News Release

Envision Credit Union Deploys IP Telephony System to Ease Company Merger, Improve Communications and Efficiency

Vancouver, BC - March 27, 2002 - Envision Credit Union,
Mar 27, 2002

Vancouver, BC - March 27, 2002 - Envision Credit Union, Canada's fourth largest credit union, has installed a sophisticated network infrastructure enabling the newly merged company to deploy voice and data services over a single IP network.

Envision - established in January, 2001 as a result of the merger of Delta Credit Union and First Heritage Credit Union - designed, developed and implemented the converged Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (Cisco AVVID) network in five months and within the allocated budget. To date, Envision's IP telephony implementation services approximately 500 users, and is projected to grow to over 1,000 in the next two years as legacy PBX users migrate to the new system and a new corporate headquarters is added. Future plans also include the addition of an IP contact centre.

According to Envision, the IP telephony implementation has enabled the roll-out of a new suite of IP-based telephony applications including an integrated web-based tool that enables remote management of phones and user accounts, to all 34 branches and more than 500 users. The converged network went live on December 1st, 2001 and since that time operating costs have been reduced by 50 percent compared with the separate operations of the former voice and data networks. With 34 branches across B.C.'s lower mainland, the company is also saving significantly on long distance tolls; its IT staff is conserving resources by managing a single converged network; employees are benefiting from the efficiency and convenience of unified messaging, allowing them to manage e-mail and voice messages from their IP phone or e-mail inbox; and user friendly integration with applications has improved efficiency and customer service capabilities. In addition, Envision's IT staff has reported simplified network management and improved company-wide communications as a result of the new network.

"The convergence of voice and data technologies is clearly where the IT industry is heading," said Hank Poelvoorde, vice president of technology and information systems for Envision. "Establishing a comprehensive voice and data infrastructure places us in a strong position to take advantage of technology advances as they develop and to meet Envision's member and client business strategies of delivering exceptional value and I.T. effectiveness. The Cisco solution allowed us to implement a more robust, scalable and reliable central infrastructure at less than the original cost of the two independent networks."

Envision's IT team saw the merger as the opportune time to make an investment in an IP Telephony solution that would provide an infrastructure for growth that includes a suite of IP-based enterprise applications and productivity tools. Envision created a Cisco AVVID-based network architecture as the foundation for its new suite of applications, used VoIP technology to deliver converged voice and data networks to the branches and Cisco IP Phones to extend voice/data convergence to the desktop. According to Poelvoorde, Cisco IP technology also presented the best solution for integrating the new IP network with Delta's legacy PBX environment, while ensuring performance, management and bandwidth availability.

"The Cisco VoIP gateway allows us to seamlessly connect the new IP telephony environment with our legacy PBX system, scheduled for replacement within 2 to 3 years. This interoperability allows us to transition our systems gradually and get full ROI out of legacy investments," said Poelvoorde.

"We saw our merger as a tremendous opportunity to take a leadership position in our industry in terms of technology implementation," added Poelvoorde. "A lot was riding on this project and we had a very short timeline, but Cisco and our integrator, Telus National Systems, made it work. Our investment in the Cisco solution has produced immediate cost-savings."

Technology for Growth

"Envision is a terrific example of a forward-thinking company implementing advanced technology to improve efficiency and productivity today, and to ensure competitiveness in the future," said Gilles St. Hilaire, Regional Manager, Western Canada for Cisco Systems Canada. "Cisco's industry-leading IP telephony solution provides a scalable, flexible and reliable platform that fully integrates with Envision's applications, providing huge productivity gains over legacy PBX systems. As their organization grows, Envision can quickly and easily implement an increasing range of converged voice and data applications, such as call centre management and video conferencing."

About Envision Credit Union

Envision Credit Union is a full-service credit union, created in 2001from the amalgamation of FIRST Heritage Savings Credit Union and Delta Credit Union. Envision Credit Union, with over $2 billion in assets and over 100,000 members, operates 18 credit union branches and 16 insurance offices throughout British Columbia Lower Mainland area, offering a full range of deposit, lending, and insurance services to individuals and to businesses. For more information, visit

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For Additional Information:

Willa Black
Cisco Systems Canada Co.
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Gareth Pettigrew
Strategic/Ampersand Inc.
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