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Posted: Tuesday, Sep 23rd, 2008
BY: Gordon Woods
CLINTON — The Dr. John Warner Hospital board is always looking for ways to save money. And thanks to Larry Schleicher, of hospital maintenance, board members learned Tuesday how to cut one maintenance contract cost by about half.
The hospital’s maintenance contract for its telephone switching equipment expires on Nov. 18. The current contract is with Avaya Telecommunications. Schleicher discovered that Avaya would no longer cover maintenance on the hospital’s equipment and had started subcontracting some of its work to other firms.
“We decided to take bids from new vendors,” Schleicher said. During Tuesday’s hospital board meeting, Schleicher recommended going with Morgan Birgé & Associates. “They offered the greatest number of services that are beneficial to us for a reasonable amount of money,” Schleicher said.
NSLS Board of Directors
July 22, 2009
Approve New Telephone Maintenance Provider
We have been having response problems with our current phone vendor, Bluewire Communications. Their staff falls short in keeping our phone system up-to-date and working properly and their management people are not sufficiently responsive to our complaints. We're on a three month renewal agreement with Bluewire which just ended in June. We currently pay them $960 per quarter.
Our Systems Engineer, Rob Zschernitz, recently solicited bids from three companies to provide the maintenance and warranty coverage needed for our Avaya phone system. All three companies recently visited our facility and looked at the phone system.
Including Bluewire, only two proposals were received. We have yet to receive proposals from the other two vendors that visited, even after repeated follow-up from Rob.
The following are the proposals from Bluewire and Morgan Birge and monthly charges for each:
Bluewire Communications: $960/quarter or $3,840/year
Morgan Birge Associates: $720/quarter or $2,880/year
In early 2000, Suburban Chicago's largest taxi company needed to update its round-the-clock 50 seat call center. 303 turned to its long-time supplier MB&A to provide a Definity Call Center Elite solution, integrated with 303's proprietary dispatch software, that used a calling party number to prioritize and screen-pop customer information to agentsÃº PC's. In 2001, 303 acquired Dart, Flash and 5-Star Taxi companies in Chicago, along with a North-side maintenance and call center. Eager to continue its investment in the City of Chicago, 303 came to MB&A to integrate its two call centers. MB&A programmed the imbedded Voice over IP capabilities of its existing Definity solution to extend the "virtual call center" to a dozen agents in the new facility via 303's WAN. Avaya's standards-based packet prioritization keeps the conversations crystal clear regardless of the traffic on 303's busy data network. In 2002, 303 is looking forward to adding at-home agents to its virtual call center and MB&A and Avaya already have the technology in place for their favorite cabbies!
Revere Electric Supply
In 2000, Revere Electric Supply, a distributor of electrical components with branch office/warehouses in Gurnee, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Rockford and Crown Point, Indiana, was looking to centralize its communications platform. MB&A designed and installed Definity networks, linked to a central hub and voicemail at its corporate headquarters on Chicago's West Side, via point-to-point circuits. Employees and sales people across all offices can be reached at a single toll-free number, and voicemails are easily forwarded from one employee to another on the centralized voicemail. WAN capacity has increased sixteen-fold over the old AT&T leased lines and, incredibly, Revere's yearly costs for local voice and data service have decreased by $85,000!
Last year, Revere added stay-at-home employees to its network. MB&A teamed up with Revere's Internet provider to bring voice and data services to the home of critical employees. In 2002, Revere will turn to MB&A to integrate its voicemail/faxes with its Microsoft Exchange email server—allowing employees to view faxes and listen to voicemails from their PC's and making Revere's mobile workforce increasingly efficient.
Old Town School of Folk Music
In 1998, Old Town School of Folk Music outgrew the Armitage Avenue address that had been its home for over 20 years. It purchased a long-shuttered 60,000 SF building at Lincoln and Montrose and moved all of its Adult programs and concerts to the new location, leaving its Children's programs at the Armitage facility. MB&A had serviced Old Town's Merlin Legend for years, making us the natural choice to wire its new facility. MB&A's IBEW 134 crew pulled over a quarter of a million feet of voice and data wire - providing Old Town's data department with a certified, state-of-the-art CAT5e data network. MB&A networked the new Merlin Legend at Lincoln with its Armitage Avenue Legend over a point-to-point T1 circuit, allowing centralized voicemail between the locations.
In 2001, MB&A installed a Voice over IP-enabled Definity Call Center solution at Lincoln Avenue. Agents at Armitage are connected via IP over a shared voice and data circuit. Callers inquiring about Wiggle Worms, classical guitar lessons
or tickets to see Joni Mitchell or Richie Havens are greeted by a friendly voice at either location. A manager at the Different Strummer retail store at Armitage, looking for a particular guitar string, can send a loudspeaker page to the Different Strummer II at Lincoln. And, as with 303 Taxi and Revere Electric, all employees are on a single, centralized voicemail system.
2002 will bring a voicemail upgrade and new attendant vectoring-allowing Old Town's ticket windows to better handle the same-evening ticket crush for big performers!