The canton of Aargau is located in the northern part of German-speaking Switzerland and has eleven districts and currently 213 municipalities. It has the fourth largest population of the Swiss cantons. In 2015, about 650,000 were living in Aargau.The Aargau IT department is responsible for the strategy and the operation of the central IT infrastructure. It supervises the large canton projects and provides for powerful and modern IT solutions. In addition, it supports the work of the canton administration with practical and efficient services. And finally, it provides the citizens and other stakeholders from business and politics with easy access to and transparent communications with the canton of Aargau.
The KOMPLA project (the German abbreviation for “communication platform”) focused on the step-by-step replacement of all of the telephone systems used with a VoIP-based telephony solution. Over 130 different telephone systems with more than 7,000 extensions were in use at the canton administrative offices. This also included the telephone systems for the canton police department and the remote locations. This large number of autonomous switchboards from various manufacturers distributed across the canton caused high operating expenses. In addition, many of these systems were antiquated and it was difficult to procure replacement units. Moreover, the systems were incompatible with one another due to their heterogeneity.
The replacement of the telephone systems aims to optimize, modernize and unify the cooperative and administrative processes while improving the operation of the system by consolidating this into a central communication platform operated by one internal service provider. The new communication platform will also yield other benefits, such as having the same functions and processes available throughout the entire company, making it simpler to process changes in case of relocations, allowing new sites to be integrated more quickly and making it easier to reach staff members and competence centers. Besides, the implementation of modern technology provides for sustainability of the telephony system within the canton administrations.
The canton of Aargau applied an objective evaluation method and came to the conclusion that a Microsoft Lync-based solution would be the optimum variant since additional services, such as presence status, instant messaging and desktop sharing, were also integrated.