Case study

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:

BT Hosted IP Telephony gives voice to the Games

Overview

Challenge

BT Hosted IP Telephony has been adopted as the voice communications platform for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Solution

As a cloud-based service, BT Hosted IP Telephony uses Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers hosted in BT data centres

Value

It provides a business-wide telephony domain offering free on-net calls, while per-user pricing means a dramatic reduction of capital investment

BT Hosted IP Telephony in summary

Part of the BT Onevoice portfolio, Hosted IP Telephony brings the advantages of unified communications within reach of all organisations. As a cloud-based service, it uses Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers hosted in BT data centres.

A highly scalable, enterprise-class service, it provides a business-wide telephony domain offering free on-net calls. Meanwhile a utility-like per-user pricing model allows dramatic reductions in capital investment. Single dial plans and online directories are just two of the powerful features that are part of the standard BT Hosted IP Telephony package.

Currently available across EMEA, and the United States, BT Hosted IP Telephony enables corporations to create joined-up voice infrastructures integrating IP and legacy technologies on a single platform. Its leading-edge architecture keeps individual customer domains entirely secure and separate from one another.

Offering a seamless voice service start to finish

BT Hosted IP Telephony has been adopted as the voice communications platform for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Distributed over the carrier-class BT wide area network connecting more than sixty London 2012 locations, it has already proved highly successful.

The initial capacity of five thousand Hosted IP Telephony connections was planned and rolled out right on schedule and without incident. At January 2011, there were some 2,500 lines supporting LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) users. Predominantly members of technology teams in Canary Wharf and those involved in planning and organising the Opening Ceremony, nearly 50 people were added when the Volunteer Selection Centre opened at ExCeL in February 2011.

With ordering, configuration, and delivery processes already tested 2,500 times, systems and processes have proven to be seamless and bug-free. The platform will be used for live test events in 2011 in venues including Wembley and Wimbledon. Also in spring 2011, total London 2012 Hosted IP Telephony capacity will be scaled to 20,000, providing a 25 per cent cushion should eventual demand exceed expected levels.

A shared service, launched at the end of 2009, the BT Hosted IP Telephony platform is already in use by bodies such as the NHS and National Express. As it moves towards the contracted take up of 16,000 connections, LOCOG will become the largest BT Hosted IP Telephony customer.

Three-quarters of the 16,000 connections will serve the 60-plus venues around the country, with about 5,000 of those expected to be in training and coaching locations. The media in places like the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre will use the majority of the remaining 25 per cent.

London 2012 Hosted IP Telephony features

BT Hosted IP Telephony users at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will enjoy the features and functionality expected from a full enterprise-class IP-based telephony platform. These include:

  • Free on-net calls between all London Organising Committee extensions
  • A four-digit dialling plan across the entire London Organising Committee
  • Online directory with single button calling
  • Called and calling numbers display
  • Calls to PSTN numbers outside the London Organising Committee at standard rates, using a dial-9 prefix
  • Plug-and-play flexibility to move phones and people around as needs change
  • Three-party conferencing between numbers within and outside the London Organising Committee
  • Divert and transfer facilities to numbers within and outside the London Organising Committee, including mobile phones
  • Cisco Unity-based voicemail and messaging
  • Cisco 79XX and 6941 IP Phones with digital screen

The commercial model

The primary customer for the BT Hosted IP Telephony service is the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). During the bid process leading up to the award of London 2012 contracts, the costs of services to be provided were estimated. A sum was allocated against the planned sixteen thousand BT Hosted IP Telephony connections. This will be recovered by LOCOG through the revenue generated. If more capacity is required a further sum will be allocated. An account number is generated against BT Hosted IP Telephony services ordered through the VESPA online London 2012 portal. DDI numbers are allocated against that account number. BT provides a single line-by-line electronic bill to LOCOG, enabling call charges to be allocated and billed by LOCOG to the end user’s account number.

Getting off the BT Hosted IP Telephony starting blocks

Authorised media and other partner organisations will be able to order London 2012 communications services though online LOCOG rate card catalogues. BT Hosted IP Telephony will be just such a service alongside broadcast video and commentary circuits, mobile voice services, access to games information services, connectivity between venues, internet access, and private circuits.

Ordered through the VESPA online LOCOG portal, provisioning processes will be automatic, with electronic links to the BT Hosted IP Telephony platform. Because of the volumes expected in the run-up to the Games, the contractual lead-time for provision of service will be 25 working days. Catalogue users have been given two dates by which they have to have stated their intentions and placed their orders. However, during Games-time, ad hoc provisioning will be offered in as little as one hour.

While similar in function to the product offered to external BT customers, London 2012 BT Hosted IP Telephony will offer enhanced service levels. Pre-provision with automated ordering enables shorter lead times. Meanwhile pre-determined levels of on-site skills and spares inside Games-time secure perimeters mean that repair times will be measured in minutes or hours rather than days. In fact, some six hundred BT engineers will be stationed and rostered at the 60-plus venues. Their task is made less complex because Cisco is the Official Network Infrastructure Provider to London 2012, as well as being a strategic partner to BT in its core 21C network and the external marketplace.

Firing the gun for unified communications

By integrating Cisco Unified Communications Manager and the BT 21C global network, BT Hosted IP Telephony goes beyond voice; creating the ideal platform for organisations of all sizes to move to unified communications (UC). This uniquely powerful blend opens a door on a vista of collaborative technologies, while offering immediate benefits such as free on-net calls and almost zero capital investment. Its open architecture will work with legacy devices, protecting historic investment. Interoperation with similar communications server-based applications adds further potency. So, with BT Hosted IP Telephony in place, adopting UC applications – like presence, instant messaging, web conferencing, application sharing, audio and video conferencing, mobility, and flexible working – becomes child’s play.

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