The non-food local retailer, TEDi, located in Dortmund, Germany, offers products for daily needs such as toys and stationery, drugstore products, DIY products and much more. TEDi has 1,400 branches with around 10,000 employees across Europe, in countries such as Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and the Netherlands as well as Germany. As the existing conventional PBX was no longer up-to-date and would have taken considerable effort to be modernised, the decision was taken to invest in an innovaphone PBX.

TEDi had seen strong company growth in recent years making it necessary to adjust the communication infrastructure. The software version of the existing Siemens HiPath 4000 would have had to be updated to include new licenses for additional subscribers. Moreover, the integration of modern applications such as Presence, Operator or a CTI solution for the existing system would have incurred immense technical efforts. In the search for a new PBX, TEDi soon put its sights on innovaphone as one site in Austria was already successfully working with the IP telephony and UC specialist and spoke very positively of the collaboration. „The innovaphone solution in Vienna has convinced us because of the ease of use and the wide range of possible applications“, says Thomas Hauck, IT Manager of TEDi.

The retail company TEDi

Besides innovaphone, Lync was considered as a possible alternative since TEDi already had a Microsoft environment. However, at that time, the Lync solution was not yet able to depict all functionalities of a traditional PBX. Unlike the innovaphone PBX, which combines the familiar telephone convenience with the modern applications of the Unified Communications solution. „The vertical integration of Microsoft in the innovaphone myPBX UC client convinced us. Presence indicators can be shown, for example, directly from your Outlook calendar. Callers from your contacts are also displayed and contacts can be selected directly from Outlook and also using certain keyboard shortcuts from other applications“, says Thomas Hauck and continues: „Being able to link our switchboards abroad across sites with the innovaphone PBX was a crucial point for us.“ In addition, TEDi uses a call centre solution from the company Voxtron, which is certified for use with the innovaphone PBX and could thus be integrated easily into the new communication infrastructure.

The challenge: smooth migration, maximum integration

One crucial advantage was the fact that, with the innovaphone PBX, TEDi could enter the VoIP technology gradually. The existing PBX and the new innovaphone PBX could be operated in parallel, enabling a gradual introduction of the new components until the old PBX could finally be replaced. A further premise was the fact that the existing telephone numbering plan should be maintained. This meant it was necessary for the old and the new PBX to be connected with each other. In addition, numerous settings for routing were necessary.

The headquarters of TEDi in Dortmund has been equipped with an innovaphone IP6010 VoIP gateway, innovaphone IP800 VoIP gateways will be used in the branches abroad. During the changeover period, the IP6010 was connected to the two existing ISDN primary multiplex connections, which were in turn looped through to the existing PBX, depending on the phone number. Once the conversion is complete, the old PBX system will be switched off and the call forward will be deleted. Due to the short supply channels and the high reliability of the innovaphone PBX, no redundant environment was set up. The TEDi employee workspaces were equipped with IP222 IP phones and the myPBX client. This means all functionalities of the innovaphone Unified Communications solution, such as Outlook integration, Presence, Chat, Video telephony, Application sharing, and many more are available. In addition, a Voxtron solution is implemented at some workplaces.

Simple installation process, easy maintenance and administration

Outside view of a TEDi branch

The basic installation of the innovaphone PBX took place in less than 4 man days. Due to the complexity of the routing settings between the two PBXs, a few more man days were needed. The integration of the Voxtron solution took place at a later date, but also only took about 2 man days.

Concerning the question, whether and if yes, which difficulties TEDi was confronted with during the new installation, Thomas Hauck responds: „Only the complexity of the routing between the old and new system caused difficulties. Numbers had to be truncated or added and appropriately routed depending on the call direction. Using the innovaphone logging features, the errors could be found quickly and eliminated.“ Thomas Hauck puts emphasis on the satisfactory results: „Maintenance and administration of the new system are much easier than the old system. The menu guide on the innovaphone PBX and the devices are virtually self-explanatory and intuitive. It is quite easy to operate the basic functions even for non-trained employees.“

The IT manager’s hope that „Functions such as recorded announcements, fax service and also CTI that previously required third-party solutions could be replaced with the new innovaphone Unified Communications, thus making it easier to use and increase cost-effectiveness, has been confirmed fully“ praises Thomas Hauck. One major advantage in terms of cost-effectiveness is the fact that the innovaphone PBX is extremely compact and space-saving. „The running costs are in any case lower because instead of 26 height units for two module racks and the telephone system, only one device on one height unit is required in the rack. This way we save both space and power“, states Thomas Hauck. On the other hand, maintenance and installation costs are significantly lower than for the previous model: „The innovaphone solution is more economical than the old PBX, because we can take care of many settings without the help of an external service provider and the software and hardware costs are totally reasonable.“

These are all reasons why the acceptance of the new system was high amongst the staff right from the beginning: „In contrast to the launch of other equipment, we didn’t have to create acceptance beforehand. The staff loved the end devices and the myPBX UC client immediately – and the administrators were taken with the handling of the innovaphone PBX. In this respect, we can say satisfaction is high“, says Thomas Hauck.

Due to the positive balance, it is only logical that in the near future more company departments abroad should be equipped with the innovaphone solution and connected to the corporate headquarters.

Sklep TEDi
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