MECCA Services is a community-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of substance use conditions, mental health concerns, HIV/AIDS, gambling problem and the enhancement of behavioral health. A full range of substance abuse services are offered, including prevention, early intervention, assessment, detoxification, treatment and continuing care. MECCA Services’ facilities are located in six counties within the state of Iowa. For more information about MECCA, please visit www.meccaservices.com.
When MECCA started working with NACR, their Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner, they had already experienced two different and equally unsatisfying approaches to providing a telephony solution for their 11 locations.
First, they had utilized traditional PBX phone systems with digital phones at each location. They found this cumbersome and expensive because of the amount of hardware and maintenance required. Next, they moved to a hosted PBX but found that unsatisfactory because it was costly and required them to give up control of their communications.
“When we decided to re-develop our own system, we just couldn’t face having to utilize so much hardware again and putting in a lot of system maintenance time,” commented Todd Yelland, IT Manager for MECCA. “We wanted to find a solution that would give us a small footprint, a reliable infrastructure, cost efficiencies, and ease of management for our small IT team.”
The MECCA IT team decided to deploy Avaya Aura™ solution for Midsize Enterprises, enabled with Avaya Aura™ System Platform virtualization technology, which combines the following applications into a single server: Avaya Aura™ Communication Manager, Applications Enablement, SIP services, Voice Messaging, Media Services, Communication Manager Call Center capabilities, and end-user/ administrator utilities. Advanced applications can easily be added, including mobility, telecommuter, and desktop clients with Avaya one-X® Unified Communications All Inclusive offer; Unified Messaging for voice and integrated e-mail (with Modular Messaging); Multi-Media Contact Center (for midsize enterprises with Avaya Contact Center Express); and many applications using SIP and Application Enablement Services.
“As we came to understand all that the Avaya Aura™ solution for Midsize Enterprises had to offer, we thought it was remarkable to be able to run so many applications on a single server,” Yelland stated. “We really appreciated the benefits of virtualization in streamlining both the amount of equipment needed and the management of the system. At the same time, we were interested in the option to use SIP trunking because it affords added simplicity and firmly establishes us in what we believe will be the technology of the future.”
Working closely with NACR, MECCA leveraged Avaya Aura System Platform technology and connected its 11 offices with SIP trunking from PAETEC, incorporating AudioCodes MediaPack Series Analog VoIP gateways at each location. (AudioCodes Ltd. is a member of the Avaya DevConnect Program.)
- Savings and return on investment. MECCA no longer pays a monthly fee and service charges to a hosted provider. Recurring fees to the hosted provider would easily pay for the new Avaya solution within three years, but the actual ROI time will be much shorter based on savings related to travel and other costs, and increases in staff productivity.
- Reliability boost. AudioCodes MP-114 gateways were utilized at each site to provide an important boost to network reliability via the embedded Stand-Alone Survivability (SAS) feature. SAS allows MECCA to continue operations in situations where SIP trunks, Wide-Area Network or Avaya Aura servers are unavailable. The AudioCodes MP-114 gateways with SAS would automatically assume control and continue phone-to-phone dialing and access to the PSTN for each remote site. This architecture reduces risk and improves reliability while also reducing operational costs and telephony access charges.
- Scalability and investment security. The Avaya Aura™ solution for Midsize Enterprises can scale to 2400 users. The MECCA IT team plans to base their future communications needs on SIP technology, and Avaya Aura™ System Platform virtualization technology will provide a strong stable, reliable, and flexible foundation for them to do so.
- Smaller footprint/”green” benefits/ease of management. The MECCA IT team is very pleased with the minimal amount of hardware required to operate their Avaya solution. It provides them with the capability to perform moves, adds, and changes easily, usually without travelling. Administrator utilities will enable them to troubleshoot and deploy new applications. One of the greatest benefits over MECCA’s first system, according to Yelland, is not having to install updates on multiple servers.
- Mobility, hoteling, and home office capabilities. MECCA’s employees travel frequently, covering distances of up to 120 miles between facilities. One of the IT team’s next priorities is to enable staff to log into the network at any MECCA location and access messages and other functionality of the main system. They are also preparing to deploy Avaya Extension to Cellular. This feature enables incoming calls to ring at both an office and cell phone simultaneously; and when a call is answered on the cell phone, the user can access virtually all functionality of the communications system. Softphones will also be used for home office work. Receptionists at two main locations will be able to connect easily to staff, no matter where they are located, and users will be able to keep in touch with clients and colleagues at all times, regardless of location, weather conditions, and other circumstances that might otherwise disrupt the delivery of vital human services.
- Unified Communications capabilities to enhance productivity and client services. Projecting into the future, Yelland predicts significant enhancements in productivity and client services, delivered through the power of Unified Communications. Avaya Aura will enable MECCA to leverage applications such as presence, Meet Me conferencing, instant messaging, and an integration with Microsoft Office Communicator to enable the delivery of voice messages, e-mail, and faxes through the Exchange server via the PC. MECCA is also looking at deploying applications that will enhance their ability to serve more people more efficiently through distance treatment modalities that may involve conferencing, video, and other media capabilities.
For more information on how Avaya Intelligent Communications can take your enterprise from where it is to where it needs to be, contact your Avaya Client Executive or a member of the Avaya Authorized BusinessPartner program, or visit
“Do Your Research” at www.avaya.com.
All statements in this Case Study were made by Todd Yelland, IT Manager, MECCA Services.
The Avaya DevConnect Program provides a wide range of developer resources, including access to APIs and SDKs for Avaya products, developer tools, technical support options and training materials. Registered membership is free to anyone interested in designing Avaya-compatible solutions. Enhanced Membership options offer increased levels of technical support, compliance testing, and co‑marketing of innovative solutions compatible with standards-based Avaya solutions. To learn more, or register for membership, please visit www.avaya.com/devconnect.
SYSTEMS, APPLICATIONS, AND SERVICES
- Avaya Aura™ solution for Midsize Enterprises, leveraging Avaya Aura™ System Platform technology
- Avaya Aura™ Communication Manager
- Avaya Aura™ Application Enablement Services
- Avaya Aura™ SIP Enablement Services
- Avaya S8510 Server
- Avaya 9630 Series IP Telephones
- Avaya 9650 Series IP Telephones
- Avaya 1600 Series Telephones
- Avaya Extension to Cellular (future)
- Avaya Communication Manager Messaging
- AudioCodes MediaPack Series Analog VoIP gateways, models MP-114 & MP-118
- SIP trunking through PAETEC (service provider)
- Software Support Plus Upgrade (SS+U)
- Maintenance, support, and point of sale by NACR, an Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner