The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has extended its relationship with Itec by appointing the group as the PBX supplier for its head-office.
The deal builds on a long-standing relationship that began about eight years ago when the AA appointed Itec as its office automation vendor of choice. At the time, the AA was looking to reduce costs and improve uptime in its document output environment.
Says Jaco van der Merwe, general manager responsible for IT at the AA: “Throughout the years, we have found Itec to be a reliable supplier with a good after-sales support infrastructure.
“By working with Itec, we have been able to simplify the management of our printer environment. We have one number to call for any printer issues, from replenishment of consumables to support and service.”
The AA currently runs about 25 Itec multifunction products for general colour and monochrome office printing. Van der Merwe says that the decision to standardise on Itec printers has helped the organisation to save money and simplify administration.
In addition, Itec’s value-added software tools make it easy for the AA to monitor printer usage and service levels through its internal helpdesk. This also helps to keep costs in check and ensures that the infrastructure keeps running smoothly.
Based on the success of the office automation product, the AA decided to appoint Itec as the telecoms equipment vendor for its head-office when it decided to move towards a digital infrastructure. Itec has installed a Mitel PBX for the AA at its head-office.
This new IP-based PBX is a flexible and scalable solution that offers rich functionality, says Van der Merwe. The AA was particularly excited by the tight integration of the Mitel IP phones with Microsoft Outlook, he adds.
This allows users to, for example, access, search and dial corporate contacts from Microsoft Active Directory or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories.
In addition, the IP PBX infrastructure will be more cost-effective and easier to manage than the legacy platform, says Van der Merwe.
Shani De Koker, account executive at Itec Connect, says that many organisations such as the AA are looking to partner with suppliers that can help them respond to real world business challenges with solutions that drive productivity, improve performance and reduce costs.
They want suppliers who can work with them in a consultative way to identify opportunities for cost-savings and who have the large-scale infrastructures to deliver high service levels. It is service that separates companies in a market.