Top of the class for Athlone Institute of Technology with telecoms cost savings of 33%


Top of the class for Athlone Institute of Technology with telecoms cost savings of 33%

Leading third level academic institution chooses Intellicom for campus-wide telephony solution

Business Challenge

When faced with a telephony solution that was reaching end of life, vendor support withdrawn and replacement hardware unavailable, Athlone IT (AIT) took a considered look at how they might completely revolutionise their telephony system which serves 500+ users across the campus.

AIT identified that a large capital outlay for a new, expensive on-premise solution would not be appropriate. Buying into a proprietary system which would lock them into one technology set for the foreseeable future was also not an option.

In addition, security safeguards against threats such as toll fraud and PBX hacking were top of mind.

“Our security is designed to be proactive. We wanted to protect against the hacking of SIP traffic so encryption or VPN tunnelling was a must. We also wanted to make changes simply and intuitively.”

John Swanick, Senior Technical Officer at AIT



Secure, hosted telephony with a full feature set designed for the most demanding environments

A thorough review of providers in the marketplace led AIT to Intellicom and a decision to deploy the Intellicom Intune hosted telephony system.

Intellicom Intune includes all of the business features that would be expected in a traditional PBX solution, with additional enhanced functions such as mobility through desktop and mobile apps, ACD queues and skills-based routing. Other advanced call routing functions such as destination permissions and call filters were also included with CRM integration and a feature-rich API set.

The Intellicom Intune hosted solution is built with a custom interweave of some of the best open source projects available worldwide including Asterisk, MySQL, Opensips and LXC.

Security is built into the system design from the ground up. Conforming to the highest security standards in the industry, the software is deployed in two separate ‘CHROOT jails’ which enables a process and its ‘children’ to be isolated from the rest of the system.

In AIT’s solution, they now have a simple, easy to use web interface that controls all aspects of their Intellicom Intune solution. This provides the team at AIT with control over call routing, reporting and real-time information on the system with different levels of user permissions and access, as defined by them.

The solution includes ‘Plug and Play’ handsets for easy deployment with auto-provisioning. In-built flexibility and scalability means that AIT can add extensions and numbers, allocate them to individual users together with their email address for voicemail to email services and online self-care functionality.

“Intellicom Intune is a self-contained solution. It can sit on any Linux based operating system because everything it needs to run, does so inside our own container. With the CHROOT jails, it can’t actually reference paths outside the root and therefore can’t perform operations maliciously. It’s a very secure method for software deployment.”

Cian Maher, CTO, Intellicom

Business Benefits

An impressive 33% telecoms cost saving without compromising on feature set or security

A full analysis of Intellicom Intune revealed the total cost of ownership was 33% less than a traditional, on-premise IP PBX.

The day-to-day administration of the system is conducted in-house, but access to specialist and rapid expertise for system-wide changes, fault reporting and resolution, system backups and upgrades is delivered by Intellicom technical staff on demand.

Careful planning of the deployment and go-live by the team at AIT and Intellicom was undertaken. This served to ensure that there was minimum downtime and with systems initially running side-by-side, a very smooth changeover was achieved with minimal disruption to users across the campus.

“We wanted to avoid a large capital replacement cost whilst also making savings on day-to-day operational expenses. We aimed for the best of both worlds; more functionality and flexibility and at a lower cost. The hosted VoIP solution from Intellicom gave us that opportunity.”

John Swanick, Senior Technical Officer at AIT

  • A fully resilient solution with in-built multiple contingencies such as cloud-based auto-attendants and voicemails which offer business continuity in the event of any local issue.
  • Greater levels of voice security with a hardened PBX containing safeguards against threats such as toll fraud and PBX hacking
  • Future-proofing of the solution which can adapt and evolve as the institute grows thanks to the open architecture of Intellicom Intune
  • Mobile and remote workers can be catered for with softphone applications, as and when required.
  • Ongoing support for legacy PSTN connections such as alarm diallers and interconnects to the old key system.
  • User-friendly administration with the ability to execute extension moves, additions and changes at local level without any specialist knowledge.


With a comprehensive review and analysis to identify the needs of the new system, AIT’s hosted telephony system will scale and evolve as the college requires for many years.

In fact, AIT has delivered a masterclass in how to migrate from a legacy telephone system to a hosted VoIP solution.

Their approach could easily become the blueprint for any organisation wishing to exploit next generation telephony platforms such as Intellicom’s Intune.

“Our ambition to deliver a new telephony system to AIT that is future-proofed with excellent value for money has been realised. We have a solution now that gives us the day-to-day ability to deliver what our users need but also ramp-up functionality and users as required. It’s a solution that will grow and mould into the future.”

John Swanick, Senior Technical Officer at AIT

About AIT

Athlone Institute of Technology is an award-winning higher education institution located in the heart of Ireland

It offers a wide variety of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, delivered on a full-time and part-time basis.

Programmes at AIT have been introduced and developed in line with changing regional, national and international needs.

Emphasis on research activities and liaison with industrial and commercial organisations has helped to ensure the relevance and technological competence of courses at the institute, and has enhanced the employment prospects of its graduates over the years.