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The city of Martinsville makes history, transforming economic value

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City of Martinsville
City of Martinsville


  • 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 (with AWS backup)

The city of Martinsville offers the best of both worlds: small-town feel with big city impact. Situated in southwestern Virginia, the city has a population of around 11,000 with countless visitors each year thanks to its renowned Martinsville Speedway. The NASCAR racing track, built in 1947, is one of the first of its kind in the nation and has hosted famed racers including Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Richard Petty. The city has a special appeal that you can’t find just anywhere.

Part of this appeal is the city’s unique communications setup. Unlike most cities, Martinsville decided to sell phone and Internet service to its business customers to deliver better experiences and create new economic opportunities. “It was becoming difficult for us to get new businesses in town,” explained Martinsville Network Engineer, Jared Pruett. "We just needed business-capable services, but the carriers in our area were not interested in upgrading. When they weren’t able to deliver, we decided to do it on our own.”

In going its own way, the city was tasked with finding a reliable service provider whose solutions could be successfully leveraged as an M-LCA, or a municipal exchange. It was certainly an interesting proposition, and one that we were thrilled to be a part of when the city decided to implement Avaya IP Office—our simple, powerful, scalable unified communications solution—along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for backup and redundancy.

What started out as 20 business customers is now close to 200, with the number of customers having doubled every year for the last five years. “In the beginning, it was the city school system that needed to upgrade its phone system,” Pruett explained. “That’s when businesses started asking, ‘If you can do that for them, can you do it for us?’ Being a small city, word of mouth travels fast. More and more businesses began asking if we could provide them phone and Internet service. It just kind of took a life of its own.”

Here’s how Avaya supported the city of Martinsville for economic growth and prosperity:

Avaya has made everything so easy to work with, they’re fantastic. They’re honestly the best company to work with. I never have to worry about the level of service they provide to us as their customer. We’re in constant communication and the city always feels that their needs are met.

Scalability, Ease of Use and Redundancy

The rapid growth of the city’s phone and Internet offerings made three things imperative: scalability, ease of use, and redundancy. Avaya IP Office could be quickly rolled out to new business customers to help the city scale service and continually meet demand. Users could gain immediate access to the full-featured platform to begin engaging and meeting customer needs, with ease of use for simple handling and administration.

“Avaya has made everything so easy to work with,” Pruett said, “they’re fantastic. They’re honestly the best company to work with. I never have to worry about the level of service they provide to us as their customer. We’re in constant communication and the city always feels that their needs are met.”

Yet there was also the need for backup and redundancy. “We had a potential business customer who was questioning where our backup server was located, insisting that they weren’t comfortable with it being within Martinsville in case of an outage,” Pruett explained. “We knew we needed to address this but at the time didn’t have access to traditional hardware or the budget to buy new hardware.” Their solution: integrate Avaya IP Office with AWS to achieve a complete, redundant system. “Now, if the power goes out we’re still going strong. We needed that redundancy to be able to sleep at night.”

Becoming a service provider

The “Why” Behind Avaya

The city of Martinsville understands that communications is the core of business and economic success. “We really pride ourselves on the service we provide to our customers. Since implementing the municipal exchange, we’ve only lost one customer that entire time. There’s always one, right?” Pruett joked. “But in all seriousness, without a certain level of business communications, you can’t deliver experiences that matter. That’s how we feel.”

Since implementing Avaya IP Office as part of an M-LCA, the city has acquired several new businesses to the area. “We know it’s because of the scalability and sustainability we now offer thanks to Avaya. The city’s phone and Internet system now provides over $1 million in revenue, and we’re expected to exceed $2 million by 2020.”

As a voice and Internet provider, the city of Martinsville has more on its plate than most. Avaya stepped in to ensure the city not just provided service, but the best possible service for the best possible customer experience.

Solid business communications solution

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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