With 1650 employees worldwide, the Jost Group is a market leader in the field of transport and logistics. Through start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, the Jost Group has matured into a full service provider of excellent services in the areas of order acceptance and support, packaging, customs clearance and documentation. Logistics have been supported for more than 10 years by a satellite positioning system to ensure that transportation by road, sea or air is reliable, dependable and efficient..
In 2004, the headquarters of the Jost group relocated from Belgium to Weiswampach in Luxembourg. Until this time, a central Ericsson PBX telephone system had been used. Rapid growth and new technological challenges in everyday work made it necessary to replace the system. André Wansart, IT Manager (CIO) at Jost, remembers: "The volume of calls had increased to such a degree that the old PBX could no longer cope. We were looking for a modern and reliable system that could keep pace with our steady growth and that could provide all of the applications required today by a modern, international company. The economic aspect continued to be crucial: calling costs for internal company communication had taken on alarming dimensions. "We urgently needed a solution that was based on the convergence of voice and data to modernize our communication and to reduce costs drastically."
With the relocation of the registered office to Luxembourg, the project managers opted for an IP based solution, which was to be outsourced and managed by Multidata, an IT service provider. An innovaphone partner, BCE (broadcasting Europe) installed the solution. VoIP technology makes it possible to outsource the entire telephone system hardware to a service provider. Subscribers use the existing IP line that was already used for data transmission. Thus no further technical infrastructure was required. Companies with several branches very much benefit from VoIP technology as the provider takes care of installing the telephone across the individual locations. The end customer does not need any hardware on-site because the carrier provides everything on his premises. This not only reduces investment costs especially for smaller installations, but also the costs involved for service contracts and software updates.
"At the outset we decided to outsource the telephone system. The provider in Weiswampach, in this case the company Multidata happened to be located in the same building and used innovaphone VoIP technology. We invested in innovaphone IP200 IP phones and IP adapters to connect analogue equipment. As mentioned above, the actual IP PBX was installed on the Multidata premises and Multidata took care of the administration. We were not familiar in any way with VoIP technology and therefore decided on a solution that could be extended and customised at will, without any limitations as to the number of users. And all this was possible with minimal initial investment, little dependence on a specific technology and without the need for specially trained personnel - all-in-all very convenient,"André Wansart continues. A hosted scenario connects the company with a virtual innovaphone PBX (IPVA), which is installed as an application in a VMware environment and can be managed remotely. Other services include a sophisticated redundancy scenario ensuring that all functions are taken over seamlessly in case of a complete failure, while also providing a flexible and highly efficient branch concept. A billing software complements the system for simple, centralized billing.
During the course of the second headquarter relocation to its own building in 2008, an IP6000 VoIP gateway was installed at Jost Group. The innovaphone PBX runs on this gateway. The telephone system was organised in the same way as at the data center in Brussels. André Wansart explains: "The whole installation was quick and easy. The technology is just perfect - nothing was left to chance. We will benefit in particular from the innovaphone PBX’s sophisticated branch concept, which is perfectly tailored to the needs of our company. All internal calls are now free. We thus significantly reduced our connection costs." The staff are highly satisfied with the innovaphone technology and the benefits associated with this modern and efficient corporate communication. With VoIP features such as call forwarding, call diversion on no reply, managing the mailbox, switchboard, recall, three-party conference and picking up calls for other subscribers. The mentioned features simplify everyday work, both saving time and increasing the productivity of the company.
The Jost Group Service IT will in future look after the administration and maintenance of the system. André Wansart concludes with the following words: "The innovaphone solution is easy to configure and can be expanded at will - it will grow in line with the dynamic growth of our company. We are looking forward to the new software version V10, which will soon be released. We are very interested in the Unified Communications applications that will then be available."