Hammond gets in bed with IP telephony

Aged care specialist Hammond Care Group is deploying a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) corporate telephony system based on technology from Cisco Systems. The group runs a number of community and residential care facilities throughout New South Wales, with a head office in downtown Sydney.

Aged care specialist Hammond Care Group is deploying a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) corporate telephony system based on technology from Cisco Systems.

The group runs a number of community and residential care facilities throughout New South Wales, with a head office in downtown Sydney.

Hammond has some 1200 combined residents and staff, but the initial VoIP rollout is aimed at meeting site-specific expansion needs and as such will consist of just 46 handsets and back office systems, according to the group's chief technology consultant Bruce Coller.

Speaking with ZDNet Australia yesterday afternoon, Coller said the new technology would initially reach Hammond's head office as well as small installations in several campuses which had outgrown their old telephony systems.

Ultimately, however Coller sees the need to deliver all communications over Hammond's data network, including services to residents, nurse call and emergency systems.

"Hammond has a very strong focus on convergence," he said. The group had previously used telephony hardware from Ericsson, but had outgrown the legacy system and didn't consider it worth investing any more money in.

Coller picked Cisco for its "world-class" capabilities, after having a successful but not-as-positive VoIP trial with a rival provider.

"In addressing the needs of a wide area system and total convergence of all our communicating technologies, I wanted a world-class act really involved," he said.

"Cisco are also taking a very proactive role in aged care at the moment, and provision of services. Clearly they want to build their business, but they also have a very strong view on making a difference in aged care."

"They have assigned dedicated people to aged care, and that's the sort of thing I've been looking for, a strong commitment."

The aged care provider is using Cisco's 7961G and 7970G handsets, along with Catalyst 3560 switches. It will also utilise Cisco wireless hardware to allow some handsets to roam.

System integration is being provided by Hammond's un-named telecommunications provider.

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