Verbraucherzentrale NRW

Smooth Migration to VoIP during ongoing Operations

As the largest consumer association in Germany, Verbraucherzentrale NRW maintains a broad network of consumer advice centers in the western German state of North Rhine-Westfalia. The consumer advice centers, which enjoy a high level of credibility among the population due to their independence, concentrate on providing advice for diverse questions regarding everyday consumer topics. Verbraucherzentrale NRW has now updated its in-house communications infrastructure by installing a cloud-based innovaphone PBX.

building of the German Verbraucherzentrale (consumer association) in North Rhine-Westphalia

Reachability, whether on site, by phone or via the internet, is crucial for consumer advice centers. As the previous telephone system had become outdated and the requirements regarding more flexibility and mobility could no longer be implemented technically, those responsible at Verbraucherzentrale NRW decided to initiate an EU-wide public tender to procure a new telephone system. Following an extensive review, effexx, an IT service provider from North Rhine-Westphalia, which had included the innovaphone PBX in its offer, was awarded the contract. The decision was based on the following points from the system specifications:


  • Simple, intuitive operation of the new system
  • Seamless integration of softphones to enable employees to work flexibly and anywhere
  • Seamless integration of mobile devices such as smartphones, notebooks or tablets with full functionality
  • Easy integration of chat and video telephony for internal communication
  • Smooth migration from the old to the new system
  • Unrestricted cloud or hybrid capability
  • Compact hardware components with no need for cooling

In principle, the innovaphone PBX with the work and communication platform myApps is a VoIP system that can be operated either as an on-premise system or as a rental model or from the cloud. Verbraucherzentrale NRW opted for innovaphone’s cloud solution, which offers maximum commercial flexibility with a full range of functionalities. The corresponding number of UC licences was purchased for the approximately 1200 employees at Verbraucherzentrale NRW. This gives them access via an app to all modern UC functionalities such as phone and softphone integration, application sharing, video, voicemail, fax, chat and many more - and this completely independent of their respective location. The myApps software is simple and intuitive to use and the response has been correspondingly positive: “The employees love the solution,” explains Ludger Blind, IT manager at Verbraucherzentrale NRW, adding: “The fact that innovaphone myApps has the same user interface on every device, regardless of whether it is a smartphone, tablet or PC, meant it was incredibly easy and straightforward to get used to the system. Our training efforts were minimal.” Above all, the consumer advice center was pleased with the high degree of flexibility regarding the space needed for the innovaphone solution.

The entire switch-over process from the old, conventional PBX system to the new innovaphone communication infrastructure could be carried out during ongoing operations and without interrupting work processes. Summary “With the innovaphone system, a milestone has been reached in the communication of the consumer advice center and we are well positioned for the future. The administrative effort for operating the innovaphone PBX is considerably lower than with the predecessor model. At the same time, the new solution enjoys a high level of acceptance among employees.”

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