Walls Construction, established in 1950, is one of Ireland’s leading building contractors. Operating nationwide, with offices in Dublin and Cork, reliable communications and high-bandwidth internet connectivity are essential to its business. Contractors on building sites throughout the country need to be readily accessible and to transfer high-quality digital documents such as plans and technical drawings quickly and securely.
Walls’ ICT strategy is increasingly cloud based, which necessitated an upgrade of its communications infrastructure. Having been one of the first adopters of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony in the country, their equipment was ten years old and expensive to maintain. It included a primary-rate leased line, multiple DSL links and multiple ISDN lines, all of which were priced individually.
The fixed-line connectivity to the company’s Cork office was problematic, expensive and slow. The maximum data-transfer speed was only 2Mbit/s. Furthermore, there was a need to provide high-speed data connectivity to remote building sites.
Following consultation with Three, it was clear Walls Construction needed a managed service that would host and manage its servers and connectivity remotely. The company had already moved its productivity, document management and email applications to the cloud, so those servers were no longer on site. The natural next step was to upgrade its telephony.
Walls opted for a Unified Communications (UC) solution, as it was the best fit with their strategy and a highly efficient and cost-effective improvement to its existing infrastructure. Three provided a fibre leased line to Walls’ Dublin office from its own data centre, with a wireless leased line (WLL) as backup. For the Cork office, a WLL was used as the primary connection because of the lack of availability of suitable hard-wired connectivity in the region.
The fibre and wireless leased lines have replaced all the existing ISDN and DSL connections, enabling the deployment of flexible new services such as Single Number Reach, where a call to an employee’s landline can be routed automatically to their mobile phone if they are out of office, and integrated voice and email communications where a voicemail can be added to an email message as an attachment.
For communication with remote construction sites, Walls uses Three’s 4G network. A 4G router installed onsite provides high speed data transfers between sites and head offices.
Robert Armstrong, IT Manager at Walls says that the new UC solution has greatly simplified and improved the management of their connectivity. Although Three provides the telephony as a remote managed service, Walls retains administrative control over basic tasks such as adding users or changing numbers and passwords. “We no longer have to do firmware upgrades or backups,” says Armstrong. “Three takes all that headache away. The functions we retain control of are very simple to administer. We can add new users to the system using a smartphone.”
Connectivity to remote construction sites over Three’s 4G network is also greatly improved.
Payback was almost instantaneous as the savings achieved by removing the ISDN and DSL lines offset most of the cost of installing the new system. Just as important was the customer service provided by Three during the project, according to Armstrong. “From proposal to handover, Three’s performance was exemplary,” he says. “No deadline was missed and we always had a knowledgeable person at the end of a phone. Three’s customer service was excellent.”
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