Australian War Memorial Enhances Visitor Experience

100-2,499 Employees
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The Australian War Memorial is open every day except Christmas Day and attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually including 130,000 school children who visit as part of the organisation’s educational programs.

Benefits

Increased Productivity
Improved Customer Service
Network Scalability

The Australian War Memorial enhances visitor experience, improves communication

Based in Canberra, the Australian War Memorial manages a large monument and a museum, commemorating the sacrifice made by Australians who have died in various wars. As one of the most visited museums and archives in Australia, it includes exhibitions about the First and Second World Wars, as well as colonial and more recent conflicts. It also houses an extensive collection of historical documents for research purposes. The organisation aims to help Australians remember, interpret and understand the role their fellow citizens have played in war and the subsequent effect on Australian society.
 

Challenge

The Memorial operates two sites in Canberra: the war memorial, museum and research centre in Campbell and the Treloar Technology Centre in Mitchell, which stores and conserves numerous war artefacts, including aircraft, tanks and artillery. The museum is open every day except Christmas Day and attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually, including 130,000 school children who visit as part of the organisation’s educational programs.
 
The Memorial’s sites comprise multiple buildings for the museum and collections, as well as administration offices and a customer call centre. The organisation was running an ageing NEC system to support its internal phone lines and customer calls. The system posed a significant business risk due to its age and declining support arrangements.
 
“On one occasion we lost the PABX system for more than a day, which meant we couldn’t take incoming calls to our call centre and staff couldn’t communicate between offices and sites,” said Daryl Winterbottom, Head of Information Technology, Australian War Memorial. “This significantly affected customer service, staff productivity and a wide range of business activities.”
 
The Memorial wanted to implement a stable, integrated voice solution that provided advanced, intuitive communication features and was easier and more cost-effective to manage. It also wanted to leverage its existing Avaya data networking investment.
 
“The old system was very difficult to manage – it required constant patching and it was an arduous task just to move a phone extension from one desk to another,” said Winterbottom. “We wanted to reduce overheads for maintaining the phones and phone lines, including the cost of our third-party maintenance contract.
 

“We also needed a flexible system that would easily enable staff to work efficiently from any location and provide advanced features, such as voice and email integration.”

– Daryl Winterbottom, Head, Information Technology
Australian War Memorial

Solution

The Memorial considered a number of communication products from several vendors but chose Avaya as it offered the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution, and also had a proven track record of providing excellent local support for Federal Government clients. Avaya could also work to the Memorial’s tight implementation timeframe. In addition, the Memorial was already running Avaya data networking solutions, so IT staff were familiar with Avaya’s administrative tools and would only require minimal training.
 
The Memorial implemented Avaya Aura® Communications Manager, Avaya Aura® Systems Manager, Avaya Aura® Presence Services, Avaya Aura® Messaging and Avaya one-X® Unified Communicator in December 2011. It also installed 400 Avaya 9611 and 9641 IP Deskphones, along with Avaya B179 SIP Conference Phones.
 
To support this new communications system, the organisation upgraded its data network infrastructure using Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4548GT-PWRs over their two Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 Chassis core.
 
The Avaya switches improved the performance and resilience of the network to help ensure the stability of the data network to support the Avaya Aura products. The Memorial also implemented Avaya Configuration and Orchestration Manager to improve its web-based network management abilities.
 

Results

Improved staff productivity and Satisfaction

By implementing Avaya Aura Communications Manager and Avaya Aura Messaging, the Memorial has  provided its 300 employees with an efficient unified communications system that offers multiple call options and simple, intuitive user interface features.
 
“Staff can now more easily make, receive and route internal and external calls, and keep track of their messages,” said Winterbottom. “We have integrated Avaya voicemail with Microsoft Outlook so staff can check and track voicemails using email on the device of their choice from wherever they are."
 
“We have also created a group paging system which enables staff in the office to notify employees who are working in the conservation laboratories or in one of the storage buildings that there is a call waiting for them or they are needed by another member of staff,” he said.
 
The Memorial is also using the multiline, internal Meet Me Conferencing facilities to improve communication across the organisation.
 
“We conducted an important conference call yesterday involving senior executive staff and everyone was amazed by how easy it was to set up and run,” said Winterbottom.
 

“The IP telephones are also perfect for conferences; calls are much clearer now and the volume control is significantly better.”

– Daryl Winterbottom, Head, Information Technology
Australian War Memorial
 

Enhanced customer service

Avaya Aura Communications Manager and Avaya Presence Services has increased the quality of the Memorial’s customer service.
 
“Customers often call with a specific question about a collection or research material that can only be answered by a specialised staff member,” said Winterbottom. “The Avaya products enable staff to check phone messages via their emails, and to locate specialist colleagues if necessary. They can then more quickly respond to requests for information and return customer calls faster.”
 
