Bank of America to deploy 180,000 IP phones with Cisco, EDS

Bank of America this week announced plans for a corporate-wide IP telephony rollout that will eventually put an IP phone on every BoA employee’s desktop - about 180,000 phones total.

The ambitious VoIP plan will involve replacing BoA’s entire telecom infrastructure with Cisco IP PBXs, voicemail servers and telephones. EDS will assist BoA in the deployment of the new phone network, which is expected to take three years to complete.plan to install 50,000 Cisco IP phones, to be managed by SBC. In July, Cisco announced a 150,000 IP phone deal with Boeing. The dollar amount of the deals with BoA, Ford and Boeing were not released. 

The IP telephony network will be Cisco’s largest customer win to date, and follows last week's announcement of Ford Motor Co.’s 

The BoA network now consists of 362 PBXs based on TDM technology, which support 5,800 locations throughout the U.S. These PBXs, from various vendors, will be replaced with server-based Cisco CallManager IP PBXs. The call managers will be deployed in clusters in various BoA regional data centers to support all major offices, branches and other facilities over the bank’s nationwide WAN and regional metropolitan-area networks (MAN). 

Cisco Unity unified messaging servers will also be deployed in data centers to consolidate all corporate voicemail boxes, which are spread across multiple systems. The bank will use Cisco IP telephony in its customer call centers, which will allow agents to have integrated voice/data applications. And the bank has deployed 12 multi-gigabit MAN rings in the major markets in which it operates. It is currently adding network infrastructure in the Northeast, from its recent merge with Fleet.

If any business has the network infrastructure for this size of a VoIP rollout, it's BoA. Recently, the bank finished building a private, nationwide optical network with backbone speeds up to 10G bit/sec and QoS services using Multi-protocol Label Switching technology.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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