Kennards Hire cuts cost with VoIP deployment

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Kennards Hire cuts cost with VoIP deployment

Category : Case Studies

Australian equipment rental company relies on Fortinet’s UTM solution for highly connected and secure network.logo_kennards

Equipment rental firm Kennards Hire bolsters security posture, reduces down time and implements new technology initiatives with FortiGate 94D-POE and ForitAP-223B.

The Situation

Kennards Hire is a leader in the equipment hire and rental industry, with a reputation for
delivering premium quality products and unparalleled customer service. Founded in 1948, the
family-owned company has 150 sites throughout Australia and New Zealand that provide
equipment rental solutions. Equipment ranges from small hand held tools to large specialist
products suited to commercial construction and mining sites. With the goal of being the best hire
company, but not necessarily the biggest, Kennards relentlessly pursues operational excellence
and strives to deliver outstanding customer service.
These high standards of quality and excellence extended to the company’s telephony strategy.
Kennards had previously adopted the FortiGate 60C solution to address a historical issue of the
lack of WAN redundancy and brought in standard Unified Threat Management capabilities,
including anti-virus and application control.

The Challenge 

Kennards’ telephony system is the lifeblood of the company. Most customer enquiries are received by
phone into each branch. Kennards used a PABX with at least two ISDN2 on-ramps at each site. This
system was inefficient as it did not allow for global changes easily. Recurring maintenance and upgrade
costs related to the PABX system were high. For example, if a branch wanted to add a new functionality
such as an auto-attendant, additional hardware and installation was often required, increasing the costs
and leading to a deconstructed and inconsistent system across the organization.

Introducing a new branch or relocating an existing one in the network was a very complex and involved
process. Kennards would need to bring in Telstra and the owners of the telephony equipment,
and get the heavy involvement of their own IT team, driving up costs to the company.

The final and probably most important challenge was the slow redundancy failover process when ISDN
lines go down. It typically takes two to three hours to transfer calls and a further few hours to resolve the
issue, causing major loss of customer contact and valuable business opportunities.

“We were working with an inconsistent telephone system that was growing in its complexity and
maintenance costs and we found ourselves taking a reactive approach instead of an unattainable
proactive one,” said Mitch Hirsch, network engineer at Kennards Hire.

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