Call centre staff can also now transfer calls straight through to the relevant person if they are available or add them to a conference call, rather than taking the caller’s details and asking another employee to call the customer back.
 
“The voice quality has also improved significantly using the IP telephones,” said Winterbottom.
 

Reduced maintenance and administration costs

Using Avaya Communications Manager and Avaya Aura System Manager the Memorial has cut the amount of system maintenance required, significantly reducing administration costs by using in-house staff resources. Avaya Aura System Manager’s common, browser-based console means administration staff can maintain the entire communications network from a single point. Avaya Communications Manager’s mobility features also allow staff to access their personal directory and voicemail facilities from any desk.
 
“In the past, maintenance staff would have to travel to other sites several times a week to fix a problem or move an extension number,” said Winterbottom. “Now, they make most changes centrally and travel less frequently.
 

“The single, unified cabling has also freed up staff who previously spent most of their time maintaining the old cables to complete more valuable tasks, such as helping develop and implement new communications features across the network.”
 
– Daryl Winterbottom, Head, Information Technology
Australian War Memorial
 

Ethernet routing switches eliminated data bottlenecks

The upgraded data network edge switches, have provided the Memorial with greater network throughput to eliminate potential bottlenecks in its data transfers. During peak periods, such as the lead-up to ANZAC Day, the organisation needs to scan, upload and edit numerous large data objects, such as high-resolution images, videos and sound files. The Ethernet network ensures staff can easily transfer these files between sites and quickly access and download them.
 
“We recently published a large book about our collections, and transferred related files containing a large amount of text and images without any problem,” said Winterbottom.

Future plans

The Memorial plans to take advantage of features in Avaya Aura Presence Services, such as comprehensive instant messaging capabilities and a detailed desktop view of employees’ phone numbers and availability. The organisation is also considering implementing video conferencing capabilities to further improve communication between sites and reduce travel costs by easily linking up with its critical business partners.
 
“In addition, the Power over Ethernet routing switches provide an excellent base to increase our wireless capabilities,” said Winterbottom. “We hope to extend wireless access to the public across the museum and grounds. Many of our visitors, especially school children, are accustomed to using mobile devices to access a huge variety of information, so it would be great to provide them with extra information about each exhibit as they view it."
 

“We are also considering the potential for innovative use of wireless technologies in the World War One galleries, which are being refurbished in time for the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015."
 
– Daryl Winterbottom, Head, Information Technology
Australian War Memorial
 

Data networking session strengthens support for Avaya

The Memorial recently hosted an Avaya data networking session, during which Avaya highlighted its data networking plans for the near future.
 
“Avaya has always provided excellent support, so it was wonderful to welcome Senior Vice President and General Manager for Avaya Data Networking Mark Randall to Canberra from the US for the session,” said Winterbottom. “I was happy to share our experience of working with Avaya with other Canberra customers, and we were all excited to hear about Avaya’s plans for improving its data networking solutions even further.
 
“It’s clear the company intends to remain a major player in the communications market, and that voice and data innovation will play a big part in its future,” he said. “Avaya has always offered excellent performance, reliability and value for money. We are particularly thankful for the level of support and expertise provided by Avaya’s Canberra branch office, and a big part of us hosting this data networking session was to show our ongoing commitment to Avaya products.”

 

Products and Solutions

  • Avaya Aura Communication Manager
  • Avaya Aura System Manager
  • Avaya Aura Messaging
  • Avaya Aura Presence Services
  • Avaya one-X Communicator
  • Avaya 9611 and 9641 IP Deskphones
  • Avaya B179 SIP Conference Phones
  • Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4548GT-PWR
  • Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 Chassis
  • Installation and maintenance services provided by Avaya and Agile Australia.

 

ABOUT The Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial manages a large monument and a museum, commemorating the sacrifice made by Australians who have died in various wars. As one of the most visited museums and archives in Australia, it includes exhibitions about the First and Second World Wars, as well as colonial and more recent conflicts. It also houses an extensive collection of historical documents for research purposes.
 

The Australian War Memorial is open every day except Christmas Day and attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually including 130,000 school children who visit as part of the organisation’s educational programs.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
  • Headquarters:

  • Australia

  • # Employees:

  • 300

The Australian War Memorial manages a large monument and a museum, commemorating the sacrifice made by Australians who have died in various wars. As one of the most visited museums and archives in Australia, it includes exhibitions about the First and Second World Wars, as well as colonial and more recent conflicts. It also houses an extensive collection of historical documents for research purposes.

What our Customers are saying
"Avaya has always offered excellent performance, reliability and VALUE FOR MONEY, and a big part of us hosting the data networking session was to show our ongoing commitment to Avaya products."

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  • Daryl Winterbottom

  • Australian War Memorial