ARCNL and AMOLF

Before the Advanced Research Center for Nano Lithography (ARCNL) moved into a new building at the Science Park Amsterdam, the center had been using the spaces and telephony facilities of AMOLF, also based at the Science Park. Even before the completion of the new building, a new communications infrastructure was set up for ARCNL, and the process of replacing the existing telephone system at AMOLF had been put in motion. It was of utmost importance to both organizations for the new system to be easily expandable, both in terms of capacity and functionality. The VoIP telephony and UC solution from innovaphone fully met these demands with its full flexibility and limitless scalability.

ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and ASML, the world’s leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. The center carries out fundamental research in the field of Nano-lithography, in particular for use in the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is closely linked to AMOLF, which carries out fundamental research into light and (bio) materials on the nanoscale. ARCNL was launched in January 2014. ARCNL has around 60 employees, AMOLF has 210 employees, both researchers and supporting staff.

Scalability

Until the move to the new temporary office and laboratory building opposite the AMOLF building, ARNC had been using AMOLF’s communications infrastructure. Along with the implementation of the new telephony system at the new ARCNL building, the Siemens PBX at AMOLF also had to be upgraded. WH2A, the ICT service company that had previously equipped FOM Institute Nikhef (the National Institute for Subatomic Physics) with an innovaphone solution, suggested to look into the possibilities that an innovaphone PBX could offer. An important demand that the new system had to meet, was that it had to be able to grow along with the organization, both in terms of capacity and functionality. Carl Schulz, ICT Manager for both AMOLF and ARCNL, explains what the main deciding factor was in choosing the innovaphone VoIP telephony and UC solution: "Cost is an important consideration. The purchase of the innovaphone solution was only slightly more expensive than the cost that upgrading our existing system would have been. In addition, we have planned functional enhancements and we also want to offer advanced features to our end users at a later stage, such as the ability to use an app on the mobile phone. With these enhancements in mind, the innovaphone solution put forward the best case.

Gradual transition

Following ARCNL’s move to the new, temporary buildings, both organizations are based in three different buildings. The deadline for the installation of the system for ARCNL was the completion of the building. Connecting the innovaphone PBX to the existing telephone system took place beforehand. "All preparations were done at our office (AMOLF - ed.)," Schulz explains. "All systems were prepared here and could be moved into the new building fully functioning. About two months before that our current PBX was set up as a slave PBX with the innovaphone PBX as master PBX. This also went very smoothly. "The telephone system in the new building of ARCNL is based on an IP3010 gateway. To ensure the mobility of the employees in the various labs and offices, the system is extended with a total of 100 IP61 IP DECT phones. These have been optimally integrated into the VoIP infrastructure using IP1202 IP DECT gateways, so that the numerous functionalities of the innovaphone PBX can also be used on the DECT phones. Most employees use wireless devices, the only desk phones that are being used are at the reception. There are two IP222 IP phones, a product from the range of designer IP phones by innovaphone, with a large colour display and 12 function keys. In addition to the IP222s, the receptionists use the innovaphone Operator, a computer-based switchboard that is easy to operate with the mouse, provides perfect support for the transfer of calls and offers a detailed overview of all incoming, outgoing, parked and transferred calls. A number of ARCNL employees are also using myPBX, innovaphone’s Unified communications client. All end devices that are set up in the innovaphone PBX VoIP telephone system (e.g. IP phones in the office, IP phones in the home office, mobile phones etc) can be operated/controlled with myPBX. myPBX not only supports all traditional telephone features, but also offers a variety of Unified Communications functionalities, such as Presence information, collaboration sessions, instant messaging and video telephony.  At present, the number of myPBX users is still limited. "We first want to start working using the basics and add more advanced features later," Schulz explains.

User-friendly system, flexible management and maintenance

ARCNL’s move to the new building marked the first phase of the transition to the innovaphone VoIP telephony system. "The system at ARCNL is now fully rolled out and linked to the old PBX at AMOLF" says Schulz. The next step will be to replace of the old telephone system. Once this has been done, both organizations will be making full use of the innovaphone solution.

According to Schulz, the ARCNL employees are, after a short familiarization phase, very positive about the innovaphone communication solution. "The end users experience the system as high-quality - the voice quality is good, and so is the ease of use." The new system not only offers a lot of benefits to the end user: "The support staff is also very pleased with the system. The new system is stable and easy to use, also for the administrator. The administration and maintenance are very flexible. The old system was stable but difficult to adjust. It lacked many features, it was for example very difficult to create a telephone directory. Now that’s no longer a problem. It is also very important to us that with the new system we can now easily adapt the dial plan ourselves. "

Asked whether and in what form the solution will be expanded, Schulz answers that besides the replacement of the old AMOLF telephone system there are a couple of other projects that are planned for the near future. “We would like to have functional enhancements in the form of fixed phones in the labs. Later on we would also like to implement more advanced features. We expect we’ll be using the new system for a good number of years to come”, he concludes. “The combination of VOIP together with DECT for the last meters is ideal."

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