Case Study: The Walters Group Build Their Business on SpliceCom

Having manufactured communication products for the likes of Nortel Networks, Lucent Technologies, Avaya & Thales, The Walters Group know a thing or two about telephone systems. So when it came to kitting out their brand new Head Office & Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, SpliceCom’s maximiser business telephone system proved the natural choice.

Founded in 1971 and located in High Wycombe, UK and Nantong, China, The Walters Group offers a full range of Electronic Manufacturing Services to a wide range of customers including Bentley, Nescafe, Oxford Instruments & TDK. After doubling the size of their UK manufacturing facilities with the opening of a 26,000 sq ft Head Office & Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in 2004, The Walters Group were looking for a communication system to compliment their new high-tech environment. “SpliceCom’s maximiser solution, provided and installed by the Datacomms Warehouse, gives us exactly what we were looking for from a modern telephone system,” said Mark Newell, Managing Director of The Walters Group.

One of maximisier’s key strengths is its ability to support high densities of both IP and analogue handsets. maximiser’s modular design and distributed architecture allows its system components to be placed exactly where they’re needed. This has allowed The Walters Group to provision the maximiser Call Server and a Phone Module in the communications room, a further Phone Module on the Sales Floor and a third Phone Module within the Manufacturing Centre. All four maximiser modules are linked via the company’s IP LAN network, resulting in a significant saving in cabling costs – one Ethernet cable can be used to replace up to 30 conventional twisted-pair cables.

Most of The Walters Group employees have SpliceCom’s PCS 10 phone on their desktop and get even more out of their phones by using them in conjunction with SpliceCom’s PCS 50 application. This “Phone Partner” runs on Microsoft Windows & Apple Mac OS X PCs – The Walters Group use both in their new offices – and delivers ALL of the features and facilities associated with SpliceCom’s top-of-the-range PCS 400 Touch Screen IP Phone to those using low-cost analogue phones.

In addition to the widely deployed PCS 10 analogue phones, several of the key employees within The Walters Group use SpliceCom’s state-of-the-art Proactive Communication Station (PCS) 400 terminals. These revolutionary IP Phones have no keys, instead a large, full colour touch-screen is used to make telephone calls, as well as handling other traditional telephony functions in a user-friendly manner – more akin to the ease-of-use associated with mobile phones than a business telephone system. The PCS 400 is built around web-browser technology. This allows any page that can be viewed through a conventional web-browser to be seen from the phone screen. This information could reside on the Internet, company intranet or any other web-based application. The Walters Group use this facility to link their phone system to a web cam located in their un-attended reception area. This allows the receptionist/operator to clearly see who is coming in or out of the building on the screen of the PCS 400.

“SpliceCom’s maximiser phone system has already exceeded our current expectations,” states John Walters, founder & Chairman of The Walters Group. “However, maximiser’s ability to meet our ever changing communication needs, as dictated by our constantly evolving business, was also a big influence in its choice.” Walters Microsystems currently carry out Box Build Manufacturing at a second facility located less than a mile from the new Head Office. The second phase of The Walters Group roll-out is to install a 100 Mbps LAN Emulation Service (LES) between the two buildings, provision a second maximiser Call Server & Phone Modules at Cetec House and then link the two separate sites to provide one single seamless system.

Employees will be able to see who’s available to take a call – and who’s not – wherever they may be located. Hot desking between sites will also be available, providing delivery of DDI, Departmental and Voicemail calls wherever an employee may choose to be. “We’re also looking to provide extensions from our maximiser system in other offices within The Walters Group,” states Mark Newell, Group Managing Director. By linking these extensions via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), this will allows us to save on call costs – particularly on calls from our Chinese facilities – whilst at the same time improving our productivity.”