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Growing Texas County's Municipal Operations Use Intelligent Communications from Avaya to Improve Service to Local Residents

  • From the county jail to local voting precincts, Smith County benefits include increased productivity and cost savings

Smith County, Texas, is using a new countywide network based on Avaya Communication Manager telephony software.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Although Smith County, Texas, is a growing  metropolitan center with more than 175,000 residents, the county's communications infrastructure simply hadn't kept pace with the county's expansion. As a result, callers trying to reach critical county services were often met with busy signals.


"We were in the Dark Ages with our technology," said Harvey Tanner, chief technical officer, Smith County. "Our phone system was 25 years old and lacked features most now take for granted, like caller ID and voicemail. But we also didn't have a lot of money, so we needed a new network that could pay for itself in cost savings."


With the help of a consultant, Tanner researched vendors and solicited bids from six companies – deciding on a winning proposal based on technology from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of communications applications, systems and services. The network was designed, bid and installed by Lantana Communications of Arlington, Texas, a Platinum-level reseller in the Avaya BusinessPartner program.


Now, Smith County is using a new countywide network based on Avaya Communication Manager telephony software, the company's  industry-leading IP telephony platform. Avaya S8720 and S8500 Media Servers and Avaya G250, G350 and G650 Media Gateways run the software and power communications for each of 25 county office buildings – from the county jail and courthouse to five local voting precincts.


"For the first time we now can forward calls and messages, pick up voice mail remotely and even have office calls ring on an employee's cell phone when they are away from their desk on county business, enabling our staff to be much more mobile and easily reached," Tanner said.


Cost-efficient primary rate interface (PRI) transmission lines have replaced the hundreds of inpidual phone lines used previously, and the county has achieved significant savings in maintenance costs. In fact, Tanner and his team now are able to add new employees to the network, move extensions and change routine system settings on their own, which saves time and eliminates costs.


Since the availability of the network is critical to the delivery of service to county residents, backup Avaya processors were installed to carry voice traffic in the event of an outage, which helps ensure business continuity. In addition, patented Avaya Expert Systems™ tools are used to monitor the network around-the-clock and resolve issues remotely before they impact service.


In addition, residents who need to reach a county office now have just one central phone number to remember. An auto attendant menu directs them to the correct employee and provides automated access to hours of operation, driving directions and other standard information – customized for each county department.


For the safety of county personnel, the new network features "E911" capabilities that help emergency workers immediately identify the precise location of the phone used to make the call – helping to speed the delivery of emergency services. Those working for the county's justice system have welcomed call logs and call recording features that can be used to document and trace malicious calls.


"It's a great system, and our people are now much more productive than ever before," Tanner said. "It's also much easier for our citizens to reach us – and after all, we want to make sure we can serve the community effectively and efficiently."


About Avaya
Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:


About Lantana Communications
Lantana Communications offers a wide variety of strategic consulting services with Converged Communications, large scale communication solutions, data Services, large scale install services, equipment and software maintenance, 24/7 technical support, refurbished equipment and Avaya certified professional services for all of its customers. For more information we invite you to visit us at


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