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"The moment we installed the Avaya system, we were able to reduce our telecomunication costs by $1.5 million."
— Lawrence Nervais, Telecommunications Consultant for Government of St. Lucia
THE GOVERNMENT OF SAINT LUCIA USES FABRIC TO UPGRADE ITS NETWORK
Leading Travel Destination Enables World Class Services
Thanks to the successful implementation of an Avaya solution, the Government of Saint Lucia not only achieved greater savings, but improved its management, collaboration and productivity, and added extraordinary mobility, offering outstanding services to citizens.
“The Government of St. Lucia saw Avaya’s Fabric connect as a perfect fit for our network. The simplicity of having one main protocol to deal with resulted in an essentially flat network across our many offices island wide, all this while maintaining interoperability with our legacy systems. For us Fabric Connect meant faster network re-convergence and reduced network complexity for our maintenance personnel, resulting in faster troubleshooting and shorter downtime. With all these compelling advantages Avaya Fabric Connect was not only desirable but an essential requirement for a future looking Government network,” says Lawrence Nervais, Telecommunications Consultant for Government of St. Lucia
• Due to limited broadband network, need to increase broadband penetration
• Archaic telephone network needed to be modernized
• Needed automation of user configuration to offer extraordinary public services
• Simplified communications
• Improved management, collaboration and productivity of government services
• Ability for employees that travel to still be connected and be productive
• Savings of 20-25% in communications costs
Lawrence Nervais states that the government has nearly 5000 employees. “The department I work with (DPSM) which is the Division of Public Sector Modernization is responsible for leading innovation, undertaking process analysis and re-engineering along with information and communication technology to deliver exceptional public services to our customers.”
The Government of St. Lucia’s IT department faced multiple challenges due to its outdated communications and networking solutions. “Our main issue was limited broadband networks. Our network was deployed on a 1GB fiber optic ring, and because of the antiquated access switching system, each building only had access to a 100MB broadband network which was quite limiting for an organization of this size.” Lawrence adds, “Furthermore, we had a very archaic telephone system which was over 20 years old, and was a major issue for us. We spent lots of resources on a system that gave very few real benefits and increased the costs of communications.”
World Class Government Services
To build a world class communications system for its staff and citizens, the Government of St. Lucia turned to Avaya. During the process of selection many providers were considered. One of them presented a solution from Cisco and the other one from Asterisk. “We did not consider a move to Asterisk or Cisco, because the former system was not robust enough and the latter costs were significantly higher. Additionally neither of them offered the management benefits we required,” noted Nervais.
The Avaya team presented a migration roadmap for government directors, demonstrating the capabilities of the system to achieve the organization’s goals. “Without a doubt, we leaned towards the benefits outlined during Avaya’s presentation. The relationship was a key factor for us. We wanted to make sure that once the network was installed, we were not left hanging. I believe that was one of the key points that drove us to select Avaya,” he highlighted. The Avaya proposal was grounded on three pillars on which the network was based: one single communications infrastructure, a government-owned and operated network, and the advantage of a distributed network. St. Lucia’s new Avaya network solution is easily managed and facilitates ease of configuration end to end. “The faster convergence of the network was a big benefit for us. We found this offer very appealing,” Nervais said.
ROI and Cost Savings
Preparation was important to St. Lucia. “At the beginning, the installation was almost a virtual nightmare,” says Nervais. “We did not have much information about our previous network. What lead us to a successful implementation was Avaya’s decision to hire a local expert who had intimate knowledge of the government network. That saved the project and allowed us to prevent a number of surprise issues that could have affected us in the future.”
As a result of this implementation important goals were achieved. “The cost savings were a big deal. Previously we were spending almost $7 million annually in telecommunications. The moment we installed this system we were able to reduce these costs by $1.5 million immediately, and we hope to achieve even greater savings in the near future. The return on investment and the total cost of ownership was very attractive to us.”
Video Conferencing On-the-Go
Key indicators for St. Lucia were simplifying government communications and improving management, collaboration and productivity. These are all key indicators for efficient public service. “We expect a significant impact. Particularly, we realized that the government had many mobile employees that had to constantly travel inside and outside the country. While they were away, supervisors virtually lost productive access to them. With this new system’s mobility capabilities we were able to overcome these difficulties by using Scopia video conferencing and the Avaya Aura mobility suite,” notices Nervais.
With the emergence of a new government subsequent to General elections, the public service is experiencing many staff movements, and normally the IT department would be under pressure to reconfigure telephone attributes for every employee. “Recently we noticed another benefit: now employees can simply move with their telephone handsets and just plug it in. They love it. It is a beautiful benefit that this network provides,” Nervais said.
The government has many foreign missions and the cost of communications has been expensive. Now the foreign offices and embassies can connect to the local network and have access to video conferencing solutions, facilitating improved accessibility to ambassadors and mission staff. “We are using videoconferencing to reduce travel and training costs for government staff. There are many factors and benefits since implementing this network. These costs have always been challenging to the government and we expect to reduce them by 20 to 30 percent more,” Nervais said.
- IP Office
- Fabric Connect
- Avaya Aura Communations Manager
- Avaya Aura Solution for Midsize Enterprise
- Avaya Aura Call Center Elite
- Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization
- Avaya Aura Experience Portal/Voice Portal/ ICR
- Ethernet Routing Switch 3500 Series
- Virtual Services Platform 4000 Series
- Avaya Professional Services
- Proactive Outreach Manager
- Avaya Product Support Services
- BMC, SCS SME/Branch Solutions
- Avaya Scopia
About Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is ranked as the leading travel destination in the Caribbean, with a long celebrated excellence in travel tourism, and hospitality. The country is part of the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea, located north of Saint Vincent and Grenadines and south of Martinique. The country has more than 174,000 citizens, and more than a third of which reside in the capital, the city of Castries. It is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Organization of American States (OAS).