Cisco Provisioning Software Helps Firm Adopt New Collaboration Features

Leo A Daly is an internationally recognized leader in the design of the built environment and is consistently ranked among the top design firms in the world. With headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, the firm also has 32 offices in North America and the Middle East.

The company had a mixture of users on an older end of life PBX system and a Cisco Collaboration system. The company needed to migrate 800+ users to a single Cisco Unified Communications Manager environment and wanted a way to do it efficiently.  Also, Leo A Daly wanted to update all of its users to the added features of the Cisco Collaboration platform. Leo A Daly decided to adopt akkadian Provisioning Manager Express as the software solution to aid in this migration and new feature adoption.

Tim Milan, an Information Technology Specialist at Leo A Daly, offered some insights as to why they purchased the Akkadian Labs’ Provisioning Manager Express (aPME) for this task.

Q: What specific business challenges led Leo A Daly to consider Akkadian Labs’ solution?

(A) Tim: Our company had a mixture of Cisco users and NEC users, and the older PBX (NEC) was no longer being supported. Our biggest challenge was bringing 800+ people into the new Cisco system. How could we add a new user quickly? Plus, we wanted to deploy all the new features like Jabber, new phones, etc. If we used the provisioning process that is native to CUCM, it could have been 30 minutes per user to provision all the features. We needed a more efficient way than having to move through every screen on the CUCM for every user for every feature. All of those steps multiplied by 800+ users was going to be inefficient.

Q: How did you come into contact with Akkadian Labs as the solution provider?

(A) Tim: Our trusted partner, Cisco Collaboration Partner AOS, recommended it. We saw the demo and fell in love with aPME. We are very glad they recommended it! We hadn’t used previous versions of aPME or experienced it, so if AOS had not recommended it, we wouldn’t have known about it.

Q:  Did you have to justify cost for this solution with decision makers or demonstrate the ROI?

(A) Tim:  We literally shared with management that we could provision in 5 seconds per user vs. 10 minutes on a basic phone, which was a no brainer.

Q: Now that you have started using aPME, what results have you seen?

(A) Tim: We deployed aPME quickly and gave access to aPME for our receptionists and administrators for basic provisioning and partitioned off CUCM so the less experienced provisioners only had the ability to add Jabber or change a line label easily. Because basic provisioning could go to them versus just IT staff, the entire team can now do moves, adds and changes. This means 15 people can do provisioning work because aPME is so easy to use and because we can partition out the tasks from the CUCM system. The distributed workload frees up the technical staff for higher level tasks.

Q: What did you like best about the solution and/or working with Akkadian Labs?

(A)Tim: What we like best is aPME’s ease of use! It auto-fills everything—you add extension and user ID and everything else fills in. Creating templates was very easy. The support we received from Akkadian Labs was awesome as well. The support team was quick to reply and had great answers.

Determining aPME ROI

Tim’s explanation of the time it would take to provision 800+ users is a common complaint of those managing a Cisco Unified Communications environment. In an earlier blog post, we take a look at the average time spent per move, add, change or delete within a Cisco Collaboration platform and compare that with the time it takes to perform the same action using aPME. In this article, we discuss how companies see savings in two areas, including time spent provisioning and dollars saved on salaries. We also note results that small, medium and large enterprise businesses are typically seeing when they adopt aPME for their Cisco UC provisioning. Read more about the ROI of aPME here.


About the Author

Amy Thacker

Amy Thacker is the Marketing Manager at Akkadian Labs. Amy's favorite way to use Collaboration technology is to make video calls to offsite co-workers.