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Secure and reliable VoIP communications based on Microsoft Office 365


INB was established in 1989 by a consortium of local business people, growing out of a concern that banks headquartered in Spokane were being taken over by large, out-of-state banks. Today, INB has 21 locations in the Spokane area, North Idaho, The Palouse, Columbia Basin, Columbia Gorge and Portland, with total assets of nearly $820 million. As well as offering the convenience of virtual banking, INB provides personal and business banking, commercial and consumer lending, and mortgage and construction lending.

INB had a traditional PBX that had reached its end-of-life and was also operating at full capacity. New employees had to use cell phones for communications, so 4-digit dialing was out of the question for them. This inconvenience and basic incompatibility with the company’s communications system proved detrimental to attracting and retaining high quality staff. Furthermore, since the technology was reliant on an antiquated infrastructure, it was unable to support either employee productivity or customer service at the necessary levels. It soon became clear from an initial inspection that the entire network architecture would need to be refreshed and expanded to support VoIP and to provide better security. It was also obvious that communications functionality should take center stage in any solution.

Cerium Networks was brought in to carry out a thorough and wide-ranging appraisal of all the technical, business and long-term needs of INB’s network infrastructure. Partnering closely with INB, Cerium pinpointed the bank’s business workloads, computing and storage needs, LAN/WAN requirements, failover, fault-tolerance, and business continuity objectives. The appraisal focused primarily on whether INB’s telephony and email applications could be hosted securely in the cloud, and whether ATM and electronic banking services needed to remain private. It also identified which services and workloads could be successfully migrated to Microsoft Azure, and which should stay within the bank’s management domain in primary and secondary data centers.

This detailed appraisal, combined with the consultative and collaborative approach fostered by this partnership, helped INB to decide which solution they should adopt.


Visit the INB website for more information.

Highlights & Challenges

  • Full access

    Full access to Office 365 Cloud PBX hosted voice services

  • Keep service contracts

    Retention of existing carrier service contracts

  • Network upgrade

    Upgrading and expanding an outdated network to support VoIP and increase security

  • Migration plan

    Planning a migration pace to encourage user adoption and reduce support requirements

"The AudioCodes phased migration strategy enabled a reliable deployment and smooth transition that ensured high levels of end user adoption and maximum business value return."

Rob Husted, UC and Telecom Solutions Architect at Cerium Networks


INB concluded that extending their existing investment in Microsoft Office 365 to include Instant Messenger (IM), Presence and voice services was the right choice. They worked with Microsoft to upgrade their licensing from the E3 suite to the new E5 suite, which includes Cloud PBX.

After careful consideration, INB elected to leverage Microsoft’s option to “bring your own carrier” to Cloud PBX. To deliver on this business need, Cerium deployed Microsoft’s Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) embedded within the AudioCodes Mediant 800B platform on premise at INB’s datacenter and connected the carrier service to Office 365 Cloud PBX. 


The solution enabled INB to take full advantage of the hosted voice services delivered through Office 365 Cloud PBX, while retaining their existing carrier service contracts. Additionally, having AudioCodes Mediant 800B installed on premise facilitated the deployment of Cloud PBX in a phased approach since the IP Gateway interfaced with the legacy PBX.

This delivered on the business requirement to roll out the new services to INB users branch-by-branch at their own pace as opposed to a flash cut. The phased approach led to higher user adoption as both INB and Cerium could attend to the users’ needs in a more controlled manner.

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