Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NS selects Avtec VoIP consoles

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Gilbert, S.C.-based Avtec, Inc. says Norfolk Southern has chosen the company’s Frontier-enabled Scout™ Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) consoles to replace aging equipment.

Norfolk Southern becomes the first Avtec customer to deploy a pure Internet Protocol (IP) console solution that scales across 21 states, provides robust inter-divisional call routing for centralized business processes, meets narrow banding mandates, and provides a state-of-the-art platform for business continuity, Avtec said.

Deployment currently consists of 96 VoIP consoles at six divisional dispatch centers: Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pa., Dearborn, Mich., Fort Wayne, Ind., Decatur, Ill., and Roanoke, Va. The Atlanta Center is for central dispatch operations, and the Tucker, Ga., Center is a dedicated disaster recovery site and can assume the role of any divisional center in an emergency.

Once the entire Norfolk Southern main-line dispatching operation is fully migrated, approximately 300 dispatchers will use Avtec Scout consoles to monitor and direct the railway’s traffic across 21 states, Avtec says.

“Avtec offers the only proven IP-based console system that can scale and meet our requirements for WAN bandwidth efficiency. Scout is cost-effective and provides a digital solution end-to-end,” said NS Chief C&S Engineer, Brian Sykes.

Said Avtec President Michael Branning said, “Norfolk Southern has earned its reputation as the ‘Thoroughbred of Transportation.’ We’re very proud of our 28-year association with this industry leader. Reliable voice communications via radio is a safety-critical part of the railroad business. Norfolk Southern was looking for a system that provides 24 x 365 availability and can be quickly reconfigured in extreme circumstances. With the addition of our new Frontier software to Scout, we are preparing for the advanced capabilities necessary for enterprise command and control centers.”