Silicon Valley based Euphonix, a leading manufacturer of large-format digital audio consoles, media controllers, and peripherals, has provided customers worldwide with trusted broadcast, post, live sound, and music production solutions for more than 21 years. It counts among its global broadcast clients some of the biggest names in entertainment including the ESPN, Harpo Productions, CNN, and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Even the space shuttle broadcast is mixed on a Euphonix console. Hundreds of feature films including the recent film, Slumdog Millionaire, which won the 2009 Academy Award for “Best Sound Mixing,” have been mixed on Euphonix consoles. Each of these clients demand the very highest audio quality from their Euphonix solutions, and the time had come for Euphonix to start demanding the same sound quality from its telephony solution.
Tasked with the modernization of the Euphonix phone system, Euphonix’s Directorof IT, Andor Izsak, initially found the offerings of traditional PBX vendors to be cost prohibitive and, due to budget constraints, was forced to put the project on hold. A move to a new, larger headquarters facility a year later put the issue back on the table and forced Izsak to find an alternative to the outdated and costly options he’d evaluated previously.
“I looked at all the usual suspects when I began the search for a new telephony system, but they wanted up to $100,000, and that was simply not in our budget” explains Izsak. “When we moved to the new headquarters, there was no way to take the old phone system with us, so I started the search again, this time I looked at the phone systems other companies had deployed.”
Key requirements for the new phone system were sound quality, ease of use, in-house administration and ability to integrate remote users. Euphonix also wanted to eliminate the cost and administration of branch office phone systems, host call conferences in house and eliminate the cost and administration of inter-office communication.
Open source Linux versus Windows
Izsak began researching IP PBX solutions and quickly realized he did not have the time for an open source Linux solution, where support, timely updates and ongoing product development may be an issue. He also required a solution that could run on Microsoft Windows and had tight Windows integration.
In addition, an open source Linux solutions would require a much longer time to test and deploy and, as a result the Total Cost of Ownership of a Linux open source solution was going to be much higher then using a commercial solution such as 3CX Phone System for Windows.
Easy installation & Management
“I came upon 3CX, downloaded the free software package and was very pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily I was able to set up a small home phone network,” recounts Izsak. “I started talking with 3CX and settled on the enterprise package with two years of support. Within a week and a half, I had the basic functionality of the old systems replicated at the new site. Not only was the roll out simple and fast, we saved a substantial amount of money going with 3CX.”
Izsak estimates savings of up to 60% in the first 12 months of use and anticipates the new system paying for itself in reduced operating costs within a year. In addition, further cost reductions are expected when the soft phone clients are deployed on wifi enabled cell phones.
These cost savings are achieved in the following way:
- Euphonix was able to leverage a VoIP provider, eliminating ATT’s rate plans. This results in at least $40,000 saving per year.
- Interoffice communications can now take place via a 3CX bridge over the internet and are thus completely free. This saves an additional $10,000 per year.
- Euphonix can reduce conferencing service costs.
- Additional future savings are projected by using softphones and handhelds. These savings are projected at $30,000 per year.
- In addition, the acquisition cost of 3CX Phone System was about $50,000 less then a comparable system from Nortel and Avaya!
Additional time and cost savings are being realized through the flexibility enabled by the 3CX software package. Previously, if changes to the phone system were required, a third party would have to come out to program the system. Since the implementation of the VoIP telephony solution, the receptionist is the PRIMARY phone administrator, handling all of the phone system administrative tasks on her own after less than a week of training. The ability of an internal resource to create new extensions, set up queues and ring groups and manage call forwarding is resulting in significant time and money savings.
Euphonix is now experiencing the many advantages of a true software IPPBX solution at a small fraction of the cost of the traditional PBX manufacturers.”
Polycom phones selected for audio quality
Andor wanted excellent sound quality and Polycom phones had been recommended both for their conference phones as well as their HD voice quality. Andor rolled out a mix of 80 + Polycom IP320, IP560, IP650 and IP 7000 phones. A few SNOM M3 wireless phones were also deployed.
To connect to the PSTN, Euphonix uses ATT FlexIP T1 with 16 call paths and a Broadvox SIP trunk with 10 call paths. In addition, 3 analog lines are connected as well. The connection to the T1 trunk is handled by a Patton 4960 gateway.
Backup on PSTN is also handled by a Patton 4114. Analog fax machines connect via the GrandStream GXW4004.
Euphonix still has a contract with AT&T for their phone services that does not expire for another 18 months. So, they still use AT&T for all incoming calls since they have to pay a contract minimum. But all outgoing traffic is routed to Broadvox and when the contract is up, Euphonix will save another $1100 per month. 3CX routing rules made it easy to do this.
Izsak’s goals when he set out to build the new phone network were straightforward: provide the best possible sound quality to his users and give them the highest quality device to use; and save money on total communication costs.
“The 3CX & Polycom solution is working tremendously well, users are extremely happy,” Izsak reports. “They are noticing the sound quality difference. For example, our VP of engineering who is a well established audio industry professional has been very impressed by the solution and is asking me all about it – What kind of codecs did we use? How did we get such good quality? etc.”
The open-standards nature of the Polycom/3CX solution has also provided substantial benefit for Euphonix, allowing the company to essentially choose from any client application to maximize the reach and benefits of the VoIPdeployment. “We can pretty much use any client out there, we use the 3CXPhone software client on our windows laptops and Xlite on our Macbooks” says Izsak. “We’ve also been able to deploy software on most of our users’ cell phones that allows them to access the VoIP phone system anytime, anywhere as long as they have access to a Wi-Fi network. This has been very important from both a convenience and cost savings perspective as we’ll be seeing a significant reduction in cell phone expenses in the near future.”
When asked if expanding the VoIP deployment beyond the US offices is in the plans, Izsak responds with an emphatic: “Absolutely! As soon as we’re done with the US deployment, we’ll implement the VoIP solution in London and then Tokyo. The savings are just so tremendous and, as importantly, word gets around quickly. Everyone is so happy with the new system that the remote offices heard about it and immediately started to ask for the same thing.”
- 3CX Enterprise Edition 32SC software IPPBX for Windows
- Polycom SoundPoint IP 320
- Polycom SoundPoint IP 560
- Polycom SoundPoint IP 650
- Polycom SoundStation IP 7000
Results and Benefits
- 60% (80+ after full implementation) reduction in communication costs realized in 12 months
- Unsurpassed sound quality
- Drastically reduced turn-around time for phone system,moves, adds and changes
- Significantly easier phone system administration
- Added convenience for users though client applications