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Avaya Unified Communications Help Non-Profit Organization Boost Services to Consumers with Disabilities


Carousel Industries delivers Avaya Aura™ unified communications solution to help organization increase flexibility and mobility, and lower costs

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications applications, systems, and services today announced that Humanim, a Maryland-based non-profit serving individuals with disabilities, has implemented an Avaya Aura™ unified communications solution to drive down costs. The new technology also added employee flexibility and business continuity capabilities and simplified administration of its telecommunications system.

Humanim is a 38 year-old, not-for-profit organization that provides mental health, vocational, neuro-rehabilitation, developmental disabilities and deaf services to children, adolescents, adults and older adults in the greater Baltimore area. The organization maintains six locations from which more than 500 office-based, mobile and consultant employees provide services to the community.

The organization recently purchased the 150-year old American Brewery Building in East Baltimore to centralize its on-site services for its consumers, help provide local jobs and encourage redevelopment in the area. Seeking a new communications system for the site, the non-profit turned to Avaya Platinum-certified channel partner, Carousel Industries.

“As a non-profit, we deal with extremely limited budgets. Cost of system and cost of operations were very important in our decision-making. Avaya and Carousel Industries were acutely aware of that and sensitive to those concerns,” said Paul Etzler, Network Operations Manager at Humanim. “Avaya and Carousel delivered innovative ideas that help us lower our costs. That’s money that goes back into supporting the services we offer to our consumers.”

Humanim estimates a savings of more than $5000 per month from the reduced requirements for copper lines alone with the Avaya Aura solution. In addition, the organization opted to equip employees with Avaya softphones integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS), further reducing capital expenditures while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of both office and field staff.

With Avaya Extension to Cellular, Humanim employees gained the ability to take important phone calls while away from their offices, allowing them to answer calls from their consumers in real-time and reducing or eliminating delay when the need to speak with a live person is critical. In addition, Humanim’s field workers now have space in the office with access to their own phone line – something they didn’t have previously. The new American Brewery location provides commuter workstations (hoteling) for field staff that drop in occasionally. With the new technology, employees simply use their softphone and a USB headset to log into their phone extension at one of the available desks.

These same technologies help ensure business continuity for the non-profit. Humanim wanted to ensure that employees could continue to serve the community even in the face of disaster. Humanim’s administrative and management staff can communicate from home or remote offices if their primary location is inaccessible. In addition, Avaya’s solution is helping Humanim deliver more personalized services to its clients as it begins to serve its community from more non-traditional locations.

The new technologies simplify work life for both end-users and IT staff. The Avaya Aura integration with Microsoft OCS enabled Humanim to eliminate its inefficient, hard copy phone list system; instead, now staff members have a quick and easy way to look up contacts, get presence information on a contact’s availability before calling and subsequently, click-to-call from the same user interface.

For IT staff, the Avaya solution eliminates the need to call outside consultants to solve issues in the system. Now, the simple, easy-to-use system has increased the self-sufficiency of its IT staff of three, enabling them to centrally manage communications for all of its six locations. As a result, the IT staff travels less between sites and has more time to devote to other projects that will help support Humanim’s clients.


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