Success Stories

Testimonials - Government

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Business Challenge

The USDA Maryland campus has miles of acreage and 300 total buildings with 70 real functional buildings. Originally the campus was served with numerous Norstar telephone systems. Some buildings had 3 or 4 Norstar systems in them. None of the systems on the campus were connected together and each one had its own phone service resulting in significant cost. Additionally there were many users on campus that were not connected to any phone system, they were using analog devices with phone service to each phone individually. The campus is also served with a fiber backbone that runs across the campus from end to end.


The solution that was designed for the campus was to implement a single UCX1000 server that would serve as a central server for both the phone lines and the telephones. The goal of which was to reduce cost, ease administration difficulties, and to allow for future growth and migration at their own pace.

  • Phone lines connected the UCX server instead of numerous individual Norstar systems.
  • The original digital telephones were connected to the UCX though DSM modules.
  • Many of the DSM modules utilized the fiber backbone to connect to the UCX.
  • The campus was set up for centralized answering via Auto Attendant.
  • Migration from Norstar Digital phones to InfinityOne IP devices was at the customer’s pace.

Once implemented the solution resulted in both financial saving and management improvements.

  • Initial cost savings by retaining their original Norstar telephones.
  • Reduced monthly phone bills due to significant reduction and consolidation of phone lines.
  • Network simplification by reducing multiple Norstar servers to a single UCX server.
  • Streamlined management by the centralized and remote administration capabilities of the UCX GUI admin interface.
Customer Statement

We were introduced to E-MetroTel by Curtis Gibson with Telecom Management Plus. Curtis is a trusted resource and was responsible for managing the Nortel systems that we had and it was he who recommended a more centralized approach through E-MetroTel.

We had a couple of primary criteria for the project: (1) That we were able to keep as many of our current telephones as possible. And (2) that we were able to migrate at our own pace, in phases.

E-MetroTel offered us the best solution. We were able to keep our Norstar telephones by using E-MetroTel’s DSM devices and have been migrating over to E-MetroTel Infinity 5000 IP phones at the rate that we need to. Currently we are Using a UCX10000 and may later go to a UCX3000. We are currently about 50% centralized, we have 700 extension licenses and have migrated about 150 to 200 users over to Infinity 5000 with the plan to covert everyone on the campus to the E-MetroTel solution over time.

Very little training was needed because we were able to keep our Nortel devices and take advantage of the similarity of the features of the UCX and Norstar. And we have been very happy with the performance of the system.

In summary we think that it is a great system. It saves money on licenses, we know that other manufacturers would have cost more. And the migration on our own schedule has been perfect for us. We look forward to implementing the solution on the rest of the campus soon.

Mike Blum
Supervisory Area IT Specialist for ARS- USDA

Gonzales County Sheriff's Office, TX

E-MetroTel was recommended to us by a county agency as a replacement for our old system. And we were happy to find out that we were able to keep our Norstar telephones and that the E-MetroTel system supported the same features as our old one, which meant no re-training was needed for anyone.

We typically use Auto Attendant to answer calls and find the speed dial feature of the phones very valuable since we have over 20 officers and it is easy to dial any of them. We now have many people working at home by forwarding their telephones and we are interested in learning more about InfinityOne for our Work at Home employees.

And while we are probably using only a small part of the capabilities of the system for us it lacks nothing and has every feature that we need. So I would recommend the E-MetroTel for other Sheriff’s departments looking for a new system.

Erica Leopold, Administrative Coordinator
Gonzales County Sheriff's Office, TX

City of Columbia, Missouri

Ranked #7 on the list of cities with populations between 75,000 and 124,999 in the 2015 Digital Cities Survey, the City of Columbia’s information technology department was recognized as a leader in the use of innovative technology to improve services, security, transparency and citizen engagement. This leadership commitment required us to replace an outdated Nortel CS 1000 PBX that was costly to maintain and support with a simple, secure and feature-rich Unified Communications solution from E-MetroTel. The transition was smooth and seamless, installing a new UCX1000 appliance server that delivered the features we needed to improve services and boost efficiencies.

The UCX1000 came fully loaded with a rich suite of ready-to-use UC applications including find-me follow-me mobility, Android smartphone client, unified messaging, voice and video conferencing, remote office calling, call recording and reporting, contact center, IVR and more. Its evergreen design supports a mix of Nortel digital and VoIP phones as well as new SIP phones, helping the City of Columbia realize significant cost savings, in the order of 30%. We now have a reliable, scalable communications system that simplifies our IT network and helps increase staff productivity.

Jim Chapdelaine, CIO
City of Columbia, Missouri

Town of St. Marys, Ontario, Canada

The Town of St. Marys, hom to approximately 7,000 residents, is one of Ontario’s oldest and most appealing communities, offering a unique rural lifestyle with urban amenities. Residents enjoy a high quality of life and an affordable cost of living. The community offers new and seasoned homeowners a variety of reasonably priced housing options, from new builds in subdivisions to historic homes in established neighbourhoods. As a separated town, St. Marys’ complement of municipal services rivals those offered in many larger centres. To maintain its outstanding service level, The Town was needed to replace its soon to be unsupported Phone Switches, the BCM 450 and BCM 50’s. Upon initial installation of these systems over 8 years ago, The Town was one of the first in Southern Ontario to implement a multi‐site design with the BCM’s utilizing a mixture of Digital and IP sets.

There were a number of challenges with the old system:
  • Voicemail and call forwarding to different sites was not possible.
  • Adding a new phone set was challenging.
  • Everything needed licensing
  • Support was ending
The UCX450 was appealing to the Town for a variety of reasons:
  • We could collapse the existing BCM’s, remove the support contracts and run everything from a central system with one support contract.
  • Call routing to/from all sites could be seamless.
  • Programming was far less involved then the BCM.
  • All the features were included We could save approximately $10,000 on re‐using existing phones

The Town implemented the UCX450 in the spring of 2016 with the help of Alpha Telecom Services Inc. The cutover was a great success, and the system was preconfigured which allowed for minimal down time. Alpha Telecom ironed out any issues that arose with ease and met all of the Town’s needs. Training happened during the cutover allowing myself to make necessary changes as we brought all the sets online. Since the cut‐over I have activated 10+ sets, and reconfigured portions of the call routing, all without a support call. I am very happy with the UCX and I am excited to implement more of its features that we never had with the BCM in the near future.

Michael Kuttschrutter, Network Administrator
Town of St. Marys, Ontario