New Belgium Brewing

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New Belgium Brewing

Craft brewer migrates to Microsoft Lync and SIP Trunking with AudioCodes E-SBC



Microsoft Lync Case Study - New Belgium Brewing

Interview with Travis Morrison, Sr. Systems Administrator at New Belgium Brewing shares his thoughts on their migration to Microsoft Lync and the important role that AudioCodes Mediant 1000 gateway and E-SBC played in their implementation.

The good news is the company is growing quickly. However, with growthhave come challenges. The company’s IT staff is small and wears many hats. Their job is to serve a workforce who along with the usual issues facing a small but dynamic organization has over one-third of its employees working remotely. Most are digitally adept Millennials for whom staying connected via IM, presence, chat, video and a host of Unified Communications (UC) features and collaboration tools are critical regardless of the device they are using. And, because New Belgium sees nurturing its unique corporate culture as a key to success, satisfying this demanding audience (which includes the leadership team) is a top priority.

This has all translated into a mandate to IT to ensure the company has a communications and computing environment capable of leveraging its software licenses, is easy to use and maintain, and is future ready in terms of features, extensibility and cost. As Travis Morrison, Sr. Systems Administrator at New Belgium Brewing tells it, "We had a legacy PBX where adds, moves and changes were time-consuming and cost-prohibitive. It was time to upgrade." That got the ball rolling.


The timing to upgrade was right. After careful evaluation and consideration, New Belgium was able to implement an infrastructure that met its needs for constantly improving business optimization. The solution gives its people the tools they need and desire, management of the information they require to make faster and more informed decisions, and cuts the time and cost of workflows. It does so by leveraging existing and best-in-breed capabilities that are flexible, scalable and have outstanding price/performance characteristics.

Initially, Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) R2 was the platform New Belgium felt was right for them so it went forward with the solution alongside their existing PBX-taking advantage of AudiCodes Mediant 1000 voice gateway for integration. Soon thereafter, an upgrade to Microsoft Lync was initiated using the AudioCodes Mediant 1000B E-SBC (Session Border Controller) and SIP trunking from Intelepeer - giving every employee inexpensive access to all of their collaboration tools from their Lync Server regardless of location or device. This integrated migration approach gave the features, functionality, reliability and extensibility required without the need for a forklift—a necessity for small businesses looking to optimized their capital on growth.

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Success & Future Plans

Satisfaction with the solutions has been across the board.

Employees have enjoyed the experience of having softphone access wherever they are. They are particularly appreciative of having their laptops with them and having full use of their phones with all of their features. New Belgium quickly realized costs saving by not putting a hard phone on every desk. Also on the cost front, the upgrade to AudioCodes enabled them to integrate with Lync and leverage the cost savings of SIP which has already produced big hard dollar savings and also softer ones from increased collaboration.

As Morrison says, "AudioCodes has been a great fit with our needs. Plus, with our younger workforce, integration with Lync and OCS gives everyone what they feel they need to perform at their best through IM, video, presence, pictures and reliance on social networking has been invaluable to keeping culture going."

What’s in the future? The short answer is more growth. Two new satellite offices are opening, and the company is going to expand its distribution footprint with the opening of a new brewery on the East coast. Morrison and his team believe they have the right technology to grow forward. He notes that the company is pleased with all of its technology choices - the AudioCodes gateway and E-SBC, Microsoft Lync Unified Communications, SIP for networking services and connectivity, and vendor relationships that allowed them to migrate to next generation capabilities smoothly, quickly and without sticker shock.

Morrison shared an observation that should resonate with all SMBs who are looking to technology to help them gain and sustain a competitive edge. After praising his technology partners, he noted that given his small crew of what in essence are mostly part-time IT people the solution has meant that the team “can do it ourselves without having to rely on a partner.” In a hotly competitive world, where the only constant is rapid change, being able to react quickly and easily is something to be highly valued.