About the Client
In December 2006, United Launch Alliance (ULA) was formed as a 50-50 joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA brings together two of the launch
industry’s most experienced and successful teams – Atlas and Delta – to provide reliable, cost-efficient space
launch services for the U.S. government. The new venture swiftly merged the management, production and operations of both launch systems into locations across the country, creating a need to establish and maintain consistent and effective IT services.
Key Business Challenges
ULA needed to equip its new facilities with communications capabilities from the ground up to include basic phone and voice mail functionality as well as the scalability and flexibility needed to eventually add more advanced communication features. With program management, engineering, test and mission support functions headquartered in Littleton, CO, the organization sought an experienced, reliable IT partner capable of providing the local support it needed.
Rolling Out Enterprise VoIP
When GTRI began the project, ULA was running separate phone systems at each of its many nationwide locations. As part of an effort to consolidate its communications, cut back on charges incurred from calls between sites, and centralize the dial plan, GTRI implemented a Cisco Enterprise VoIP phone system after holding station reviews to clearly establish solution requirements. Prior to implementation GTRI performed a thorough configuration review of the existing WAN and LAN switched environment (including all hardware/software, space and power requirements) to ensure maximum performance of the IP Telephony system within the client’s network.
GTRI first installed approximately 2,000 phones at ULA’s Littleton and Centennial locations and are currently taking steps to roll out the new system at all locations nationwide. The Enterprise VoIP system will enable 4-5 digit dialing within sites and 7-digit dialing between sites, simplifying in-house communications and enabling the client to realize significant cost savings in long distance and maintenance.
As ULA takes steps to bring its Colorado locations together under one roof, GTRI has worked to ensure that all employees are engaged with the new system by providing “train-the-trainer” instruction to administrative personnel.
GTRI was then sought to implement a better and more cost effective conferencing option. After some initial analysis, GTRI implemented Cisco Meeting Place. Customized to meet ULA’s needs, the solution allowed ULA to achieve ROI in only six months. ULA currently utilizes the solution up to 2.1 million minutes per month. Taking only 3-4 months, the implementation was the fastest deployment that Cisco had ever seen of its Meeting Place product.
911 Peace of Mind
With the health and safety of its employees paramount, ULA also needed an effective way to track callers if they were to call 911. After a consulting session, GTRI installed and configured 911Enable, an enterprise 911 solution that tracks the location of users’ phones and then sends the proper Emergency Location Identification Number (ELIN) information to emergency personnel. 911Enable allows callers to move their phones at will and then records and updates the database in real time. When 911 is called, the solution provides a map with an extension and the exact location of the person and the emergency, so emergency personnel know exactly where the need is. Since the solution was implemented, several people have used it and gotten the help they needed quickly.
As ULA grew, the need for remote access with crucial protection of internal resources became evident. To meet the needs of contractors providing vital services, as well as remote users, while maintaining in-house security, GTRI installed Cisco NAC, a network appliance security solution that protects wireless and remote access users while enabling them to access vital network resources.
Wired for Success
Having wiring and cabling complete in new locations — prior to the arrival of new teams — also became a large need. As part of an ongoing effort, GTRI’s Structured Cabling team has been meeting new cabling needs quickly and efficiently. Projects include cabling into new launch control viewing areas and cabling and configuration of launch vehicle control labs, including electronics bays in both the Atlas and Delta rockets.
Through its partnership with GTRI, ULA has achieved several measurable results, including:
- Swift, efficient deployment of Enterprise VoIP phone system at new facilities and ability to dial anyone in-house in just seven digits
- Six month ROI for implementation of Cisco Meeting Place solution
- Ability of emergency personnel to respond quickly and effectively to users’ needs due to implementation of 911Enable solution
Mission Critical Partners
In the past four years, the partnership between the ULA and GTRI has morphed into a win/win situation for both entities. GTRI’s local support, the expertise of its engineers and a willingness and ability to respond quickly when needed, has enabled the partnership to grow on many levels. Several of the projects also have now become mission critical, and ULA will not launch without these systems hitting on all cylinders.