Major Scientific Research Institution in Mexico Discovers Sangoma
Cinvestav is the most productive research institution in Mexico and one of the most prestigious in Latin America and around the world. The center has nine campuses, employing over 2000 total employees. This includes over 600 researchers in more than 30 academic departments, ranging from cellular biology and computing to physics and the social sciences. Aiming to stay on the frontiers of science, their mission is to contribute to the advancement of society through cutting-edge scientific and technological research and to train the next generation of researchers to continue this work.
Struggling with legacy equipment over two decades old, Cinvestav was tired of the lack of functionality and the expensive costs required to maintain systems that had reached their end of support. They desired to replace these systems with an Asterisk-based solution but had two specific needs: the new system had to integrate with their legacy systems while they repaired network infrastructure, and it had to have a High Availability module to ensure constant failover protection. Additionally, Cinvestav felt that their phone system should reflect the same technological sophistication their research aims to achieve. It was predicted that by expanding the functionality of their phone system with Unified Communications features, their researchers would see a boost in communication efficiency and research productivity.
Solutions from Sangoma
The staff of Cinvestav conducted a thorough search for all the Asterisk solutions and providers available in Mexico City. Their research went as far as creating a test environment to model new systems in the central campus facilities. While Cinvestav initially considered transitioning to a new CISCO system, their extensive research quickly discarded that possibility. Their research led to a solution consisting of two servers running FreePBX. This was deployed in conjunction with two PBXact appliances which came equipped with fully licensed application modules, including Sangoma EndPoint Manager and High Availability. Having evaluated several brands for both features and price, Cinvestav also decided to implement phone system handsets from Sangoma’s s-Series of fully-featured IP phones. The solution was deployed over the course of six months by Cinvestav staff with the help of their Sangoma partner Consultoría en Voz IP México. This was to provide a slow but steady transition while they repaired issues with the center’s data network.
Cinvestav chose PBXact as their solution because, in their research, they found it offers the best balance between features that aid in system management and those that provide functionality. This assessment was immediately confirmed after deployment as Cinvestav enjoyed the very user-friendly administration tools. Transitioning from old legacy systems, the difference was enormously noticeable. Not only are the tools much easier to access and use, the Cinvestav staff now have access to a huge set of features they did not have previously. One that is particularly enjoyed is the visual voicemail, now available to all users. With its intuitive GUI, the Sangoma EndPoint Manager is the favorite feature for the system administrators because of how easy it makes it to auto-provision user desk phones in mere minutes. The other users find the easy access from any phone to the system applications, like Contact Manager, to be incredibly beneficial. The center currently has Sangoma’s Zulu UC client installed and plans to offer Zulu to every campus user for their personal desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Researchers and staff have reported substantial improvement in their communications, both internally and externally, aiding research and boosting efficiency. Choosing Sangoma PBXact has been a huge benefit from a business perspective as well. Compared to other phone solutions available to them, Cinvestav found that the cost to acquire Sangoma’s award-winning Unified Communications solution was 40% less than the closest competitor. This prompted the staff of Cinvestav to offer the following advice to similar institutions needing to upgrade or replace a phone system: “We recommend other educational institutions to consider Asterisk solutions, in particular Sangoma, because they are very reliable, and the products have shown a high level of maturity in practice.”