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Australian Geographic Reduces Costs Collecting Sales Income Electronically over Network from Cisco and IP Systems


New Network Integrates Voice, Point of Sale and Banking Data for Nationwide Network of Stores

SYDNEY, Australia - November 2, 2005 - Australian Geographic, a retailer with more than 60 outlets in Australia, has reduced communications costs by operating sales transactions over an Internet Protocol (IP) network from Cisco Systems® and IP Systems.

The integrated IP network carries voice, point-of-sale transaction data and electronic funds transfer point of sale (EFTPOS) banking transactions from Australian Geographic’s nationwide retail outlets to its head office in Sydney’s Northern Beaches region. The solution replaced a combination of private branch exchange (PBX) telephone, dial-up Internet and dial-up EFTPOS connections, which were expensive and difficult to manage.

Australian Geographic also uses the network to aggregate transactions into a single link from the head office to the bank. By consolidating all its EFTPOS connections into a single link, Australian Geographic has been able to reduce the cost of managing customer purchase transactions.

Mr Dominic MacDonald, IT manager at Australian Geographic, said; “Integrating our EFTPOS banking traffic over the network considerably reduced costs, and errors such as staff incorrectly entering transaction amounts into the EFTPOS terminal. The management of the network has been simplified and telephony costs have also been reduced.”

Australian Geographic has also deployed IP Systems’ Voice network phone solution across all sites. Each store now has a Cisco IP Phone 7940G and a Cisco 837 ADSL Broadband Router. Cisco 2600 Series routers were installed at the head office and warehouse, and the customer contact centre uses Cisco IP phones powered by IP Systems’ virtual call-centre solution.

With the basic network in place, Australian Geographic has gradually been expanding its capabilities and the number of applications it operates over the network. For instance, Australian Geographic is delivering its internal phone directory and other basic information services to each Cisco handset. It recently started streaming security camera footage over the network from one of its stores and future projects under consideration include using the IP handsets for basic human resource functions, such as staff ’clocking on and off’, and for staff product training.

IP Systems, a leading Australian service provider, provided a fully managed service that included asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) access from each store to its Australia-wide multiservice network, a 10-Mbps Ethernet connection to the head office and a 2-Mpbs fibre optic connection to the warehouse.

IP Systems also managed the provisioning of voice over IP and EFTPOS over IP.
IP Systems’ network is based on Cisco multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) technology, using Cisco 2000 Series and 7500 Series routers, which helps ensure the quality of service, or prioritization, for critical payment transactions and for voice over IP traffic. The technology also allows any point on the network to connect directly to any other point. IP Systems overlays this network installation with managed IP telephony and other business services.

Andrew Cox, marketing director of IP Systems, said; "With this project, Australian Geographic extended the envelope for business multiservice networks. IP Systems has delivered converged voice, video and data to businesses for years but adding EFTPOS was a new dimension.

Cisco director of Enterprise Sales, Australia and New Zealand, Jeff Sheard, said; “This is a great example of a customer who understood the full potential of what you can do with Internet technologies to reduce operational costs and improve customer service in a retail environment.”

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About IP Systems

IP Systems is a specialist supplier of converged IP Telephony and managed services over a dedicated Multiservice network throughout Australia and New Zealand, providing businesses with solutions since 1994. For more information see

About Australian Geographic

Australian Geographic is a privately owned publishing and retail company. Each year, a portion of the profits from the Australian Geographic journal and Australian Geographic retail Stores is donated to the Australian Geographic Society, which is dedicated to supporting scientific research, environmental and community projects and encouraging the spirit of adventure and discovery.


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