When William “Butch” George, owner of the local butcher shop in a small eastern Pennsylvania town, got into the telephone business with six customers back in 1909, he couldn’t possibly have foreseen an industry built on satellites, fiber optics, and cloud-based communications.
Nearly 110 years later, however, his company — now one of the most progressive family-owned telecoms in the United States — has found the formula for not only competing, but also thriving, in this hotly competitive field.
Five years ago, Ironton Telephone Company (ITC), still owned and operated by the George family, launched its wholly-owned Ironton Global subsidiary to exploit the advent of cloud-based services. ITC identified the need to expand its business model to accommodate a national and even international presence.
As a CLEC [Competitive Local Exchange Carrier], we are constantly looking to stay ahead of the market. Our goal was to acquire a cutting-edge technical infrastructure for both our residential and business customers. In particular we realized the opportunity in offering SIP trunks and hosted cloud PBX services. This is where we felt we could demonstrate leadership in our communities.”Allen George, Corporate Vice President of Operations for ITC
From the start, Ironton Global planned its network for high availability. Redundancy, along with affordability, exceptional quality, and a highly flexible platform that could accommodate a wide range of current, anticipated and even unanticipated voice and data services, were all keys to its core technology decisions. Its search led it to PortaOne and its integrated PortaSwitch softswitch and BSS (Business Support System) solution.
PortaSwitch is especially well-positioned because it represents exceptional value. It is less expensive than the best-known names in the category, but features the same level of robustness.”Allen George, Corporate Vice President of Operations for ITC
As a unified platform for voice, messaging, and data traffic, PortaSwitch enables all the essential switching and business functions for next-generation telecommunications networks. The solution contains two main components: PortaBilling, providing B/OSS capabilities across the service spectrum; and PortaSIP, a clusterable and highly scalable Class 4/5 softswitch. Together, these components support the full range of retail and wholesale offerings including Vonage- and Skype-like services, hosted IP PBX and IP Centrex, WiMAX, WiFi, and much more.
Because high availability is important to Ironton Global, it selected the largest available Oracle RAC-based configuration using Oracle RAC (Real Application Cluster).
Within a year it expanded its PortaSwitch installation with a secondary site to ensure full geographic redundancy; it also purchased a non-commercial license as a staging platform for R&D and training.
With PortaSwitch at the center of our infrastructure, we’re able to deliver every service our customers need. From SIP trunk services that provide both data and voice in the same connection, to enhanced hosted IP-PBX with triple redundancy protection, PortaSwitch helps us meet or exceed the business options offered by our competitors — and at better overall cost.”Allen George, Corporate Vice President of Operations for ITC
PortaSwitch has allowed Ironton Global and its ITC parent company to move confidently into the next level of telecommunications technology.
The company’s cloud-based system gives customers national and international calling capability. Best of all, the George family is assured that the company William George founded long ago will be able to continue serving the needs of the customers in the United States.
By partnering with PortaOne, we continue to break through traditional telecom barriers to evolve the ILEC/CLEC models without losing our focus of our commitment to service excellence. We now deliver an integrated portfolio of business SIP service solutions, hosted IP PBX services, IP Centrex, voice and video calls, conferencing, unified messaging, and presence service to existing customers, industry partners, and a global market — a market unreachable before our PortaOne implementation.”Allen George, Corporate Vice President of Operations for ITC