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How TPx Worked with a California City to Find the Right SIP Trunk Solution

When the City of Napa, California, sought to transition its phone system, they soon realized they needed a reliable partner that would put their needs first. The city wanted to upgrade from Primary Rate Interface (PRI) to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for more reliable services and critical 911 systems. The project was even more vital and complex considering that the city handles technology for its own municipality and some functions for other jurisdictions across Napa County.

The project started when Scott Nielsen, Napa’s IT Manager, oversaw a refresh of the phone lines for business services and 911 systems. The city saw an opportunity to transition its system to SIP trunks with the upgrade. However, to achieve its objective, the city quickly realized it needed the right partner, not the first partner.

A better approach

The city’s plan called for a pair of SIP trunk lines from one of the telecom providers across their “last-mile” infrastructure. Therefore, the city would have redundancy in its critical business lines, which it uses to contact other jurisdictions and handle inter-district transfers.

The migration from both PRI and analog to SIP as the primary and backup centers provided real-time fail-over between SIP trunks. Napa’s 911 system had two systems — some lines were Direct Inward Dialing (DID) while others were analog phone lines.

The TPx team separated the systems and connected them via a Point-to-Point Network (PtoP). The PtoP connections between the primary and backup 911 support multicast and are delivered on different last-mile legacy providers, allowing the two centers to work as expansive or as a backup with redundancy.

The need for a trustworthy partner

Nielsen reached out to a pair of legacy telecom providers about the transition. Initially, the two companies could not deliver what the city required.

Given the importance of the upgrades, “no” was not an acceptable answer, so Nielsen turned to TPx to effectively outsource the management of the two “last-mile” contractors.

“During our conversations, we had specific requirements and were focused on redundancy,” Nielsen said. “Together, we are able to find a cost-effective and viable solution to upgrade the City of Napa’s voice services without having to add staff to the IT team.”

The goal was to deliver a set of SIP trunks across two different links, leveraging the companies’ fiber lines at the primary and alternate answering points. TPx’s local solutions architects worked with the city on the ideal services for its needs and customized solutions for the unique requirements rather than pushing them toward a pre-determined offering.

The TPx team managed the two telecom vendors and their last-mile contractors’ technology to ensure the SIP fail-over for the business lines between the two answer points worked.

A blossoming partnership

Given current budget constraints, the city turned to TPx to handle its IT needs. The TPx team served as an extension of the city’s 10-member IT team — all single points of failure.

The city gained a reliable voice and added redundancy/resiliency. By outsourcing, the IT team can focus on other tech priorities and leave the voice services in the hands of the TPx team.

The city and TPx quickly forged a partnership to explore additional offerings to enhance the city’s high availability environment to provide redundancy and resiliency.

“It was refreshing to have detailed discussions and develop a comfort level with pricing, implementation and functionality,” Nielsen said. “During our conversations, we had specific requirements and were focused on redundancy. Together, we were able to find a cost-effective and viable solution to upgrade the City of Napa’s voice services without having to add staff to the IT team.”

To learn more about how TPx helped upgrade City of Napa’s voice services, read the full case study.

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