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3CX VoIP technology powers Team Lotus

Formula One™ is the ultimate in Motor Racing Technology.
3CX phone system is the communications technology that enables it to happen

The 2010 Formula One™ season at Bahrain Sakhir Circuit saw Team Lotus successfully complete the first race of the 2010 season. Back in December 2009, with around 30 employees and formidable plans, but as yet no physical car, Team Lotus had to step on the accelerator to reach many deadlines. Six months later, with 150 people on board and with the first race under their belt, Team Lotus achieved the near-impossible and had both cars classified in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

lotuscar-sm1The latest cutting edge motoring technology combined with driving skills is the essence of Formula One™. Technology can make or break the racing team, and when Team Lotus needed state of the art telephony technology that could be deployed at full throttle, it turned to 3CX. 3CX Phone System, itself in pole position amongst its competitors on the basis of its advanced technology, was chosen to be the communications backbone because it could reliably deliver the sophisticated features required coupled with flexibility and speed of deployment.

The CHALLENGE of telephony within Formula One™
High Tech, Robust and Mobile

“Team Lotus is a new entrant in Formula One™ and we needed to build a completely new unified communications  infrastructure that supported the development of a new team. Everyone at Team Lotus is focused on the job at hand, and that is building the best and most competitive racing car that we can. It was important that we partnered with technical suppliers that shared the same ethos of perfection and success that is why we turned to 3CX”. Paul Craig, General Manager.

Communications plays a very important role in Formula One™. The performance of the racing cars is being continually fine tuned, components and strategies discussed and this continuous interchange is largely dependent on the phone. With the World Championship lasting around nine months a year, spanning five continents from Silverstone to Shanghai – communications between HQ and the crew members on the track is one of the lifeblood of the operations in this sport.
lotus3Precisely because of this roaming element within Formula One™, Team Lotus was wary of implementing a system that relied on a host of local phone companies that would have to implement lines and issue new contact numbers every time the crew arrived on a track. The technical solution needed to be as high tech, robust and streamlined as the sophisticated machines it was supporting.

What Team Lotus REQUIRED

The requirements from Team Lotus were simple yet demanding; a unified communications platform that would connect the factory in Norfolk with the Malaysia offices as well as all testing sites and the 19 race tracks that span the globe.

Team Lotus needed the flexibility of a software based system as opposed to the rigid archaic traditional telephone systems. In addition, the system had to be based on Windows, as the team had better things to do then figuring out Linux based solution from the command line!

The list was short but packed a punch. Team Lotus needed;

  • A software based phone system under Windows
  • Support for remote personnel, anywhere
  • Easy to manage, reliable and secure
  • Highly scalable
  • Cost effective

The solution – BENEFITS of 3CX Phone System for Windows
Mobility & Manageability. Massive Savings & Unified Messaging too…

3CX was chosen as the Official Technical Supplier. 3CX Phone System Enterprise Edition 8 was implemented in a matter of days at the Technical Centre in Hingham, Norfolk with 1 Patton ISDN PRI gateway, SIP trunks and 130 Cisco SPA phones. The smooth roll out coupled with top-end functionality made it immediately apparent that this solution was a winner.

Mobility – Enabling Engineers to communicate wherever they are

lotuscar-sm3A major issue for Team Lotus and many other companies today is enabling staff to work remotely. 3CX VoIP technology makes this possible. Remote extensions trackside enables the race crew to talk to each other irrespective of their location. The MyPhone portal makes it easy for each employee to configure rules on how calls were to be treated and routed. That way important calls are never missed.

The remote PABX for the mobile crew will in future be set up at every Formula One™ racing track and will connect to the UK PABX as well as to SIP service providers.

Maintenance & Manageability

Because 3CX Phone System is software based, extensions and phone lines can be added on-the-go with a few clicks in order to build a highly responsive and reliable communications network. In fact, Bill Peters, Team Lotus Head of IT adds, “Configurability of 3CX is outstanding – we can easily make changes to the PBX ourselves, something that was unthinkable on a traditional PBX”. It is monitored just like any other Windows server application. Backups of the phone system are created automatically on a nightly basis so that in the extreme case of hardware failure, a machine can be quickly installed and up & running in minutes.

Multi- layered Savings

A large proportion of the Team Lotus phone traffic will be sent over inter-company VoIP circuits which deliver multi layered savings. High mobile phone costs with extensive roaming charges are avoided.

Team Lotus made initial significant savings when they chose 3CX phone system because of the lower Total Cost of Ownership and increased ROI whilst getting the most powerful and scalable software PABX on the market. By having VoIP as well as traditional landlines, there is another band of savings. Whenever remote employees are using their3CX soft phone instead of mobiles, this cuts call costs further.

Unified Messaging –all communications grouped in one inbox for the user

Employees have easy desktop call control and can contact colleagues and transfer calls with a click of a button. Voice mail and faxes are delivered to the users email inbox. “Desktop control and unified messaging features have drastically improved team communications – and 3CX delivered these features in an easy and manageable way“ said Bill Peters, Head of IT. The presence of colleagues at their extension is visual with 3CX, so that there was no more unnecessary making or transferring of calls. The system works with standard SIP IP phones or 3CXPhone(soft phone).


3CX is a perfect match for Team Lotus in the world of telephony as 3CX also goes head to head with long established names in the business. However the 3CX brand is powering ahead with its high tech engineering that leverages cutting edge functionality at low costs. Six months of hard work and dedication culminated on the Bahrain track, the opening round of the 2010 Formula One™ World Championship season, with both cars finishing the race. Team Principal Tony Fernandes said, “We wanted to finish the race and to do so ahead of the established teams is fantastic”.

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