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Caring for Life’s Greatest Companions—VCA Canada Purrs with New Avaya Cloud Solution, Reducing Costs by 25%

VCA Canada
VCA Canada


  • A dozen different communications systems to learn and manage

  • High costs

  • The need to be future-ready

  • Scalability

Value Created

  • Less management with a cloud-based communications system

  • One system to learn and understand

  • 25 percent lower communications costs

  • Fast ramp-up as the company adds locations


  • Avaya IP Office™ Server Edition

Every day, the world’s largest veterinary hospital network serves as a lifeline for concerned pet parents, who expect rapid, reliable care when they need it most.

VCA Canada, part of the global network of VCA, operates more than 100 hospitals across the country. As the Canadian division has grown—largely through acquisitions—it has accumulated a diverse mix of communications systems across the country.

Until recently, this hodge-podge of technologies complicated management for the main office and hospitals.

The company set out to standardize its communications across the country and streamline day-to-day management. At the same time, they hoped consolidating with a single solution would reduce costs and give them a firmer foundation for growth.

“We wanted to future-proof our communications to the extent possible, to ensure we’re ready to add a contact center, or do whatever we need to support our clients,” explained Mark Hilborn, Senior Director, Business Information Systems.

Ease of use and management for our hospitals were top priorities, and we found that in Avaya.

One System Nationwide

With the move to Avaya IP Office™ Server Edition at hospitals nationwide, VCA Canada would replace the dozens of different types of systems, easing management, support and troubleshooting. At the same time, they would move to a private cloud running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and free the team from a range of routine hardware concerns.

“We really like that Avaya can be deployed inside of AWS,” said Andrew Crawford, IT Director. Many vendors didn’t have that support and it was a big win for us. We get data center-like uptime—without having a data center. AWS takes care of it all so we can focus on our business.”

With SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking, VCA Canada would additionally consolidate voice, video and data—eliminating separate networks and the associated costs for each. And with a cloud solution, the company could cut the expense of traditional phone lines.

“Ease of use and management for our hospitals were top priorities, and we found that in Avaya,” Hilborn said.

VCA Canada

Collaboration, Conferencing, Customization

VCA Canada teamed with Avaya business partner Atcom to help upgrade each hospital location. “Atcom is the most skilled and experienced partner we’ve worked with—which brings peace of mind as we make the transition companywide,” Hilborn said.

As the company completes the rollout, the IT team at the Calgary head office will no longer need to field calls regarding a dozen different systems. Nor will each hospital have to manage licenses and bills individually. “We’ll only have one system to learn and understand,” Hilborn said.

Avaya Powered by IP Office also empowers end users with more advanced communications capabilities as needed, such as integrated conferencing, customizable communications preferences and mobility for critical discussions when veterinarians are out of the office.

VCA Canada

Future-Ready—For 25% Less Cost

By consolidating, VCA Canada reduced its communications costs by 25 percent. And within three years, they will realize a return on investment in the upgrade.

“By being more efficient, we’re able to use such savings to potentially buy medical equipment to help care for life’s greatest companions,” Crawford said.

Just as critical, as the hospital network continues expanding, they are poised for unified communications and potentially an integrated contact center solution to help serve their employees. Now, the infrastructure is ready when they are.

“Avaya gives us more interconnectivity among all our hospitals, while also saving us 25 percent on communications costs. It’s win-win,” Hilborn said.

About VCA Canada Animal Hospitals

VCA Canada Animal Hospitals operates more than 100 small animal veterinary hospitals. The hospitals are staffed by hundreds of fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians to give pets the very best in medical care. VCA Canada Animal Hospitals provides a full range of general practice services to keep pets well and specialized treatments when pets are ill.

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