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The Goethe-Institut needed a network, on which its critical business apps could depend, across 98 countries. Having first tried a combination of three regional suppliers, it chose to eliminate management problems by partnering with BT as its single worldwide service provider.
With BT IP Connect Global, an integrated platform now supports telephony, data, and multimedia worldwide for the Goethe-Institut. It’s also started on a path towards unified communications and collaboration with the deployment of BT One Microsoft Lync and BT One Voice SIP Trunking.
As a charitable association, the Goethe-Institut advocates knowledge of the German language. As well as running language courses and developing educational material, it promotes international cultural collaboration though events and festivals.
With 159 offices and around 1,000 partner organisations in 98 countries, not to mention subsidiaries in twelve German cities, these activities need to be closely co-ordinated. Communication is vital.
Goethe-Institut decided to replace its internet-based VPN with a global network platform. Initially it appointed different providers for each of its three geographical regions. BT was one. Management proved difficult so the institute decided it would be better if its global network was operated by just one company. BT was chosen.
With BT IP Connect Global the Goethe-Institut requires only one platform worldwide. “We don’t need to manage several provider contracts. That brings us advantages in time and cost,” says Stefan Spitzenpfeil, division manager IT at Goethe-Institut.
Offering the highest levels of stability and security, BT IP Connect Global supports any-to-any connectivity. That means different forms of traffic like telephone calls and videoconferencing can be transmitted over the same network. Bandwidth can be flexed as required, enabling Goethe-Institut to get economies by optimising wide area network capacity. That’s achieved by assigning a higher priority to vital traffic like ERP and multimedia apps over less time-critical data such as email.
As a true IP VPN network, each location has BT IP Connect Global connectivity to any other via one link. Specific point-topoint connections between separate offices and subsidiaries are no longer required. This makes configuration more straightforward and lowers the lead time for new service provision. Moreover, worldwide BT reach means geography’s no longer a barrier; new IP VPN connections can be made wherever they’re needed.
In 2013 BT was asked to optimise voice services at the Goethe-Institut headquarters in Munich. The first step was evaluating the potential of UCC (unified communications and collaboration) technology through a BT Advise Unified Communications Quick Start consultancy. Christian Eisenried, account manager at BT, explains: “This involved developing a strategy to define the objectives and likely scope of UCC deployment, including an ROI assessment to show where it was sensible to exploit the technology.”
The BT Advise consultancy led to the deployment of an overlay platform comprising elements from the BT One portfolio. At its core is BT One Microsoft Lync, which brings together all media in a single application. Allowing integration of terminal equipment from different vendors, BT One Microsoft Lync handles traditional voice telephony, voice over IP, instant messaging, presence and audio and video conferencing.
At the same time BT One Voice SIP trunking has been introduced. Based on session initiation protocol (SIP) to extend IP telephony services, this is becoming the UCC standard. “With BT One we can combine UCC applications from leading technology suppliers with the possibilities offered by the BT global network,” Christian continues. The advantages for Goethe-Institut are clear: total communication over a single platform with the opportunity to integrate further locations as required.
Stefan Spitzenpfeil sums up: “With BT IP Connect Global and BT One Collaborate we’ve brought together our worldwide communications infrastructure on a common platform for significant cost savings with increased quality.”
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- BT One Microsoft Lync
- BT One Voice SIP Trunking
Download the Goethe Institut Case Study