8×8 Win Belfast Airport Contract

8×8 has announced that George Best Belfast City Airport has replaced its traditional phone system with business VoIP and cloud-based unified communications services from 8×8 Solutions. 8×8 Solutions, formerly Voicenet Solutions, is the UK/European arm of 8×8, Inc.

“The existing infrastructure and on-premise PBX telephone system at Belfast City Airport could no longer handle the needs of the 1,500 employees and eight buildings spread across the airport’s 100,000 square foot facility,” said Terry Moore, CEO of Outsource Solutions, Belfast City Airport’s IT solutions provider. “After a thorough assessment, a decision was made to replace the airport’s old PBX system with 8×8’s cloud-based communications solutions. The challenge we faced was upgrading the technology during the airport’s normal day to day operations, which saw over 2.5 million passengers using the facility in 2013 making it one of the busiest periods in the airport’s 30 year history.”

The existing premise-based phone system required expensive engineering input for simple administrative changes and did not have the capacity for expansion. In addition, there were very limited disaster recovery options with no straightforward mechanism to activate additional lines to deal with periods of high demand. The system also lacked detailed reporting and analytics capabilities, which were necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of aspects of the airport’s customer service.

“With the help of Outsource Solutions and 8×8, we determined that, in order to provide for flexibility, resilience and future growth, we had to move our telephony to the cloud,” said Raymond Hooke, Airside Operations Manager at Belfast City Airport. “We were truly impressed with how 8×8 proactively reached out to us, came prepared with an analysis of our needs and delivered what they recommended efficiently and on budget.”

Belfast City Airport’s new cloud-based communications system is configured to not only handle the airport’s present needs but to also scale to handle future requirements, seasonality and VIP communications with full wallboard and call statistics reporting. In addition, the airport can now accurately measure, rate and analyze telephone-based service aspects, along with providing real-time reporting and analytics.

“Belfast City Airport’s deployment of cloud communications services could very well be the first for an airport, but I’m certain it won’t be the last,” said 8×8 Solutions CEO Kevin Scott-Cowell. “Airports all over the world are facing the need for reliable, secure and scalable services that are well beyond the capabilities of traditional on-premise PBX systems. The ability of cloud communications services to provide the resiliency and reliability necessary to keep the communications systems of a mission critical public utility like an airport online and available confirms that IP communications not only meet but exceed traditional telephony capabilities.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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