New unified comms cuts costs and improves services

South Yorkshire Police is converging its voice and data networks to help cut costs and improve services for its internal users and the public.

Apr 24, 2008
By Paul Jacques
His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (picture: PFEW)

South Yorkshire Police is converging its voice and data networks to help cut costs and improve services for its internal users and the public.

The force will deploy Siemens HiPath 8000 communications system to link over 90 sites and 5,500 users across the region.

It is the first significant purchase of IP telephony by the police in the UK.

The system, using Siemens OpenPath ‘Transform’, aims to provide a smooth transition to IP telephony across the 90 sites, tailor-made to the requirements of the public sector organisation. The software-based platform will allow the force to add unified communications applications.

Kevin Battersby, network manager at South Yorkshire Police, said the the main business reason is financial: “We wanted to maximise our return on our data network investment by adding IP voice capability, which is critical to our operations. Bringing voice into this environment will considerably reduce costs, both in telephony, management and administration outlays.”

The new systems can also forward calls to mobile phones.

South Yorkshire also plans to introduce widespread use OpenScape video conferencing from Siemens.

The HiPath 8000 will centralise the communications management for 5,500 users in the South Yorkshire region. As an open communications system it will also reduce the management costs and complexity of communications. The core softswitch server hardware will be hosted at two Sheffield facilities and will have flexibility to support potential growth of up to 100,000 users.

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