SHFL Entertainment

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SHFL Entertainment

Reliable and secure SIP trunking and voice connectivity for a global Lync deployment

Background

SHFL entertainment (www.shfl.com) is an S&P Smallcap 600 gaming supply company, specializing in providing its casino customers with improved profitability, productivity and security. SHFL provides popular cutting-edge gaming entertainment content, through value-add products in five distinct categories: Utility Products which include automatic card shufflers, roulette chip sorters, intelligent table system modules along with online business-to-business gaming products and services; Proprietary Table Games which include live table games, side bets and progressives; Electronic Table Systems which include electronic multi-player table game platforms; and Electronic Gaming Machines which include traditional video slot machines for select markets.

Headquartered in Las Vega, Nevada, SHFL Entertainment operates a development center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and sales/support offices in Sydney, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Macau, China; Singapore; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Challenges

With seven business offices on five different continents, global collaboration is a constant challenge and improving effective communications was a key objective for the business, but doing so without “gambling” on unproven technologies. In addition to better collaboration, the company also set a goal to reduce the cost of international travel, long distance telephone calling, and improving operational expenses. As a result, a strategic decision was made to implement Microsoft Lync across the entire company, bringing instant messaging, presence, voice and video to every part of the business.

However, making the migration from legacy PBXs to Lync could not be done overnight – it was recognized by Blake Garrabrant, VP of Global Information Technology at SHFL Entertainment who commented “a successful UC implementation requires significant user training and education to allow the staff to be productive throughout the transition process”.

In addition, Blake and his team recognized that moving from TDM PRI trunks at the various North American sites to a consolidated and integrated SIP Trunk (bringing all the DIDs to the Las Vegas data center) would significantly reduce local access costs. However, to properly integrate and secure the SIP trunks, best practices dictate that an Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) provide a point of demarcation between the SIP Trunks and the SHFL Entertainment data center.

A final challenge was providing local access calling to the sites in Europe, Asia and Australia. In some sites, existing ISDN BRI circuits were still under contract, while other sites offered no effective alternative to the existing ISDN trunking provided by the PTT.

Success for SHFL Entertainment’s 18-month Lync migration required:

1. An integration between the legacy PBX and Microsoft Lync
2. Identifying a supplier for Lync-compatible E-SBCs
3. Facilitating local connectivity to ISDN BRI trunking circuits

Solution

To solve these challenges, SHFL Entertainment turned to AudioCodes and the Mediant line of media gateways and E-SBCs to facilitate their migration to Microsoft Lync.

The selection of AudioCodes Mediant 1000 E-SBC provided two important roles at the main SHFL Entertainment data center: First providing connectivity to the legacy PBX during the transition period, and then later, a point of demarcation/security for SIP Trunking. Blake commented that “AudioCodes facilitated a staggered migration from our existing PBXs to Lync, allowing PBX and Lync users to work together during transition.” By implementing SIP Trunking, SHFL Entertainment was able to land all the North American DIDs into one Lync server pool, significantly reducing local trunking costs.

Locations outside North America utilize AudioCodes Mediant 1000 gateways with BRI interfaces, providing local trunking and survivability, allowing for existing contracts with local PTTs and avoiding disruption of service at those offices.

SHFL Diagram

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Results

SHFL Entertainment has completed their migration to Microsoft Lync, with all of their remote offices and staff enjoying the benefits of better collaboration and improved communications.

The company is also reaping the benefits of reduced travel and a reduction in local access and long distance costs – partially the result of implementing SIP Trunking in North America.

Blake summarized “SHFL’s migration/transition to Microsoft Lync went smoothly with little disruption to the business, partially due to our choice to work with AudioCodes for gateways and E-SBCs.”

Ongoing training continues with “tips of the week” and constant communications to improve the effectiveness of Microsoft Lync in the daily work at SHFL Entertainment, making the business more effective and competitive.

Mediant 1000 E-SBC

AudioCodes’ Mediant 1000 Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) is a member of AudioCodes family of Enterprise Session Border Controllers, enabling connectivity and security between enterprises and service provider VoIP networks.

Mediant 1000 E-SBC

The Mediant 1000 E-SBC provides protocol mediation for allowing the seamless connection of any PBX and/or IP-PBX to any service provider, perimeter defense as a way of protecting companies from malicious VoIP attacks, and service assurance for service quality and manageability. Designed as a cost-effective appliance, the Mediant 1000 E-SBC is based on field-proven VoIP and network services with a native host processor and integrated quality of service mechanisms. The native implementation of SBC functions on the Mediant 1000 provides a host of additional capabilities, such as VoIP mediation, PSTN Access, survivability, and the ability to host third party value-added service applications. This enables enterprises to utilize the advantages of converged networks and eliminate the need for standalone appliances.

MediaPack 1xx Analog Gateway Series

AudioCodes’ MediaPack Series Analog VoIP Gateways are cost-effective, best-of-breed devices that provide superior voice technology for connecting legacy telephones, fax machines and PBX systems with IP-PBXs and IP-based telephony networks. Supporting between 2 and 24 analog telephony ports, these products are designed and tested to be fully interoperable with leading Softswitches and SIP servers.

MediaPack 1xx