IIMAK Case Study
Extreme Networks delivers a high-performance infrastructure for IIMAK’s powerful ShoreTel IP solution
Performance reliability deteriorating
IIMAK needed to upgrade its infrastructure to keep up with its financial, administrative, and order fulfillment applications. The previous 3Com infrastructure was no longer sufficient.
Infrastructure that can keep up high volume
IIMAK’s global network needed to support a plant that runs around the clock. With volume increasing, IIMAK needed to upgrade its infrastructure to keep up.
IIMAK began investigating infrastructure vendors, focusing on Gigabit solutions that would increase bandwidth and processing efficiency. The company was able to disqualify solutions that could not support Voice over IP (VoIP). Finally, the company needed VLAN capabilities so that it could separate traffic to optimize performance.
After close scrutiny, evaluating its impressive customer list and learning that Extreme Networks had won important clients, the choice became clear. Extreme Networks replaced IIMAK’s shared-hub network with a multi-Gigabit solution, ordering two BlackDiamond® switches for the core and various Summit® switches for the edge and closets.
Shortly after deploying the new Extreme Networks® Gigabit Ethernet solution, IIMAK began its quest to find an IP telephony solution that would take advantage of the powerful and ultra-reliable infrastructure.
IIMAK considered various telephony solutions from Avaya, Fujitsu, Mitel, Nortel, and ShoreTel. The company’s criteria included a system that would provide a unified front to the world and allow for four-digit dialing among its U.S., Mexico, and Belgium locations, which would provide significant toll-charge savings; a simplified solution that would allow MACs to be done in-house; and finally, to boost employee productivity with a telephony system integrated tightly with Microsoft Office on user desktops.
After talking to customer references and observing product demonstrations, IIMAK chose ShoreTel. IIMAK cites multi-site networking capability, ShoreTel’s Call Manager, and ease of administration as the top three reasons for going with ShoreTel.
ShoreTel and Extreme Networks build a state-of-the-art VoIP solution
Along with an integration partner, Extreme Networks worked with IIMAK on the design and implementation of the network. IIMAK specifically appreciates the overall increased bandwidth and processing efficiency. In addition, the ability to easily create and change VLANs on the fly is particularly useful. “Before, we had no VLAN capability, and with Extreme Networks, we not only have the ability but it’s very easy to create them,” says Sal Iannello, technical services manager for IIMAK.
In addition, with the new Extreme Networks solution, IIMAK was ready to implement VoIP. “We have remote locations in foreign countries, and we’re able to use VoIP to do extension-toextension dialing,” says Iannello. “We use VLANs to separate data and voice, and we’ve established a branch-to-branch VPN connection for security. Without Extreme Networks, we wouldn’t have been able to do VoIP.”
IIMAK uses ShoreTel Director for system management, troubleshooting, and planning purposes. From anywhere on the network, an IIMAK network administrator can launch a Web browser and gain access to ShoreTel Director and manage any site and feature, including the PBX, voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. When a new user is added, the centralized database is automatically updated and every voice switch is notified.
“WE NEEDED TO ESTABLISH A UNIFIED FRONT TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, AND SHORETEL HAS ALLOWED US TO DO THAT. ALSO, BECAUSE SHORETEL’S SOLUTION IS SOFTWAREBASED AND MODULAR, EVERYONE HAS THE SAME EXPERIENCE AS EMPLOYEES AT OUR HEADQUARTERS.”
Sal Iannello, Technical Services Manager
“We appreciate that we can have the same applications and functionality across all our sites,” explains Iannello. “We needed to establish a unified front to the outside world, and ShoreTel has allowed us to do that. Also, because ShoreTel’s solution is software-based and modular, everyone has the same experience as employees at our headquarters. We get full and consistent functionality from any site.”
The ShoreTel system integrates with Microsoft Outlook on IIMAK’s users’ desktops, creating a multimedia communications center—IIMAK employees have control over both voice and email messages. ShoreTel’s Call Manager offers employees “presence” intelligence, meaning the current status of each person is indicated on the screen. The graphical interface of Call Manager also provides access to advanced features, including on-the-fly conferencing and document sharing.
In addition to creating a unified front, ShoreTel’s solution is designed to be easy to manage inhouse. “The graphical user interface is just as ShoreTel promised—it’s so much easier than command line,” states Iannello. “And there’s no need to have a fleet of support trucks to support the ShoreTel gear. We used to have to call on an outside party to make changes with our old Mitel system—for anything and everything. Now we can do it ourselves, which is a big benefit, especially considering the rate at which IIMAK is growing.”
Finally, there are noteworthy long-distance savings. With the ShoreTel system, IIMAK is saving at least $500 per month in toll charges. “When you add those savings to the savings from managing it inhouse, it really adds up,” says Iannello.
IIMAK enjoys the best of all telephony worlds with Extreme Networks and ShoreTel
The partnership of Extreme Networks and ShoreTel has provided numerous benefits. With the highperformance and reliable infrastructure created by Extreme Networks, IIMAK is able to enjoy the robust feature set of the ShoreTel VoIP system, including extension dialing among offices and countries, crisp and clear voice quality, toll bypass, unified messaging, point-and-click dialing, dragand-drop transferring, and optimal flexibility and mobility.
“We could not even consider a powerful IP communications solution like the ShoreTel system without having upgraded to Extreme Networks,” concludes Iannello. “With Extreme Networks, our employees are more productive. ShoreTel then came in and made it possible to create a unified front, extend powerful calling features to all our users, and manage the whole thing from inside. We’re more than satisfied with both Extreme Networks and ShoreTel.”
“WHEN YOU ADD THOSE SAVINGS TO THE SAVINGS FROM MANAGING IT INHOUSE, IT REALLY ADDS UP.”
- IIMAK’s global network, with 550 employees and a 24x7 production schedule, was not keeping up. A new IP communication system was needed to tie sites together and simplify the management so that MACs could be administered in-house.
- Extreme Networks®, Inc. designed a Gigabit Ethernet switching solution and ShoreTel provided ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel Director for ease of administration and management.
- Powerful call management
- Single management interface
- Global unified presence
- High performance and reliable network