Client Background

Great West Newspapers and its subsidiaries — Rocky View Publishing, Mountain View Publishing, and Alberta Business Research — publish 20 titles in Alberta. Its printing division, Gazette Press, offers commercial printing services 24/7.

The organization consists of multiple offices spread over Alberta, with some in remote areas. Reliable phone service is a must, not only for communication between locations but also to provide connectivity for reporters to interview sources and compile stories. Great West Newspapers knew their system was antiquated and needed an upgrade, but they were not entirely sure what direction to take.

The Challenge

Aging equipment and the need for a modern solution.

Great West Newspapers’ prior phone system used a variety of different, dated, and often incompatible technologies to maintain business communication across the entire company and its subsidiaries. This legacy network included 15 different PBX system installations with 210 users, servicing 17 locations. The aging phone equipment presented compounding challenges anytime there were system problems. Some components had no replacement options available, meaning considerable effort and money was spent getting legacy equipment working again.

“The biggest driver in switching was the reduction of costs while providing the benefits of VoIP we never had with our traditional PBX systems” – Barry Dutchak, IT Director, Great West Newspapers

Realizing that change was needed to support the demands of their growing business, Great West looked to upgrade to a more modern business VoIP phone service and higher speed internet.

“The biggest driver in switching was the reduction of costs while providing the benefits of VoIP we never had with our traditional PBX systems,” says Barry Dutchak, Great West Newspapers’ IT Director.

The Solution

On-premise VoIP phone service and faster internet tailored to their business needs.

As part of Sunco’s Proven Process, the sales team conducted an in-depth and complimentary telecom bill audit, reviewing Great West Newspapers’ legacy communications network and phone bills. This gave Sunco insight on how to create an integrated solution to best meet Great West’s needs. The comprehensive on-premise VoIP solution included:

  • Mitel’s MiVoice Business system, complete with MiCollab (Mitel’s collaboration tool) and state of the art 6900 series desk sets
  • Softphones for employees working on the go
  • Integration with Microsoft Office 365
  • SIP trunking
  • Telus wholesale analog phone lines and DSL, where appropriate
  • Shaw high speed internet at Great West’s various sites, brokered by Sunco for maximum speed and cost savings
  • Direct lines with single number reach at most locations
  • 24/7 telecom managed services for the highest possible uptime and reliability

In order to maximize VoIP capabilities, Sunco migrated Great West’s analog rotary lines and PRI to cost-effective SIP trunks, reducing the number of lines, increasing functionality, and drastically lowering costs. “With our old system, a call coming into our Westlock office could not be easily transferred to St. Albert,” says Dutchak. “Now, at a glance, we can see if an employee is available regardless of location and easily transfer the call.”

After seeing the comprehensive proposal put forward by Sunco, Great West Newspapers opted to expand the initial scope of the project from just a network upgrade to a complete, Sunco-supported VoIP solution. “With the cost savings and the quality of their service, I know we made the right decision,” explains Dutchak.

The Outcome

Less money for a better business phone service.

The benefits of Sunco’s VoIP solution were numerous, convenient, and sometimes unexpected. In addition to centralizing their business phone service and giving all of their subsidiaries and locations dedicated lines, they realized an unforeseen plus: their mobile reporters were able to more easily record and transcribe phone conversations, greatly aiding story production. “This definitely is an efficiency we weren’t even considering with VoIP,” adds Dutchak.

Great West Newspapers’ new business VoIP phone service had other pros, including voicemail to email, free long distance in North America, detailed call histories, the aforementioned call recording, and the ability to see their system status at-a-glance.

Great West has offices in small communities throughout Alberta, remote locations with limited internet bandwidth. But Dutchak notes that these limitations did not hinder their business VoIP service’s benefits, with call quality outperforming their old system. “We’ve experienced little to no reliability issues,” he says. “In fact, we’ve experienced improved call quality, providing a richer experience when talking on the phone than before.”

VoIP offers superior failover options

Sunco designed redundancy and resiliency into Great West’s VoIP solution, leveraging the increased internet speeds and inherent flexibility of the VoIP system. Should any component of the system fail (hardware or network), automatic failover will fire up backup systems and send calls to secondary locations, ensuring Great West always stays connected.

“We realized a 30-40% savings in our telecommunications costs.” – Barry Dutchak, IT Director, Great West Newspapers

The organization’s most important goal, realizing cost savings, was met. Great West Newspapers enjoy a 30-40% savings in their telecom operating costs, all for a business phone service that is far more feature-rich and beneficial than their traditional telecom setup. Simply put, they’re paying less for vastly improved business communications.

Dutchak confirms that the new business VoIP phone service has performed flawlessly thus far. Should issues arise or if changes are needed, Sunco’s fully managed services are in effect 24/7, ensuring Great West receives front-of-the-line service and personal, expert support.

Business VoIP Phone Service for Your Organization

Sunco specializes in all manner of business phone services, including hosted and on-premise VoIP phone service, SIP trunking, internet services, and so much more. Our passion is to make business communication easier for our clients by adeptly consolidating their business communication needs and brokering the best possible deals with telecom providers, including Telus, Bell, and Shaw.

We can help! We would love to upgrade your business phone system to VoIP. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the right solution for your organization.

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