Ecobank is the leading pan-African bank with operations in 32 countries across the continent, more than any other bank in the world. Strong growth in the London office meant that the UK network and phone system was no longer supporting the business and was effecting employee productivity. The existing hosted telephony service was proving unreliable, inflexible and very expensive to run.
Ecobank approached Unifi Communications to discuss a solution that would provide a reliable and resilient network infrastructure to support their business moving forward. They also wanted to replace the hosted telephony solution with a business class collaboration platform that would allow the London office to collaborate across the whole of the group's business.
"We approached Unifi Communications on the recommendation of another customer." comments Yemi Adseda, Group IT Operations "We were looking for an IT Services partner who had the experience in designing, installing and supporting Cisco voice, data and video solutions that would support our business moving forward with the least risk possible"
Working closely with the Ecobank IT Operations staff in London and Ghana, Unifi Communications proposed a network design that upgraded the network infrastructure with Cisco Catalyst Switches at the network core and Cisco 2960 Catalyst Power over Ethernet switches at the access layer. For added security and resilience, dual Cisco ASA 5500s Next Generation Firewalls were installed, working in active standby mode, to permit and monitor specifically approved network traffic. Traffic to and from the WAN is optimized and accelerated by a Riverbed Steelhead appliance. WAN connectivity is provided by a Cisco 2900 MPLS Router.
"Once Unifi had installed the Cisco network infrastructure," continues Yemi, "we were able to roll out Cisco Communications Manager to the London office. This allowed us to collaborate across the whole of our business."
By providing connectivity to the corporate WAN, Unifi then integrated the London office onto the corporate Cisco Communications Manager cluster hosted at their London datacentre. All London employees were provisioned with Cisco 7965 IP Phones that registered across the corporate WAN to the global Cisco Communications Manager cluster. This allowed Unifi to add all London employees to the global dialling plan and corporate directory. Calls from the London office utilise a Unifi Communications provided SIP trunk that is terminated on a Cisco 2900 Voice Gateway operating in Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) mode. This ensures that if connectivity to the Communications Manager cluster is lost the London office can continue to receive and make calls with the Cisco 7965 IP Phones automatically registering with the local voice gateway. Further resilience for telephony is provided by an ISDN backup.