ProRail: Integrated fixed mobile telephony platform improves flexibility and save costs

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BT fixed mobile integration project gives ProRail greater flexibility and agility

Dutch railway management company ProRail developed an innovative telephony policy called “Mobile, unless…” under which employees would use mobile devices unless their role required otherwise. The idea was to simplify telecoms management and support, and bring down cost per user.

BT was chosen in partnership with Vodafone for the complex migration project. The end-to-end nature of the BT solution made the job of ProRail’s Infrastructure Manager Henk Tijssen significantly easier.

Now, more than half of the 4,000 desk phones have been replaced by mobiles, reducing the fixed costs per workplace and preparing the company for the continued roll-out of flexible working, to provide greater agility and help further drive down costs.

BT took a flexible customer-centric stance, focusing on our needs and thinking along with us to solve technical or organisational project issues.”
- Henk Tijssen, Infrastructure Manager, ProRail


Charged with construction, maintenance, and security of the Dutch railway infrastructure, ProRail employs over 4,000 people. It ensures that 1.2 million passengers and 100,000 tons of goods reach their destination on time every day – deploying over 6,500 trains across more than 6,500 kilometres of rail.

Over the years, a mix of old and new telephony technologies had emerged consisting of mobile platforms, voice over IP, and traditional analogue landlines. “We needed to streamline our telephony environment. Its management was becoming more complex and some platforms were approaching end of life, while we wanted more flexible and mobile working,” explains Henk Tijssen, Infrastructure Manager at ProRail.

ProRail developed a new communications policy called “Mobile, unless…” under which employees would migrate to mobile devices, unless their roles required otherwise. “That way we could reduce the number of desk phones,” says Henk Tijssen, “simplifying management and support, and helping reduce cost per user.”


BT was already providing ProRail with management of several PBX platforms as well as incoming call handling using BT One – Business Voice, with Vodafone as the mobile service provider. The two parties teamed up to tender for the new IP telephony environment. Vodafone offered mobile call handling and connectivity while BT assumed responsibility for design, implementation, and support of the IP infrastructure. Together, Vodafone and BT are managing fixed mobile integration.

“We selected the BT and Vodafone solution because it offered the best price performance ratio,” recalls Henk Tijssen. “In addition, BT had proven to be a reliable partner during the previous contract, a critical requirement for the public transport business we’re in.”

Under the new four-year contract, BT has migrated the office telephony environment to new IP-based Mitel PBXs, connecting over twenty ProRail locations and integrating existing and new mobile users. A single countrywide 088 number has replaced regional access numbers bringing all employees – whether on desk phones or mobiles – under a company-wide dial plan. Key benefits include presence, a unified voicemail box for every user, and simplified management.

BT supplies a fully managed service. After designing the new IP telephony environment it installed infrastructure components, and has moved to full operational support. This includes network management, change management, capacity management, and ongoing maintenance. BT also set up a user service desk and provided user training to ensure a smooth migration. Henk Tijssen says: “BT offers a genuine end-to-end solution. That frees us from technical and management issues, with an IP platform that up to now has delivered on its promises.”


Under the new solution about half of all 4,000 desk phones have been replaced by mobile devices, reducing the costs of the telephony operation. “Savings were a vital factor in our business case,” Henk Tijssen emphasises. “It’s good to see that the cost level is coming down and continues to do so as more users move to mobile only under the new dial plan. The BT integrated IP telephony platform has definitely made the organisation meaner and leaner.”

The new environment has also enhanced the productivity of ProRail people. Office space is at a premium. New flexible workplaces provide the required agility and help further drive down costs. Advanced reporting functionality enables better insight into business costs across departments and individual users.

Henk Tijssen praises the co-operative attitude of BT during the project. “For example,” he concludes, “BT designed a tailored solution on a Mitel platform that deviated from standard BT solution practices.”

Core BT Services

  • One Enterprise – BT managed IP telephony on a Mitel platform
  • Fixed mobile integration services
  • BT One – Business Voice

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Case study

ProRail case study

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