Del Monte sees savings from standardised VoIP

Food giant Del Monte Foods is to standardise its communications system by installing AVST’s CallXpress across all of its corporate offices.

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Food giant Del Monte Foods is to standardise its communications system by installing AVST’s CallXpress across all of its corporate offices.

The roll-out of the comms system has already allowed Del Monte to retire an Octel voicemail system and smoothe its planned transitioon to company-wide voice over IP.

Del Monte nearly tripled in size in 2002 when it acquired parts of Heinz’s business which were using the Otel Aria 250 system. With that system reaching end-of-life, Del Monte said moving all its communications onto CallXpress would save on maintenance cost.

“We have already saved about £75,000 a year on maintenance by replacing our two Octel systems alone,” said telecoms manager Dennis Tokarski.

Del Monte has so far installed five CallXpress systems to support 28 facilities, supporting nearly 3,000 users on one enterprise VoIP platform.

CallXpress integrates well with its new Cisco Call Manager IP switch, it said. The company plans to convert 14 more facilities over the next two years, and is predicting that its user base on the CallXpress system will reach 4,000 users next year.

Dave Braun, the food frim’s senior network analyst, said the decision to standardise on CallXpress was in part down to its networking seamlessly network with its legacy Octel systems prior to their retirement, but he said it was also key that CallXpress mimics Octel’s user interface, which was already familiar to users.

“That meant we had to invest in very little training to switch 3,000 employees over to the new system,” said Braun.

To match the right features to the users’ needs, Del Monte has implemented features on a user-by-user basis. According to Braun, senior staff are so far benefiting from ability to receive and listen to voicemail messages via their email inboxes or listen to emails over the phone.

“Many of them carry BlackBerry or Treo smartphones to receive their e-mail messages,” he added. “They can also look in their Exchange inbox to see who called, and listen to the voice message attachment. It helps them to manage their time better.”

Del Monte also relies on the automated attendant feature of CallXpress to communicate changing schedules to its plant employees.

Workers call in and are guided through prompts about their future shifts. The system tells them what time to come in, whether overtime is needed, and the status of production.

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