INEOS PHENOL Future-proof telecom platform guarantees business continuity

BKM implemented a new telephony platform at the Antwerp branch of INEOS Phenol. The solution combines analogue and digital devices, while providing a basis for IP telephony. BKM installed the hybrid solution with a minimum time-out.

INEOS Phenol is the largest producer of phenol and acetone in the world. It involves organic compounds which are used in the production of plastic, synthetic fibers and solvents. The three production plants of INEOS Phenol are located in the port of Antwerp, Germany and the United States; currently, the company is also looking towards China. In Antwerp, INEOS Phenol has around 180 employees. Since the start of the Antwerp site in 1993, the company relied on an analogue telephone system by Unify. Because a maintenance contract or spare parts were no longer available for the system, it posed a risk to the business continuity of the site in Antwerp. "Telephony is a very critical business application", says Katty Van Driessche, Network & Security Administrator at INEOS Phenol. "Hence the decision to invest in a new platform for telephony."

Analogue and digital

INEOS Phenol asked several integrators to work out a proposal. BKM - that had already worked on the old telephone system and was very familiar with the context of the company - offered the most suitable solution: a combination of analogue and digital on the basis of a system of the type Unify Hipath 3800. That system also provides a basis for IP telephony. "We are a chemical company", explains Katty Van Driessche. "We use a lot of expensive, explosion-proof devices on analogue lines. We wanted to keep that in the new configuration." BKM found a solution by working out a hybrid solution, in which there is room for both analogue and digital devices. At INEOS Phenol, BKM implemented 141 devices of the type Unify OpenStage 15, in addition to three devices of the type Unify OpenStage 40.

Katty Van Driessche: "BKM had prepared the whole exercise right down to the smallest detail. That gave us a very specific idea of how we would work in the new situation. Furthermore, the company knows our business inside out. We were also given the opportunity to test the new system at BKM. All those elements together determined our choice of BKM." The actual implementation was carried out on a Saturday, with a minimum time-out. Thanks to the combination of the new system and the new phones, all the staff of INEOS Phenol in Antwerp now have the same functionality. BKM was responsible for training key users, who then passed on the knowledge to employees. Katty Van Driessche: "We deliberately opted for user-friendly, intuitive devices. Everyone can now transfer a call, take a call that is transferred by a colleague, etc. Our emergency number is displayed as standard on the displays of the devices.'

Simplicity and continuity

It is also important for INEOS Phenol that management of the new telephony environment is user-friendly. Its management software, Manager C, is located on the company network. Katty Van Driessche: "That allows me to add new users, modify authorisations, etc., all from my own desk." Employees at reception use the software Attendant P. This solution uses a PC screen to display an overview of the phones that are either available or unavailable. Forwarding a call is then no more than a simple click of the mouse. "We wanted a solution that combines the necessary functionality with simple management. Not too many bells and whistles, but solid and reliable functionality which will support our business continuity. Our employees need to be accessible and in turn, need to easily access colleagues, customers, suppliers and other partners." In the future, INEOS Phenol may possibly switch to IP telephony. By choosing the Unify HiPath 3800 system, the company already has the appropriate foundation. Katty Van Driessche: "That will be the next big step in the development of our telephony environment: the integration of IP telephony with other applications, such as email and calendar."