Replacing AXA ISDN lines with a resilient SIP voice solution

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To meet the business demands, AXA replaced over 1,000 call centre ISDN lines with a fully resilient SIP voice solution. We planned and implemented a system that offers key flexibility benefits and delivers essential business continuity, whilst reducing costs by over 75 percent on voice lines.

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As part of a programme to improve service and efficiency throughout its UK call centres, AXA determined that the existing ISDN solution serving the Direct & Partnerships division no longer suited the needs of the business. The ISDN lines incurred heavy monthly costs, and were inflexible, taking weeks to fulfil the requirement for more channels, and months to reduce the overhead of unused channels.

AXA wanted to implement a more efficient, resilient solution that provided equal or greater business continuity, whilst simultaneously giving it greater flexibility to scale its systems.

We knew that replacing our ISDN channels with SIP would give us the flexibility and scalability we required. Adam Phones managed all elements of connectivity between our project team and the carrier. It was a completely seamless transition that continues to deliver substantial savings to the business.

Matt Potashnick - IT Director,

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To improve resilience and facilitate speed of change, AXA decided to replace over 1000 ISDN lines with a SIP alternative. The SIP solution we proposed offered essential business continuity, with the added benefit of being able to reduce or increase the number of channels at very short notice, giving AXA the ability to react quickly to the demands of the business.

Access to these resilient channels is now provided by dual fibre connections delivered to two geographically separate data centres. With this in place, AXA D&P’s telephone systems have the ability to use the SIP channels for inbound and outbound calls via the WAN.

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AXA D&P now has a fully secure voice network that is immediately scalable to meet inbound and outbound call demand. An extreme weather event may dictate the need to handle a 100 percent increase in call volumes at one of the call centres, which would not be achievable with ISDN but is now a simple administration task with its SIP solution. Similarly, implementing new insurance products and corporate partner business can be done instantly, with the time taken to issue new telephone numbers measured in minutes, rather than days or weeks.

Business continuity for both inbound and outbound calls is now a simple matter of routing all direct dial-in numbers to a separate SBC or routing outbound traffic through an alternative resilient route, minimising any potential downtime to just minutes. In addition to speed of growth and business continuity benefits, AXA can now send a specific geographical Calling Line Identifier to its customers, thereby increasing call pick-up rates – because calls appear to be from a local or geographically recognisable number.