Pharma firm completes move to integrated network

4 Jan 2006

Astellas Ireland, a manufacturer of bulk pharmaceutical active ingredients for medical products, has upgraded its network infrastructure and replaced its phone system with a new solution based on voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology. The company now carries its voice, video and data traffic over a single converged network.

The networking specialist firm Complete Network Technology, in partnership with Capgemini Ireland, implemented the new network for Astellas using 3Com XRN technology. The new VoIP solution supports over 150 employees at Astellas’ Irish manufacturing plant and offices and it is said to significantly reduce associated network and telephony costs. Astellas Pharma is the second largest Japanese pharmaceutical company.

Complete Networks replaced Astellas’ existing telephony system with a 3Com NBX based VoIP solution and 3Com switching equipment. Complete Networks will additionally maintain both the network and phone solution as part of a five-year contract.

Keith Maguire, service delivery manager with Capgemini said that changing the existing phone systems would have meant an expensive upgrade of old technologies. “Replacing these systems with IP technology significantly lowers Astellas Ireland’s cost of ownership and provides a rapid return on investment,” he said.

The telephony upgrade implemented by Complete Networks will allow for reduced costs and maintenance, additional services and increased efficiency. Moves, adds and changes are one of the main on-going costs of typical telephony systems and these will be eliminated, Complete claimed. This is because with IP systems, phone relocations simply involve unplugging a phone from one location and plugging it into another network port, similar to those used for PCs or printers.

The system is managed via a web interface, allowing it to be maintained more easily. Astellas staff can also avail of more features because voice and data traffic have been integrated. The unified messaging capability means that employees can use email to hear voicemails that have been left at their desk phone, whether accessing email from their work PCs, through a remote network connection or on a handheld device.

By Gordon Smith