Town of Shawinigan

100-2,499 Employees
Networking

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Team Engagement

Team engagement is the magic that happens when everyone in your workforce is connected effortlessly to the mission, to each other and to customers. When it works you feel it in your culture and on your balance sheet—and your customers feel it most. Barriers disappear. Productivity rises. Our team engagement solutions get you there.

"The Avaya solution facilitates the introduction of innovative technologies and new services."

-Lyne Vallières, Director of the Office of Information Technology

Benefits

Increased Productivity
Reduce Cost
Network Scalability

TOWN OF SHAWINIGAN INVESTS IN NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY TO BRING ITS “SMART CITY” VISION TO LIFE

Avaya Fabric Connect equips Quebec town with infrastructure to meet all of its future needs

As one of the first towns in North America to produce hydroelectricity, Shawinigan has built its economy around large resource-based industries such as aluminum, pulp and paper production and electrochemistry. Over the past few decades, however, these large employers have left the region, causing job losses and an exodus of young graduates from the area.

To revitalize its economy, create new employment opportunities and improve overall quality of life, the Town of Shawinigan decided to reinvent itself as a Smart City, using cutting-edge Avaya technology to breathe new life into its century-old community.

CHALLENGES

  • Outdated equipment, some of which was no longer functional
  • Needed an easy-to-implement, compatible solution that required minimal maintenance
  • Required a secure solution with segmentation capabilities

VALUE CREATED

  • Gradual and easy deployment of new solution ensured the stability of services
  • Reduced operational costs and created more efficient team productivity
  • Increased security and new services for Shawinigan and its citizens

Searching for a Solution

A Smart City starts with a strong network, particularly as it expands to include all the consumer devices that will connect wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Shawinigan was operating a number of outdated, disparate systems, including a network management console which was no longer fully functional. In order to upgrade its fiber networks, which linked City Hall to warehouses, fire halls, the library and water distribution systems, the town’s Office of Information Technologies brought in an independent consultant to help identify its needs.

Shawinigan decided on Avaya and its Fabric Connect, an enhanced version of Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology. The Shawinigan IT team liked the retro-compatibility of the Avaya solution with the old network, which would allow for a gradual implementation, ensuring stability and the continuation of services during the implementation.

The project started in 2014 with the support of local partner Androïde and evolved as budget was made available. Thanks to Avaya’s future-proof solution, Shawinigan could gradually upgrade its networking equipment – particularly the dated switches – rather than replace everything all at once.

Shawinigan also used the Avaya Virtual Services Platform (VSP) 7000 switches to build the core of its network and link the different high speed sites. This virtualization allowed them to bring both internet access and security under one singular, secure L2 VSN-type Fabric network.

A Simple Configuration

This network virtualization allowed the equipment in two different sites to be configured as if they were on the same network. Then, the VSP 4000 switches were put in place to extend Avaya Fabric Connect to the other sites to meet current and future needs. The deployment of this equipment allows for a simple and low cost integration of services, providing a much simpler virtual network infrastructure.

Since the network management console was no longer operational, it was important to start the transition rapidly. Some obsolete pieces of equipment were gradually replaced by Avaya equipment. The backbone of the new network was completed and is now working as the team is progressing towards the edge of the network. As the new Avaya equipment co-exists with the remaining older equipment, the implementation can continue without a hitch.

“Once the central matrix was configured, we only needed to define starting and end points for the services. The rest happened automatically,” explains Yves Leclerc, Computer Analyst for the Office of Information Technology, Town of Shawinigan.

“We’ve noticed undeniable savings both in time and in staffing because this allows us to complete more projects with the same team."

Lyne Vallières, Director of the Office of Information Technology, Town of Shawinigan

Increased Security with Less Equipment

Security was a big concern for Shawinigan. Because Shawinigan manages critical services as well as day-to-day operational services, it needed to ensure that communications were totally isolated from one another. Traditionally, this would have meant additional equipment, leading to additional costs and increased complexity. However, this isn’t a concern, thanks in large part to Avaya’s approach to hyper-segmentation, which helps create stealth segments that span the entire network.

“Information sharing is so ingrained into the concept of Smart Cities and we needed a reliable, secure way to manage the network that will give us the means to communicate with our citizens and extend our portfolio of services to them. The Avaya network allows us to do just that,” says Lyne Vallières, Director of the Office of Information Technology, Town of Shawinigan.

Looking Ahead to the Future

With the groundwork laid, Shawinigan is now looking forward to deploying new Smart City capabilities. Two such initiatives Shawinigan is considering is IP Video Surveillance to provide the citizens of Shawinigan with a state-of-the-art security solution and the most recently announced project, the deployment of a new urban DEL street lighting controlled by an automated management system.

However, the new network is being used today. Shawinigan Sans Fil, a pilot project which provides free Wi-Fi access downtown, was recently transferred to the new network. Now, the service is available more widely and the service has improved drastically.

“We’ve noticed undeniable savings both in time and in staffing because this allows us to complete more projects with the same team. The solution we implemented is also going to facilitate the introduction of innovative technologies and of new services. The type of configuration we adopted could also give us the possibility to share services with other municipalities in the near future,” continues Vallières.

"Avaya technologies are helping us do more without having to overinvest in infrastructures since the equipment selected guarantees transparency, redundancy, segmentation capabilities and the security we need, all while paving the way to the introduction of new services for our citizens."

Lyne Vallières, Director of the Office of Information Technology, Town of Shawinigan

 

About the Town of Shawinigan

Shawinigan is a municipality located in Mauricie in Quebec, along the St-Maurice River. It counts almost 50,000 citizens and reaches across 737 km2. The Town employs nearly 490 people, including 380 full-time employees. The Office of information technology, whose mandate is to oversee the IT equipment and services, caters to about 225 employees from different divisions on its territory.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
  • Headquarters:

  • Canada

  • # Employees:

  • 490

Shawinigan is a municipality located in Mauricie in Quebec, along the St-Maurice River. It counts almost 50,000 citizens and reaches across 737 km2. The Town employs nearly 490 people, including 380 full-time employees. The Office of information technology, whose mandate is to oversee the IT equipment and services, caters to about 225 employees from different divisions on its territory.

What our Customers are saying
“Information sharing is so ingrained into the concept of Smart Cities and we needed a reliable, secure way to manage the network that will give us the means to communicate with our citizens and extend our portfolio of services to them. The Avaya network allows us to do just that.”

Read more testimonials >
  • Lyne Vallières

  • Town of Shawinigan