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No Replacement Parts Needed
When Don Zarle, IT Manager of Primeline Industries, was searching for a new company phone system, he understood the potential cost savings and efficiencies from an Allworx Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, but he had no idea it would actually come to his rescue.
Primeline Industries is a manufacturer of natural latex rubber tubing for medical, scientific, industrial, sports and recreation, and rehabilitation and therapy applications. The company exports its products to such global markets as Western Europe, Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and Mexico.
Primeline's proprietary Continuous Dip Process creates superior natural latex rubber tubing, delivering better physical properties, higher quality and more vibrant colors than tubing manufactured from dry natural or synthetic materials. The company has three facilities -- general offices in Akron, Ohio, a manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, and a warehouse in Del Rio, Texas.
Primeline's nearly 20-year-old phone system installed at the factory was continuously going down and replacement parts were getting harder and harder to find. Therefore, the company's plant manager, Jesse Cartwright, asked Don Zarle to find a replacement phone system.
Zarle had seen how effective VoIP technology had become after using another VoIP solution in his office. Knowing the cost benefits, Zarle could not justify going with a conventional analog system. After contacting Bill Moore at Group Midwest, an Allworx authorized reseller, Primeline Industries decided to move forward with an Allworx system. They had it installed in September 2006.
"Allworx's system and the Group Midwest team have been meeting Primeline's needs from day one," says Zarle. "Group Midwest has been outstanding to work with and was extremely supportive. Our installation was anything but run of the mill. Group Midwest performed above-and-beyond expectations and made Primeline feel as though the installation was every bit as important to them as it was to us."
Primeline's solution features the Allworx 6x server and Allworx 9112 phones, along with third-party products. The system's features and benefits include Internet Call Access for the sending and receiving of phone calls over the Internet; Group Calendaring software for scheduling meetings; the ability to retrieve voicemail messages through their e-mail in-box; and Virtual Private Network (VPN) software, which allow remote access to the company's network.
According to Zarle, one of VPN's advantages is that he can access the 6x, which gives him a local IP address -- and with that, he has remote access to the file server and to any computer running XP. "I have done this numerous times to maintain and upgrade our in-house proprietary programming and databases, and help employees with any problems. It has improved our security by allowing me to close ports that I would have normally had open to the outside otherwise," he says.
Primeline's Allworx solution has delivered significant cost savings on long-distance calls to Mexico. "We are experiencing savings of around 40 percent overall with our long-distance charges and have virtually eliminated all long distance expenses between Akron and Monterrey and between Del Rio and Monterrey," Zarle says.
Through Allworx's partnership with Bandwidth.com, an all-in-one communications provider, Primeline has SIP trunks that enable calls to Mexico to be treated as local calls. Primeline has four telephone numbers for its Ohio office and one phone number for its Texas warehouse. The Akron office employs a remote phone extension, as does a client who needs to communicate with Monterrey personnel on a regular basis.
The most unique aspect of Primeline's application is its Internet Service Provider. For questions or service in the U.S., the company can simply call its ISP provider and have any problem taken care of. It is very different in Mexico, however. "ISP service goes through so many hands that even though it is a reliable service, it's difficult to get things done because until you start making calls, you really don't know who handles the servicing aspect of the Internet service," Zarle added.
Primeline's factory is on an ADSL connection with a static IP address. The Allworx system handled this connection method extremely well. It authenticates the PPPoE connection and handles all the VoIP and data routing.
In November 2006, Primeline's ISP began to change the way it authenticates SMTP relay -- no one could send out an e-mail through the SMTP server. Senders received an error message stating: "Authentication failed -- relaying is not permitted."
"We called our ISP about the error message and were told that the SMTP server would no longer accept an e-mail with an e-mail address other than one of its provided e-mail addresses. Everyone at our factory has primelineindustries.com e-mail addresses," Zarle says.
Zarle needed to devise a solution quickly because e-mail communication between
Akron and Monterrey is extremely important to day-to-day operations. He therefore turned to the Allworx system. Zarle accessed the Allworx 6x system in Mexico through the VPN software, made some changes to the SMTP server, and had everyone change their e-mail client SMTP server to the Allworx 6x.
In a matter of minutes, employees were able to send e-mails through the Allworx server -- and operations were restored.
"If not for Allworx, I would have had to fly down to Monterrey to set up an onsite SMTP server," Zarle added. "Allworx saved me a trip to Mexico and saved the day for the company."
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