Since 1978, ACS Technologies has grown steadily to serve nearly 50,000 clients in all 50 states, and Canada. We now have five regional offices along with our headquarters in Florence, South Carolina.
While we like our Avaya Aura™ core, we have been taking a close look at a hybrid model, retaining our data center in Florence, managed by ConvergeOne, and adding a virtualization component with a VMware stack in the cloud.
As outlined in a presentation at Avaya ENGAGE 2019 on “CM 6.3 Physical to CM 7.0 Virtual – A Customer’s Perspective: Avaya + VMware,” we had several drivers for migrating some of our operations to the cloud. One of the key issues was disaster recovery – a particular concern after our state experienced severe flooding from Hurricane Florence last year.
Along with dispersing our data centers as part of our DR strategy, we also wanted to evaluate how moving from a
In that process, we grew to appreciate Avaya’s ability to offer lots of options, as we retained a premise-based core while upgrading to Aura 7.1 virtual, along with ConvergeOne data centers for geographic redundancy.
We chose to eliminate media gateways from our infrastructure, and move to three VMware compatible media servers. That allows us to eliminate all analog stations and trunks, and the media server now handles our announcements as well. – Dustin Fails
We chose to eliminate media gateways from our infrastructure, and move to three VMware compatible media servers. That allows us to eliminate all analog stations and trunks, and the media server now handles our announcements as well. We also put in SIP phones that allow us to reconfigure our remote workers if necessary.
Along the way, we learned the importance of addressing certification issues at an early stage in the planning. Also, we found that having a data networking background was very beneficial in making migration decisions. You always want to test your redundancies and potential failovers. Fortunately, our migration went very smoothly with no “gotchas.”
For ACS, the results of our migration last year have been very positive, including the following:
- Better redundancy, as our call center at headquarters is no longer tied to physical digital phones.
- A much better DR plan, reducing the backup load on our own servers.
- Lower maintenance costs by moving to media servers and supporting fax messaging from email.
- Elimination of media gateways.
- Faster and easier software upgrades.
- IP address consolidation for greater efficiency.
Overall, we were able to reduce our Avaya maintenance costs by $30,000 a year and invest that money into a more robust DR solution for a net savings of $3,800 a year. And we are looking forward to upgrading multiple aspects of our network this year at nominal pricing.