The Boeing Co. is expanding its IP telephony rollout to its entire enterprise and will standardize on Cisco IP telephony equipment, the two companies announced this week.
The deal announced with Cisco Systems Inc. will extend IP telephony to all of Boeing's 150,000 employees in 48 states and 70 countries. In a previous interview with Network World, Boeing discussed its plan to standardize on Cisco IP telephones and CallManager IP PBX technology, with several pilots running across its U.S. enterprise -- around 9,000 IP phones total.
Boeing has worked with Cisco IP telephony gear since 2001, rolling out the technology in small pockets. Previously, Boeing officials said that scaling problems on the CallManager servers were among some of the issues that held back a wider IP telephony rollout.
"Recent advances in technology and product innovation have overcome many of the obstacles inhibiting the convergence of Boeing's voice and data networks," said Christopher Kent, vice president of Computing & Network Operations in Boeing Shared Services Group, in a statement.
Boeing already does extensive IP-based voice trunking over its MPLS-based IP backbone, which supports an array of mixed TDM phone switches from Avaya, Lucent and Nortel, as well as some Cisco CallManager IP PBXs. The Cisco deal will push IP telephony down to most desktops throughout the company. Boeing already uses Cisco switches and routers extensively in its enterprise LANs and corporatewide WAN. The company has said it will upgrade much of its current LAN gear to support the Cisco IP telephony technology and install QoS-capable switches at the LAN edge that also provide power over Ethernet.
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