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MS Society Case Study

The MS Society provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. With membership of 28,000, it is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services.

The Need

The MS Society had a number of sites across Canada, each running their own telephone system, paying different local telephone companies, looking after maintenance of traditional, aging hardware, all while lacking a centralized system for employee collaboration by phone.

In order to eliminate the administrative time involved overseeing an aging system and increase collaboration across all of the working units, the MS Society began exploring business VOIP solutions.

The IT team at the MS Society wanted a solution that would allow them to:

Move away from their old telco-type set up and into a VOIP solution
Provide staff with the tools to increase collaboration across the country

“For the MS Society to move to a more modern telephone system we needed to increase user collaboration by making people feel much closer together even though there was physical separation.”

David Arbuthnot, VP Information Technology, MS Society

Epik Networks approached the MS Society at a time when they had just finished testing another provider’s system that didn’t have much success. In addition to the product being a bit difficult to use, reliability was also a problem.

After looking at their needs, Epik presented a compelling business case, attractive pricing and a trial offer.


The Solution

Epik’s solution for the MS Society utilized the organization’s own wide area network backbone to deliver the voice over IP, bringing full-service telephone functions to a CISCO handset on everyone’s desk and serves approximately 300 users in some 50-60 offices across Canada.

Configured on one platform, (one partition), the solution ensures that each user at every MS Society office across Canada is only four digits away from another, thereby streamlining the process of inter-office calls.

With most people already comfortable using traditional voicemail, the transition to Epik’s VOIP system took just a few days and involved first running both the traditional and new platform to give people the opportunity to get comfortable. The incoming numbers were then transferred to Epik system and finally a full transition took place.

Also packaged with the solution are conferencing capabilities, making the ability to jump onto a conference bridge and connect with their peers across Canada fast and easy.

Find me/Follow me’ also allows users to pair their mobile devise with their Epik extension.

“It worked flawlessly out of the gate. Everything was easy to set up, the reliability was there and when we did the cost benefit analysis it really made good business sense to move onto that platform. And we haven’t looked back, so we’ve just continuously rolled out the solution from them.”

David Arbuthnot, VP Information Technology, MS Society



The Result

The Epik solution eliminated the need for the MS Society to make a large capital investment to keep their traditional set up and in the process allowed them to replace the aging and out of date systems with the newest technology.

It also allowed them to scale up and add extensions for a defined telemarketing period and then scale back as needed. This provided a new level of flexibility that not only reduced costs associated with outsourcing, but helped improve service by keeping campaign efforts in-house.

Organizationally, the Epik solution provided employees with a much more modern platform complete with extra features and seamless functions that resulted in greater efficiency and collaborative benefits.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working with some of the larger Telcos in Canada and it just seems like I’m just one of millions of customers. I’ve never felt that with Epik, I’ve always been able to either call directly to a technician for support, call my rep, or, if need be, if there is a technical kind of avenue we would like to explore I can just pick up the phone and can call the top technical people in the organization.”

David Arbuthnot, VP Information Technology, MS Society