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State of Arizona’s New Converged IP Communications Network Drives Economic Growth, Savings, Service Delivery


State is Leader in Deploying IP Communications Solutions, Transforming the Work of Multiple State Agencies

PHOENIX, AZ, June 21, 2005 - Cisco Systems today announced the completion of the initial installation of over 5,000 Internet Protocol phones in nine state agencies, as part of an ongoing overhaul of the state’s communications infrastructure. The state of Arizona is aggressively transforming its network infrastructure to efficiently utilize taxpayers’ money and improve service quality. At the heart of this transition is an initiative to replace the state’s aging telephone network with a converged IP-based network that carries voice and data, and eventually video.

The state has taken a leadership role in implementing this efficiency-driven initiative, which is presently under consideration among other states nationwide. The program is being overseen by the Arizona Government Information Technology Agency (GITA), headed by Director and State CIO Chris Cummiskey. GITA is responsible for developing and overseeing technology projects, including developing convergence standards for all state agencies, boards and commissions.

The state is replacing separate networks for voice and data with a single communications infrastructure based on the Internet Protocol (IP). “An IP-based converged network can support such diverse communications media as data, voice and video,” Cummiskey said. “A Cisco IP telephone provides increased functionality over a traditional PBX (private branch exchange)-based telephone, while eliminating the costs associated with maintaining a separate voice network. For state agencies and employees as well as taxpayers served by state communications systems, this new, converged network means will allow us to enable a range of new applications such as unified messaging, which provides a single in-box for e-mail, voice mail and even fax.”

The Arizona state legislature led other commercial and government customers by adopting a converged network, and is seeing significant savings.

The Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR) also has adopted Cisco IP telephony solutions. The DOR wanted to replace three key systems, or small PBXs, that serviced their nine-story headquarters building. Workers in one department needed an outside line to connect to coworkers in another department, and incoming calls could not be transferred from one department to another. The Cisco IP telephony solution removed these obstacles, ensuring effective collaboration.

“The DOR has achieved a remarkable seamlessness in its operations, communicating as a single entity instead of fragmented divisions,” said Cummiskey. “They have set an example that can be replicated between agencies, not just within an agency.” The DOR has also replaced the key systems in its Mesa office and Phoenix warehouse.

The conversion to Cisco IP telephony also has helped foster economic growth. Cummiskey notes the state’s commitment to ’no community left behind,’ which means delivering high bandwidth capacity to all communities. Prior to convergence, some rural communities were unable to get high-speed bandwidth to support local business growth because of a shortage of leased telephone lines from the phone company. When the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) completes its migration to IP telephony solutions in three prison locations, they anticipate freeing up leased telephone lines that can be used by local businesses to generate economic development in many rural communities.

“Arizona has taken a leadership role in realizing the benefits of a converged IP network in delivering services more efficiently and effectively and at a cost savings for the benefit of the agencies, employees and taxpayers,” said Mohsen Moazami, vice president of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). “The roll-out of this IP-converged network into numerous agencies took place over the past 18 months, and other agencies throughout the state are interested in exploring similar benefits.”

Other state agencies using Cisco IP telephony solutions include the Arizona Department of Commerce, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, Office of the Treasurer, Arizona Office of the Auditor General, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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