Alaskan Firm Taps Microsoft Partners to Save $1 Million with Communications Solution


I would like to introduce you to Alutiiq LLC. Founded in 1971 as part of the Afognak Native Corporation, its profits benefit the Alutiiq people of Afognak Island in Alaska. Today it has offices across the United States and provides services such as construction, training, IT, and logistics.


Alutiiq faced a common problem for businesses today: It had invested in a voice over IP (VoIP) system from Avaya a few years ago but had outgrown its capacity. The system was expensive to maintain and didn’t integrate well with its other communications infrastructure. Faced with investing in upgrades to a system that didn’t meet its needs, Alutiiq decided to look at other options and found that Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (now Microsoft Lync with the 2010 release) provided the capabilities it needed for a low cost. “We were tired of all the added expenses and excessive time we were spending with the existing VoIP system. We wanted to continue to build out our infrastructure by using Microsoft products. So at that point, we decided to go with Microsoft for our unified communications solution,”  says Joe LeNoach, Senior IT Manager at Alutiiq. For a minimal investment, Alutiiq integrated Office Communications Server with its existing system and significantly enhanced the capabilities it was providing for its employees.


Alutiiq took advantage of the Microsoft partner network and chose Gold Systems to help design and deploy the solution based on their voice expertise.  “With the help of Gold Systems in designing the architecture and assisting with deployment, we can now easily manage the solution ourselves. The IT time spent on our communications system has been reduced by 85 percent,” says LeNoach. “That means our IT staff can now work on more strategic needs.” Alutiiq also worked with Polycom to select the phones and video devices for the solution. “We knew the Polycom name was practically synonymous with audio clarity. We already had a good relationship with Polycom, having used it for our video needs, so the choice was easy,” LeNoach continues.

“The deployment decision was a huge one, but it was absolutely the right choice,” says LeNoach. “With Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, the support from Gold Systems, and the Polycom devices that are optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator, the solution’s value continues to grow. Alutiiq has gained a dependable unified communications solution that it can add to, and it has saved more than $1 million.”


I really like this story because it shows what a great solution Microsoft can provide to a common problem. Many organizations have invested in VoIP systems and are now facing high-cost upgrades to keep them current. With the help of our partners like Gold Systems and Polycom, Microsoft can provide a solution that our customers can implement to enhance their current systems and get the capabilities they need without investing a lot of money and time. With our large partner network, customers are not locked into hardware and support from one vendor. Alutiiq saved more than $1 million on hardware and licensing compared to the cost to upgrade its PBX. It also reduced the time it must spend managing the telephony system by 85 percent.


Read the written case study


Kind regards,

Rainer Podjoutomo

Product Manager, Microsoft Lync


Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thi is a great case study…thanks for sharing.  I will include this in our UC training course as a great example of outgrowing hardware based solutions and the costs of upgrades.

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