Air Met Breathes Better with Samsung
Established in 1984, Air Met has become one of Australia’s market leaders in the supply and service of equipment which protects people in the workplace. Air Met supplies their national client base with solutions to the problems of determining levels of exposure to hazardous substances and physical agents in the environment such as asbestos, toxic gases, sound pressure, carbon monoxide and solvents. The company has expanded to incorporate 6 offices and 28 staff around Australia, yet in their own words, their previous business communications system was ‘not keeping up with business’.
Meeting the Challenge
“Because we are so spread out around the country, an effective communications system is very important to us,” explains Air Met Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Langdon. “Our head office is in Melbourne but with Sales and Service staff in the states, some of whom are completely mobile phone dependant, we needed a new platform which pulled it all together. Plus, lots of our products are high-tech – our phone system was just not keeping up with the business.”
Andrew says that Air Met’s old Commander system had reached its limits and was not servicing the organisation’s internal or external communications needs anymore.
“The Commander was good in its day, but it offered limited networking capability and a Virtual Private Network we had was only useful for data, not voice transmission. The bottom line was that we wanted something that provided networked voice and data, yet kept costs down.”
And that’s where Samsung came in.
The Samsung Solution
“Samsung approached us at the right time,” says Andrew. “Of all the phone companies knocking on our door, Samsung best understood our objective of cost effectively getting the best possible communications within our head office and state branches, and giving us room to move in the future.”
Andrew and his co-Project Manager, Johanne Oosthuizen, stipulated in their brief to Samsung that they also wanted a system which fully interfaced with their existing Goldmine customer relationship management software – a client database with inbound and outbound capability for service and sales staff that keeps the types of records required by Air Met, their clients and industry authorities.
The solution was devised by the Samsung Communications Centre in Melbourne around these specific needs. Air Met commenced rollout with the head office installation in August 2005 of an OfficeServ500 - Samsung’s flagship business communications system. The Samsung OfficeServ is a powerful, fully featured voice system with comprehensive IP capability and capacity for up to 600 extensions.
Over the next 6 months, Samsung OfficeServ12’s were installed in the smaller interstate branch offices in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales. All sites were networked together to provide a connected network which allows staff wherever they are to make internal calls over a virtual private network (VPN). Staff share selected features across the network and can access centralised functionality – from simple call forwarding and call transfers to advanced features such as centralised operator services, voice mail, automated attendant and automatic call distribution.
The OfficeServ 12 installed in Air Met’s Western Australian and New South Wales interstate branches are ideal for smaller branch offices or single site applications. The Samsung OfficeServ 12 provided IP and WAN solutions, a full suite of Computer Telephony Integration applications and an impressive range of user features and capabilities, which delivered the same advanced user functionality as the larger head office system.
In South Australia, and Townsville Queensland, Air Met decided to install a single IP handset in each site. The IP extensions are connected to the Melbourne OfficeServ 500 via a LAN/WAN connection, (and can also be connected via Broadband DSL network if required). The IP extensions operate as simple “internal” extensions from the Melbourne system, allowing these branch offices to easily communicate with Melbourne Head Office and other branches by cost effectively utilising spare bandwidth on existing data links.
OfficeServ’s range of IP telephones are designed for ease of use – incorporating features such as navigation keys, user interface screens and built-in phone books – as well as providing traditional business communication features.
While the hardware implementation was faultless, connectivity with two of Air Met’s interstate offices experienced a few initial network connectivity drawbacks – Samsung, however, were quick to respond, analyse and resolve the issues.
“We had some initial teething problems in connecting the two remote sites”, explains Johanne. “But, once the network issue had been analysed and Samsung knew what to do, they were right onto it. We have a service agreement with Samsung and it’s the best investment we made. We feel free to contact technicians at any time and we always get a good response.”
The Results for Air Met Scientific
Andrew and Johanne say that their Samsung system is now delivering results. “And even though we have increased communication between branches and head office because it is so easy just to dial an extension, we are actually anticipating a reduction in STD bills.”
The Samsung OfficeServ Auto Attendant feature can answer multiple calls simultaneously, providing different greetings for different departments. External callers are prompted by the auto attendant to enter their choice of destination for direct connection to the correct person, without the need for a receptionist to handle the call. And Direct Indial means that every extension or department can be allocated a unique telephone number for callers to bypass reception and dial direct.
Air Met are now bedding down the system and will continue to ‘re-educate’ their staff so that they are confident to make the most of its functionality. “We may investigate some GSM options as well,” adds Andrew Langdon. “But right now, we would recommend the Samsung system itself and are happy to just explore the new possibilities.”
Key Business Benefits
- Vastly improved communications capability from branch to branch
- Free inter-site calls across the IP network with full feature transparency between sites
- Centralised voicemail system and automated call handling - no need for a Receptionist to answer and direct all calls
- Full interface and integration with existing database.