px Saltend Chemicals Park is a cluster of world-class chemical and renewable energy businesses at the heart of the UK’s ‘energy estuary’.

Strategically positioned on the banks of the River Humber – the gateway to Europe and the UK’s busiest ports complex – Saltend Chemicals Park is a location of world-scale manufacturing, operational excellence and innovative technology.

The site has seen £500 million of investment in recent years and its products form part of everyday life, from clothing to paints, pharmaceuticals and packaging. A production powerhouse, Saltend offers a reliable and adaptable environment for blue chip businesses to invest, collaborate and thrive.

The project

Activ Technology was appointed by px Group to provide a bespoke solution for the PABX at the Saltend site. The solution was designed to allow them to update its aging telephony infrastructure, along with providing suitable fall-back measures to maintain resilience and make sure future growth and expansion would be easily possible.

The challenge

The challenge was an outdated and difficult to maintain PABX tied into emergency response and disaster recovery systems, providing nearly 2,000 lines to multiple blue-chip companies spread over the 380 acre site. In addition to the technological, security and logistical challenges, this was also to be undertaken with a very restrictive working back drop – the height of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The solution

The existing framework, an old ISDN/analog-based telephony system that had reached the end of its useful life. After speaking in-depth with the customer, a team of three engineers worked onsite to provide an IP-based solution with connectivity over the groups WAN infrastructure that supplied three Mitel MiVoice business controllers. These controllers accompanied two racks of Grandstream units supporting 1,500 remaining analogue extensions and the site incident communications system.

The team also put in place call logging – TIM Enterprise Tri-Line software to log inbound and outbound call traffic. In addition, a phone bill report enabled the client to generate bills for its customers in the same style as one would expect from a large telephone provider. NuPoint voicemail support was also enabled for users across the site and installed on the site’s virtual environment.

The benefits of the new system include migrating the client on to SIP and away from ISDN – which is likely to be phased out by 2023. To support the new platform, a Mitel Border Gateway was also installed onto the site’s virtual infrastructure and securely across the Group’s WAN to the hosted solution provider. With SIP, the client was able to consolidate their lines both internally and externally. Overall, this was a far more cost-effective model, creating huge efficiencies in the short term to both cost and resources, whilst still offering scalability and flexibility that supports the site’s growth model going forward.

The new MITEL solution enables its team to work smarter, it boosts productivity and offers a flexible working environment – supported on a 24/7 basis with strict SLAs

What px Group have to say:

Mark Willis, ICT projects and service delivery manager for px Group, said:

“Activ Technology won a successful tender process. They were successful for a number of reasons, their reputation, competency and a competitive bid being some of the reasons why they stood out.

“Previously, the support for the existing telephone system was inflexible and highly cost and labour intensive. The solution implemented has an ROI within the first year, minimises on-site support requirements and is an enabler to make further efficiencies to other systems further down the line.

“By outsourcing the site’s PABX support, particularly in the current climate, we created a win-win situation by reducing costs whilst increasing service levels.  As with other elements of our comms portfolio site, we now have direct access to Activ Technology meaning that there is less pressure on our internal px teams.”

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