Power. We've used the data trunks to supply [a relocated] site with voice services from the Perth office PABX.”

The company will install an SV8500 in front of its Kwinana PABX this week to provide immediate trunking with other call functions to be made available later. The new box in the Muja site is already installed and will be online in the next few weeks after some minor scheduling issues are resolved.

New fibre cabling will be installed for the unified communications network which will support some 560 devices across the sites.

NEC unified communications business manager Steve Woff said the SV8500s use 23 percent less power than its predecessors and will target enterprise and state and federal government markets.

“[The device] signals the next phase of our product roadmap by delivering a communications suite that can handle the most scalable of environments,” Woff said in a statement.

“Unified Communications is on the CIO radar and is something that they are looking at as a way of reducing operational and collaboration costs and make their workforce more efficient.”

The box can handle up to 192,000 IP extensions, according to NEC, and will integrate with third party applications including SAP, Microsoft CRM and Office, and IBM Sametime if it is used with its Unified Communications for Enterprise software.

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