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Manufacturing a Unified Front for Ascend’s Communications 

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As Ascend Performance Materials looked for ways to connect its mobile workforce with its eight plant and corporate locations, it learned just how useful Unified Communications could be. To make its unified business dreams a reality, it sought the help of a partner it could trust to take its already existing systems to the next level. 

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The Challenge

  • Chance of being pressured into upgrading 
  • Lack of proactivity and forethought with original partner 
  • Imperative that the system not go down, and was up as soon as possible when it did 
  • Concerns about safety 
  • Questions regarding “when,” “why,” and “how” its transition to UC should be done 

The Solution

  • In-depth discovery process to determine goals and expectations 
  • Maintenance and support for legacy systems with no pressure to upgrade 
  • Robust, future-proof new system 
  • Found and solved problems hitherto undiscovered 
  • Centralized voicemail using AVST and IM presence using Microsoft Skype for Business 

Leaders in the World of Plastics Manufacturing 

This customer found its niche as a premium chemical and plastics manufacturer and is no stranger to innovation. It currently stands as the world's largest integrated producer of PA66 resin, and is a global premium provider of high-quality plastics, fibers and chemicals 

With eight locations globally, Ascend had flourished in its market and was ready to take their team’s communications to the next level. 

Innovative and efficient UC infrastructure 

Ascend connected with Continuant in 2012 while researching when and why to upgrade or replace their legacy standalone Avaya systems.  It was looking for a new idea. 

To help guide the customer in research and alternatives, Continuant performed an in-depth design discovery to determine Ascend’s goals and expectations, as well as to understand the experience it had with their previous managed services provider.  First, and in order to extend their initial investment, Ascend trusted its legacy Avaya systems to Continuant through a maintenance and support agreement. 

Over a period of nine months, Continuant uncovered more than a few challenges that we were able to help with. 

A low-risk upgrade of existing systems ensures the success of a new UC infrastructure 

Early in the discovery process, it was apparent that the customer’s existing Avaya systems would perform well as a foundation for the new unified communications infrastructure.  Through a low-risk (and low-cost) approach, the legacy Avaya system was upgraded to Avaya Aura. To build up UC capabilities, Continuant implemented centralized voicemail using AVST and IM and presence using Microsoft Skype for Business. 

Finally, unified communications for a dispersed workforce 

Ascend has had a long-time goal to be able to connect their mobile workforce to function with in-office employees and plant locations.  However, their existing systems were proving insufficient and inefficient; the existing systems simply did not provide the capability to bring Ascend’s mobile team on board. 

Leveraging the existing Avaya infrastructure, Continuant’s multi-OEM team implemented Avaya one-X with AVST voicemail software in combination with Microsoft Skype for Business.  Skype for Business allows office and plant workers to share presence, IM, and collaboration with mobile workers.  This means that, for the first time, mobile workers are connected all day long, wherever they are. 

A new partnership blossoms with the launch of managed services 

The initial project to upgrade this company to UC was more than just a migration.  The “day 2” services, with Continuant as a partner, are what the customer values most. 

In addition to Avaya maintenance and support services, the customer utilizes Continuant Managed Services to monitor events, resolve incidents, manage carrier services, perform MACD work, and more. 

Today, a dedicated Named Account Manager serves as the single point-of-contact for all concerns, so that Ascend knows and trusts that Continuant is handling the situation. 

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