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Unified Messaging Centrally at the SAP-System, Locally at Microsoft Exchange

serVonic IXI-UMS in Use Europe-Wide at Voith AG

by Giuseppe Palmieri | serVonic GmbH | Public Relations


In terms of the markets for paper, energy, mobility and service, Voith AG sets a standard. The world-wide operating concern with its headquarters in Heidenheim an der Brenz (Germany) is divided into the four concern areas Voith Paper, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation, Voith Turbo and Voith Industrial Services. Founded in 1867, Voith with its now more than 40.000 employees, a turnover of more than 4 billion Euros and over 270 sites all around the world is one of the biggest family-run concerns in Europe.


Andreas Weidner, Manager Corporate Systems at Voith IT Solutions GmbH Source: Voith AG

The Requirements

Nowadays, one third of the entire paper production is produced on paper machines from Voith. With turbines and generators from Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation, one third of the energy generated from hydropower world-wide is produced. Drive units from Voith Turbo are used all around the world in industrial facilities as well as on rail, road and water. Companies all over the world trust in technological services of Voith.
In order to replace an obsolete fax system and make the communication processes at the company more effective, Voith AG in 2005 chose the unified messaging server solution IXI-UMS of the German software manufacturer serVonic. The decisive factor here was the excellent price-/performance ratio, the Active Directory integration and the connection to the central SAP R/3 System. serVonic’s UM-solution IXI-UMS is implemented in six systems which are independent of each other at the headquarters in Heidenheim, Stuttgart, Ravensburg (Germany), Vienna and St. Poelten (Austria) and Manchester (Great Britain). The modularlyn designed UMS-system can be adjusted flexibly to the requirements of themrespective site. The service Fax is the most important module at the headquarters in Heidenheim, in Ravensburg and in Manchester. “We have been searching for a communication solution, which integrates in our existing system environment well. First of all, the feature Fax was important to us,” says Andreas Weidner, Manager Corporate Systems at Voith IT Solutions GmbH. The Fax-feature is added by the feature Voice in St. Poelten. In Stuttgart and Vienna, the services Voice and SMS are applied besides Fax.

Stefan Gerny, Systems Engineer at Voith IT Solutions GmbH. Source: Voith AG

The Solution

“With a project of that scale, we wanted to fall back on a manufacturer that has already proved its competence with references from installations with a larger number of users and several sites and that is able to realize the SAP R/3 integration. This was an important decision criterion,” Stefan Gerny, Systems Engineer at Voith IT Solutions GmbH, explains. As add-on solution, IXI-UMS from serVonic is integrated in the available messaging system. The e-mail functionality is already provided by the mail server Exchange 2003. The unified messaging solution adds – depending on the site – only the respective features Fax, Voice and SMS. From a technical point of view, IXI-UMS messages are nothing more than e-mails: Faxes are e-mails with graphical attachment, e.g. PDF; voice mails are e-mails with voice file attachment, e.g. WAV; short messages (SMS) are e-mails with text in the e-mail body. Incoming messages are processed by the UM-solution accordingly and provided to the user as e-mail with attachment within the regular user interface. With outgoing messages, it is the other way round: When the user wants to send a fax, he can create the document as usual and send it by SMTP. This document is processed by serVonic’s solution and then sent as fax. The entire communication between IXI-UMS system and Exchange Server or ERP-system is handled via Connectors: The communication with the messaging system is realized via the IXI-UMS Exchange 2003 Connector. For the communication with SAP, the Connector for use with SAP® R/3® is applied. In Stuttgart, another own ERP-system is connected via IXI-UMS FAPI (File API). The check of the user addresses and permissions is done via LDAP-queries in the Active Directory.

The Use

At the headquarters in Heidenheim, 1.000 users work with the fax server solution. It works according to the following principle: Sending and reception of fax messages are managed from the employees of Voith AG via the respective mail client (Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007). Outgoing fax messages are created analog to the e-mail delivery. The respective message can be entered directly as text in the e-mail body or attached as document, e.g. as Word-file. The addressing is done via the “To”-field. The user enters the respective fax number of the recipient and “@hdh.fax“. The respective processing like the rendering of the file is done by the IXI-UMS software. The costs for the sending of fax messages are settled – analogue to the telephone charges – via the respective cost center of the sender. At the headquarters in Heidenheim, 1.000 to 2.000 faxes are received daily. These fax messages are processed by IXI-UMS accordingly and are available as e-mail with attachment via the client of the user. In Heidenheim, the monitoring tool IXI-Inspector is installed additionally, which is used for several purposes. At the headquarters, it monitors the relevant services in the directory and in the files, can restart services or release a notification of the administrator by e-mail.
By applying a fax server solution, particular business processes should be improved, first of all the acquisition, this means the direct sending of orders, order confirmation forms and so on out of the SAP-system. The fax feature is mainly used for the ordering system, invoice and bulk mailing of press releases. The latter is partly done with low priority, the faxes are only sent during nighttime because of a better distribution of resources and in order to save costs. Until now, this was done by regular mail or with a hardware fax machine. The sending and reception of fax messages directly out of Outlook and the simple addressing out of the address book are the users’ highlights of serVonic’s solution. IXI-UMS is used by over 1.700 users altogether at the six sites. [more]


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Short Summary

Hardware

  • HP ProLiant DL320 G3
  • Dialogic Diva Server ISDN-boards

PBX's

  • Siemens HiPath
  • Avaya
  • Cisco CallManager

Mail-Systems

  • MS Exchange Server 2003
  • MS Exchange Server 2007

Software

  • MS Windows Server 2003
  • MS Windows Server 2007
  • IXI-UMS Kernel Version 5.7
  • IXI-UMS Fax 
  • IXI-UMS Voice 
  • IXI-UMS SMS
  • IXI-UMS Mobile
  • IXI-UMS Ex 2003 Connector
  • IXI-UMS Connector für R/3
  • IXI-UMS FAPI Connector
  • IXI-Inspector

Contact

Sibylle Klein
Phone: +49 8142 4799-27

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