Case Study

City of Martinsville Leverages Technology for Economic Development Initiative

We have been able to provide the phone solution local businesses were looking for, and in the process add a new revenue stream of $2 million a year.

Combination of Avaya IP Office, Amazon Web Services creates feature-rich, resilient business communications offering

Best known for its NASCAR Speedway, the city of Martinsville, VA is equally inviting for its bucolic setting in the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and the myriad outdoor activities it offers.

As Telecommunications Director for Martinsville, Mike Scaffidi has come up with an innovative telephony solution, called MINet Solutions, that both promotes economic development for the city and boosts revenue.

“We began offering reliable, competitively-priced phone service years ago as a way of attracting and keeping local businesses in the city,” explains Scaffidi. “We started out with 20 customers on legacy equipment, and today we’re at 185 customers on the latest-generation Avaya IP Office.”

Avaya IP Office supports 2,000 users for the city’s 185 customers and the solution is generating well over $2 million dollars per year in revenue, with a waiting list for new customers.

We do not advertise MINet Solutions. People come to us because they’ve heard about our services. We’re very confident in our network and our Avaya IP Office phone system.

Mike Scaffidi

telecommunications director, City of Martinsville

Becoming a service provider

Scaffidi and his team developed a robust network that linked city buildings and local schools. They realized that the MINet Solutions network was reliable enough to also support a telephony solution, which could potentially save them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on their existing phone contract. In the meantime, they discovered that local businesses were not delighted with the phone service they were receiving.

“We started getting feedback from the city’s business owners that they were dissatisfied with the local telephone provider because of poor customer service and a refusal to upgrade our network in the City of Martinsville,” explains Scaffidi. “They basically said, ‘if you can provide a phone system for the school, can you provide one for us, too?’”

The City of Martinsville was granted Municipal Local Exchange Company (MLEC) status from the State of Virginia, and began offering its MINet Solutions phone service. Anyone in the city or surrounding county with a business license is eligible to purchase telephony services through the MLEC.

“We have been able to provide the phone solution local businesses were looking for, and in the process add a new revenue stream of $2 million a year,” says Scafidi.

“Once we got into our first facility, it was all word of mouth from there,” says Scaffidi. “We do not advertise MINet Solutions. People come to us because they’ve heard about our services. We’re very confident in our network and our Avaya IP Office phone system.”

I talked to a lot of people about the Avaya IP Office, it’s a great platform, we’re very comfortable managing it and we think it’s a good solution.

Mike Scaffidi

telecommunications director, City of Martinsville

Solid business communications solution

The City of Martinsville transitioned to Avaya IP Office several years ago based on Scaffidi’s experience with Avaya, and on the advice of contacts knowledgeable in the industry.

“I talked to a lot of people about the Avaya IP Office,” says Scaffidi. “It’s a great platform and we’re very comfortable managing it.”

Avaya partner RONCO Communications supported the IP Office implementation.

“RONCO was very helpful in setting us up and showing us how to manage the Avaya IP Office,” says Scaffidi. “We had some good, hands-on people.”

End users are enjoying the full-featured nature of Avaya IP Office, particularly the mobility functionality. And support is ‘night-and-day’ compared to the old telephone system.
“We guarantee a 15-minute call back and can be on site to address issues within 30 minutes,” says Scaffidi.

For Scaffidi and his team, Avaya IP Office is easy to manage and can be quickly rolled out to new customers, which helps scale their business.

“The management part just got easier and easier as we migrated more people over to the Avaya IP Office,” says Martinsville Network Engineer, Jared Pruett.

Going to the cloud for redundancy

Scaffidi and his team pride themselves on understanding their customers’ ever-changing needs and re-engineering as they move forward to meet those demands. One requirement that came to light was better redundancy for the phone system, so Pruett spearheaded the effort to put Avaya IP Office on Amazon Web Services.

“We had a potential customer who was questioning where our back-up server was located, insisting that they weren’t comfortable with it being within Martinsville in case of an outage,” Pruett explains. “We knew we needed to address this, but at that time, we didn’t have access to additional hardware or the budget to buy new hardware. It was a no-brainer to put it in the cloud with Amazon Web Services to achieve a redundant system.”

Now, combining Amazon Web Services and Avaya IP Office, if there’s an outage in Martinsville, the phone system is still up and running because it’s in the cloud.
“When the power goes out, the power goes out. We needed that redundancy so we would be able to sleep at night,” says Pruett.

Pruett reports that putting the Avaya IP Office on Amazon Web Services was a snap. “We were done in one day,” he says.

Keeping up with demand

Moving forward, Scaffidi anticipates continued growth and is confident his Avaya IP Office has the capacity to accommodate it.

“We grew extremely quickly the past three years, and have exceeded our customer projections every year,” he says. “Last year, we projected 35 new customers and actually added 50, and we still had a waiting list of about 16.”

Scaffidi and his team are also looking into providing wireless to the home and plan to incorporate Avaya capabilities into the solution.


  • Encourage businesses to locate and stay in the city
  • Stop paying for inferior phone service

Value Created

  • Additional revenue of $2 million per year

  • Easy to manage VoIP platform that enables quick roll out of new services, excellent customer experience

  • Integration with AWS provides redundancy, peace of mind

  • Full-featured, reliable, reasonably-priced telephone solution for local businesses


  • Avaya IP Office Cloud

About The City of Martinsville

Once the hub of a thriving industrial economy, The City of Martinsville continues a renewal as a diverse community, but one that has never lost its small town appeal. With a growing “destination uptown,” numerous entrepreneurial, career, cultural and recreational opportunities, and a comprehensive educational system, Martinsville consistently ranks high among cities under 25,000 in population in which to live in the Southeast. Near the Blue Ridge Mountains, metropolitan areas of Virginia’s Roanoke Valley and North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, and within easy driving distance of beaches along the Atlantic coast or larger metro areas like Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Richmond, or Washington, DC, Martinsville offers the best of tightly knit, highly affordable, neighborly life with easy access to the amenities of larger urban cities.

A full-service government with City-owned and operated utilities along with a high speed/high capacity fiber optic and telecom system; accredited Police, Fire, and Sheriff’s Departments; and a City government that is responsive to the needs of citizens while keeping costs affordable, Martinsville is well-positioned to be regionally competitive. A diversified industrial and manufacturing base in the community provides a wide array of employment opportunities and makes Martinsville a great place to live, grow, and raise a family.

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