Quadion HQ Adopts Cisco IP and Wireless With Help from Phenomenal
January 6, 2005
By Cindy McDowell, News@Cisco
Phenomenal Networks Inc., headquartered in Edina, Minnesota, is a Cisco® Premier Certified Partner with specializations in IP telephony and wireless technology. Phenomenal Networks has built a reputation as a leader in advanced data communication systems on a local, national, and international basis.
The Cisco partner had deployed a Cisco IP Communications videoconferencing solution for the manufacturing company Minnesota Rubber. The company wanted to unify geographically dispersed plants and offices, and reduce phone and videoconferencing costs. Based on the enormous success of that deployment, Quadion Corporation, the holding company of Minnesota Rubber, decided to adopt Cisco IP Communications for a new building that the company recently purchased to consolidate operations.
Central to the Phenomenal Networks business model is the belief that customers should be regarded as business partners, says Dave Shepherdson, CEO and president of Phenomenal Networks. "We like to see our customers' businesses grow as a result of what we can do," he says. "We want to be an extension of the company and find new ways to reduce costs or streamline the business processes."
To this end, Phenomenal Networks designed and deployed a Cisco IP Communications solution to help Minnesota Rubber, a Quadion company, unify plants and offices while reducing phone and videoconferencing costs. Based on the success of that deployment, which includes improved data streaming and cost reduction, and the ability to handle nearly 10,000 calls a week, Quadion looked to Phenomenal Networks when it decided to deploy IP Communications throughout a new building it had purchased.
"When we worked with Minnesota Rubber, we immersed ourselves in their business processes and found that by changing the way things are done from a technical perspective, we could reduce the company's overall cost of doing business," says Shepherdson. "Overall, Quadion is a very technically savvy company that is always looking at how technology can improve its business."
For this deployment, Quadion had very specific needs. "First, they wanted the entire building to be wireless enabled, second, they wanted IP communications, and third, they wanted IP over wireless for the engineering staff," says Shepherdson.
This last requirement would help ensure that Quadion customers would have access to the design engineer who was working on their project at any time. Whether the engineers are in their first-floor offices, testing designs in the basement test lab, or having lunch in the company cafeteria, they would be readily available to communicate with customers.
"Since our engineering staff handles large CAD CAM files, we also wanted to increase the speed at which they could be sent," says Steve Paskach, Director of Information Technology. "We also needed to make sure that the current installation of our video IP network was folded into this new deployment."
The Phenomenal Networks team worked with Quadion IT staff to design a Cisco IP Communications system that includes wireless IP, video over IP, and wired IP communications. First, the teams chose a Cisco Catalyst® 6596 Switch with a 720 supervisor for the core network to help ensure the handling of quality of service (QoS) for each of the IP applications. Then they made sure that the Cisco Catalyst 6596 Switch was populated with Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports so they could hook up wireless access points throughout the building without running additional power. The engineering desktops would run Gigabit Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches with Gigabit to the core Cisco Catalyst® 6596 Switch
Wireless access points were installed throughout the building, including the company cafeteria. Phenomenal Networks included a redundant Cisco CallManager telephony system, with 160 Cisco IP phones and 20 Cisco 7920 wireless IP phones and a Cisco unified messaging solution in the deployment, as well as an IP-to-analog converter for traditional analog devices such as fax machines.
The resulting Cisco IP Communications system, which includes the largest deployment of Cisco 7920 IP phones in the state of Minnesota, has helped increase Quadion's engineering productivity by 100 percent.
Phenomenal Networks allotted six weeks to design the IP communications solution for Quadion and handle upfront training. The actual deployment took just three days.
"With the Cisco wireless IP solution, our customers and engineers can collaborate at any time of the day, which moves projects along much faster," says Paskach.
"Quadion employees moved out of the old building on a Friday and had to be fully operational by the following Tuesday," says Shepherdson. "We deployed phones over the weekend and had Monday to handle any issues that occurred. By start of business on Tuesday [employees] were fully operational."
Paskach, cites several advantages of its new Cisco IP Communications system:
"We are an international company that is looking at expanding locations," he says. "With the Cisco solution designed and deployed by Phenomenal Networks we can integrate new offices in our main headquarters and have four-digit dialing anywhere in the world with no toll costs. Additionally, the company's annual expenditure on moves, adds, and changes that totaled upwards of $15,000 per year has disappeared."
Cindy McDowell is a freelance journalist located in Santa Cruz, CA.
Most Recent NewsHow The Internet Is Preserving Korea's Cultural Heritage
By Amy Cortese 5/21/2013
Why Power Companies are Delving into Data
By Jason Deign 5/20/2013
Senior Executives Say Cloud-Based Collaboration Leads to Higher Business Performance