Centrally managed voice and network in a cloud environment improves overall communications and security.

Voted as one of the safest cities in New York for 2019, the Town of Kent is a thriving community in Putnam County, NY, with more than 13,200 residents. The town consists of 11 communities and hamlets surrounded by many lakes, including Lake Carmel, Wonder Lake and Fahnestock State Park. Being less than an hour’s drive from New York City, it is a popular destination for families to enjoy camping, boating, fishing and hiking as well as local town attractions.

With aging phone systems and network infrastructures operating in separate IT environments, the town board recognized they needed to better serve their citizens using city services by updating their communication capabilities across locations.

“Our challenge was replacing an outdated phone system across three Town of Kent entities, while combining local area networks between the town government and police department,” said Richard Harris, IT Consultant. “We also needed to add automatic data backup, storage and disaster recovery capabilities to our entire campus.”

The Town of Kent chose Magna5 for its expertise to not only simplify and modernize their campus communications network but also fully manage all aspects of the transition and network operations.

Town of Kent

CHALLENGE:

The Town of Kent was seeking a managed service to modernize and unify their communication systems across campus to interconnect the police department, town hall and public library, with future potential to connect other town department locations off campus onto the same network. They were looking for a single provider who could do it all … provide high voice and data availability, digital collaboration between city offices, cyber intrusion protection, and reliable failover and data backup with swift restoration.

SOLUTION:

  • UCaaS with call recording for police department
  • 24/7 network and server monitoring
  • Managed next-generation firewall and intrusion prevention system management
  • Built-in backup and recovery
  • Multiple WAN transport (fiber, coax and broadband) for redundancy
  • SD-WAN traffic orchestration
  • 4G wireless backup

RESULTS:

  • Simplified communications with unified campus communications
  • Increased network reliability and performance
  • Improved visibility into their network for proactive monitoring and upkeep
  • Enabled ‘always on’ connectivity with three layers of WAN and hardware redundancy
  • Improved voice quality between campus buildings
  • Eliminated session drops and downtime
  • Reduced risk of potential exposure to cyber threats
  • Safeguarded data with built-in backup and recovery

Simplify. Integrate. Modernize.

Magna5 began by consolidating all three campus building communication systems into a single UCaaS voice solution managed in Magna5’s secure cloud network. It was vitally important to complete all cutovers without disrupting town emergency operations during transition. The transformation included:

Unifying campus communications – Magna5 moved all three campus building communication systems into a single Unified Communications solution by moving employee seats to Magna5’s managed voice network environment. Now with the Town of Kent’s communications system operating in a managed cloud environment, central visibility into their network allows proactive monitoring and alerting. The Magna5 team of certified engineers uses a broad set of management tools to measure the health and performance of the Town of Kent’s network in real-time, day and night, to enable quick troubleshooting, policy changes or load balancing as needed.

Improving voice availability and high availability – To ensure an ‘always on’ call environment, Magna5 installed multiple WAN transports consisting of coax, fiber and broadband along with SD-WAN functionality in the cloud environment to manage call connections between campus locations. Town of Kent employees now never missed a call due to jitter, brownouts or call drops. Intelligent traffic orchestration tools automatically correct a struggling call traffic connection by routing it to a better connection. This ensures reliable voice quality, data transfers and bandwidth availability.

“We had high expectations when we initially met with Magna5, and we are happy to say that they have delivered. They are staffed by responsive industry professionals who continue to prove we made a sound decision to go with Magna5.”

Richard Harris,
IT Consultant

Fortify Campus Security Poster Against Cyber Threats

“We were also concerned about potential cyber threats and ransomware attacks,” noted Richard. “This required a network security plan that provided the kind of content filtering and threat mitigation our town campus required.”

Security improvements included:

Strengthening network security with built-in failover – Magna5 installed two next-generation firewall environments featuring multiple layers of security protection: intrusion prevention and detection system, content filtering, malware filtering and several layers of traffic classification and control. Magna5’s Network Operations Center centrally monitors all aspects of the network, including servers, routers, switches, circuits and appliances. If an outage occurs, it automatically switches to duplicate equipment in real-time. For additional connectivity assurance, 4G wireless redundant failover was also incorporated for emergency service calls, such as 911 calls, to be routed to police mobile devices in case of a WAN connection failure.

Enhancing police department call recording and data backup – A new call recording feature within the Unified Communications solution was activated for the police department. This enables them to cost effectively record calls with high voice quality connections in case the recordings might be used in court proceedings or judicial hearings. Built-in data backup within the Unified Communications solution are stored offsite with Commvault secure data storage. In the event of a disaster, Kent police call recordings and data are safe, and can be quickly restored and accessed in minutes.

A Whole New World of Collaboration Features

In the past, employees were nervous putting a caller on hold without the call dropping. Or police call recordings were hogging all the bandwidth on their traditional WAN line, causing poor call reception. With Unified Communications and SD-WAN capabilities, Town of Kent employees are experiencing a noticeable difference in voice quality and application performance. Even customers are noticing! One employee said she now sees data on her phone screen more clearly and likes the sound quality on the speaker phone. With Unified Communications, users have a wide range of voice and collaboration tools, enabling them to communicate any way they want – through voice, chat, video conferencing or email. Remote users also can easily login into the network anywhere, anytime. In addition, employees can use their smartphones or mobile devices to communicate or search internal data.

The Town of Kent now has a reliable, cloud-based IT environment with state-of-the-art unified communication capabilities managed by a single provider. As they look to the future, they have the digital infrastructure in place to move additional off-campus city buildings to a centrally managed environment without needing to incur high upfront costs. The cost savings using a predictable monthly subscription fee model allow for future growth and speed to operation.

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