Case Study: Deploying the Linksys LVS9000

New Jersey-based IT solutions provider Graypeak Partners found itself in a typical dilemma facing many small businesses: it had outgrown its phone system but was still not big enough for an industrial strength PBX. The company self-installed the new Linksys LVS9000 business telephone system and inexpensively solved the problem in a couple of hours.

Graypeak Partners has discovered one way to help clients drive down the cost of IT infrastructure while increasing reliability and performance: upgrade the telephone infrastructure.

Founded in 2002 and based in Hawthorne, NJ, the privately held Graypeak provides fully managed networking and IT solutions for small-to-medium sized companies. In early 2006, the expanding company was moving into a new building and had outgrown its telephone system.

Graypeak turned to New Jersey-based VoIP service provider VoicePulse for a fully configured IP-PBX/Key System built on the Cisco Linksys Voice System (LVS) 9000.

"We had individual POTS lines," explained Graypeak CEO Michael DenBlaker. "The system didn't have the functions and features we needed. As we were growing, we needed to upgrade to a business-class PBX."

But while Graypeak needed the capabilities of a PBX, traditional systems were too expensive.

"We don't have the luxury of a telecomm department," DenBlaker said. "We couldn't justify the cost and maintenance of a traditional TDM-PBX."

Linksys partner VoicePulse offered a complete telephony solution using the LVS9000 that fit Graypeak's needs and its budget, according to Denblaker.

"We were able to get a very inexpensive, high quality PBX for our office on a device the size of a typical phone adapter," he explained. "The system offered features like call parking, call forwarding, extension-to-extension calling, conference calling and IVR—features that companies our size would not normally have access to."

Once the deal was inked in early 2006, DenBlaker reports that implementation of the PBX was completed in record time—at the same time the company completed its move into a new building and set up its Ethernet LAN.

The pre-configured equipment was shipped directly to the company's new offices by Voxilla, which, through its Voxilla At Your Service arm, is working with VoicePulse and other service providers to roll out small business VoIP telephone system based on the Linksys LVS9000. This enabled Graypeak staffers to install everything themselves; including the SIP-based SPA9000 IP PBX, 16 SPA941 telephones, and a SPA3000 PSTN gateway. Graypeak uses a business class cable connection with a Linksys Ethernet switch and router.

"We were able to set the phone system up and get a dial tone immediately," said DenBlaker. "Within two hours we had the system fully operational with extensions, voicemail and IVR. There was zero disruption to our business."

Managing the system is so simple, DenBlaker said, "a secretary with no telecomm system knowledge can do it. The system really runs itself. We are able to add features and new phone lines on the fly," he said. "It gives us much more flexibility and value from a management standpoint."

Call quality is "excellent," DenBlaker reports. "I don't notice any difference from the TDM phone," he said. The system also streamlines call management for the company's sales reps, each of whom handles 30 to 50 calls a day.

In addition to offering better service for callers, the VoicePulse service also helps Graypeak reliably predict expenses.

"The billing is very clear and simple," said DenBlaker. "We don't have any of the billing disputes we used to have with the common carrier. We are able to fix and control our costs."

Most important, the new system is enabling Graypeak to continue growing.

"I just closed a deal to manage the entire IT infrastructure for a large media company," DenBlaker said. "The client was in a meeting and had a couple of key questions. I was able to get that call because it was forwarded from my desk phone to my cell phone.

"The system allows us to operate more efficiently and focus on our business rather than adminis-trivia," DenBlaker continued. "That translates to lower overhead costs and greater shareholder value."