Il Giornale - Update 2021:

Migrating from a Traditional Telephone System to a Cloud-Based Solution

Società Europea di Edizioni S.p.A., publisher of the daily newspaper "Il Giornale", opted for the innovaphone VoIP solution to connect their sites back in 2008. Since then, the system has developed quickly and effectively to meet the new challenges of constantly changing communication.

 

Getting Ready for the Future

As early as 2012, four years after the first installation at "Il Giornale", Paolo Morini of ERT, the long-standing system house that serves the newspaper, said that sharing telephone services on a private network, overcoming geographical limitations or sharing centralized services would be possible with any new-generation system:
"It is the how that makes the difference for us: innovaphone enables us to look towards the future with the certainty that we are capable of mastering new challenges that will accompany technological development."

Headquarters of the newspaper il Giornale in Milan

Today, 14 years after the installation of the first innovaphone PBX, these words have been fully confirmed: "Il Giornale" can count on a cloud-based collaboration and communications platform which meets the new requirements of the entire staff of some 140 employees, 60 of whom are journalists and 40 editors.

Turning towards Hybrid Workplaces

Digital transformation and the need for increasingly powerful and universally accessible services has also had a major impact on daily newspapers, not least as a means of addressing the already historic crisis in the print industry.

The health emergency that began last year has accelerated a process that was already underway in the industry, and that has led owners to adopt new perspectives.

Stefano Gaetani, technical director of Il Giornale, says, "Before 2020, owners were unsure about adopting remote working. Confidence grew when companies became obliged to offer employees possibilities to work from home and as the benefits and opportunities of a hybrid work environment became tangible. After reaching an agreement with the unions at the end of 2020, the decision was made to offer remote working as a hybrid solution for 50% of the work. Therefore, it was necessary to provide employees with the best tools for collaboration and communication."

Stefano Gaetani describes this process as an irreversible step that also involves physical capital. While the headquarters in the heart of Milan used to have six floors of editorial and office space, it is now barely half that. In this wave of change, which has also seen the introduction of a cloud solution, one requirement has remained unchanged: the need for maximum reliability. He concludes, “We have chosen innovaphone’s communications solutions because they stand for reliability, efficiency and high availability. At the same time, we can rely on the highest level of security when transmitting information via the digital work platform."

Against the backdrop of increasing user autonomy in the choice of which means of communication to use, and horizontal switching between platforms, innovaphone is highly valued and also sets itself apart by the fact that it enables simple integration of third-party applications.

 

A Cloud-Based System for Communication and Collaboration

The innovaphone telephone system, which was installed by November 2020, was already working very reliably with two redundant gateways, one serving as a master PBX and the other as a standby PBX. Paolo Bombelli, ERT technical manager, emphasizes the sustainability of the innovaphone solution: "After being in operation for thirteen years, it was easy to upgrade the system to the latest firmware version. Integration with the new cloud platform, along with some analog adapters for fax services and other applications, was also quick and straightforward."

An additional gateway for terminating ISDN primary lines was changed and configured to meet the new requirements. It now operates as a Reverse Proxy in a DMZ (demilitarized zone) to ensure secure access to the new IT services. The IT department also reconfigured the firewalls and DNS servers so that the system can be accessed from the local network as well as from outside.

In total, the new system is equipped with 140 user licenses, 130 of which are also Unified Communication licenses.  In addition to the traditional IP telephony and CTI functions, employees have access to all the main myApps applications for real-time communication, such as chat, call list, softphone, video, screen sharing, fax and voicemail.

Employees were provided with notebooks and USB headsets to use the phone service through the myApps platform, while hardware phones were retained only for some administrative, management and secretarial staff. With this reorganization of the newsroom, the new video intercoms at the entrances were also integrated into the VoIP telephone system, allowing video calls and door opening directly from the workstations.

 

Looking to the Future

As far as the future is concerned, Stefano Gaetani has no doubts:  "The demand for new collaboration tools will certainly increase and the existing tools will have to be extended with more advanced versions. There will certainly be many challenges ahead, but I am sure that innovaphone will be able to respond with the speed and appropriateness that has distinguished the company over the many years we have worked together."

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