Case Study:

U.S. Plumbing Supplier unclogs phone system with modern networking solution

SHI and Cisco upgrade telephony infrastructure for 500 branch locations

Highlights:

Customer Profile

A large U.S. plumbing and heating wholesale supplier and distributor.

Challenge

An archaic phone system, comprised of old and assorted technologies was slowly deteriorating and presenting daily challenges for technical support staff.

Solution

Netowkring
Lifecycle

SHI ran a 100-day pilot and then helped launch a nationwide rollout of Cisco voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone systems to 500 priority branches.

Partners

Cisco APC

Benefits/Results

  • Swapped all networking equipment and replaced old routers and switches
  • Brought 500 branches up to corporate standards, moved all users over to VoIP, and updated the network closets

Challenge:

A large U.S. plumbing and heating supplies distributor with the latest and greatest products fell short when it came to their archaic phone system.

Comprised of old and assorted technologies, the phone system – which connects 1,400 branch locations and 10 distribution centers – slowly deteriorated and presented daily challenges for technical support staff, including finding replacements parts and managing related costs.

With 23,000 associates and customers in all 50 states, the Caribbean, Mexico and Puerto Rico, this leading distributor knew it was mission critical to transform the existing plethora of aging equipment into a consistent, modern system – thus becoming more robust and agile.

Solution:

Having used Cisco in the past – and with great success – the customer chose the networking giant and turned to SHI for help launching a nationwide rollout of Cisco voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone systems (TI) to 500 of their priority branches. After scoping the project, SHI quickly prioritized the tasks at hand, including the utilization of an ample amount of SHI project management and third party services to install hardware across a big geography.

Before diving into the actual overhaul, SHI ran a 100-day pilot to troubleshoot, refine and remediate any issues before the upgrade. The pilot covered five crucial stages: Planning, Site Survey, Configuration, On-site Installation and Post-Installation Wrap-Up.

The Planning stage identified project objectives and developed timelines; the Site Survey ran an on-site assessment for each location; Configuration included downloading the configuration file, uploading the QA file, and then sending the information to SHI’s warehouse for configuration; On-site Installation ensured equipment was deployed onsite, tested and verified; and Post Installation Wrap-up involved breakdown and cutover of the old systems. The project quickly morphed from a simple phone swap operation into a branch technology refresh.

To execute the project efficiently, SHI split the rollout in eight consecutive waves – each wave lasted 100 days and covered approximately 60 branches. In addition, third party services built a unique back-end portal which served as a repository, allowing all players involved full access to every step and detail of the project. SHI also heavily utilized its Knox Integration center, as every single piece of equipment needed configuration prior to shipping and installation.

To standardize the distributor’s phone system environment and bring each branch up to technology standards, SHI swapped all networking equipment, modernized each closet (based on internally-built standards), and replaced old routers and switches.

The project took over three years to complete, but the majority of the work was executed in the last 18 months.

As a result of this project, the customer’s new phone system brought the 500 branches up to corporate standards, moved everyone over to VoIP, and updated the network closets.