Government health body looks to IP telephony solution


Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has announced that it intends replacing its out-of-date telephone exchange with a state of the art internet protocol (IP) telephony system.

The NHMRC says the new system is needed to properly service the various communication needs of its 220 Melbourne-based staff, together with the additional 25 staff at its Canberra-based office.

In addition to offering full business VoIP (voice over internet telephony) functionality, the NHMRC says it intends its new IP telephony system to eventually provide facilities for video conferencing, as well as permitting access to unified communications (UC) – whereby transmissions over various media are all received at a common terminal point.
A statement from the Council said:

“NHMRC’s proposed PBX replacement solution will be a “user centric” managed Internet protocol (IP) telephony system that will provide a platform for potential future business efficiencies”

The NHMRC has also requested that the business VoIP element of its new system should include spare network capacity to help staff continue making and receiving calls when technical breakdowns occur.

The NHMRC’s intended replacement of its existing landline based telephony system – following what it says has been in excess of 20 years of service – is the latest in a growing number of moves into the IP telephony sphere on the part of large public service organisations.

This process has recently been mirrored among small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The latter, rather than investing in expensive physical IP telephony equipment along the lines of the NHMRC project, have tended to take advantage of more accessible routes to IP telephony.

These include using the services of a host business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller – or adding session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking technology to existing business phone systems in order to render them capable of sending and receiving IP telephony communications.








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