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Local Tech Wire

APEX, N.C. – The City of Durham recently transferred its phones and related services to a voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system from

The three-year contract covers network equipment and services.

Durham’s police and fire rescue systems are part of the system, which will cover 1,815 users.

“We had realized for some time our system was antiquated,” said Michiyo Wagner, director of Technology Solutions for the City of Durham, “but the cost to upgrade had been prohibitive.” I

FeatureTel secured the contract following a request for proposal.

“We wanted a solution that would unify the City’s phone operations, provide redundancy in the case of emergencies, support us in disaster preparedness and business continuation, upgrade the network infrastructure, provide new phones and improve service, features and functionality — all within our existing budget. With FeatureTel, we got it all,” Wagner said.

The city’s previous network included more than 60 different systems, Wagner noted.

“Since the old system had been installed 20 years ago, we’ve seen the advent of cell phones, e-mail and other tools that needed to be incorporated into an Integrated Voice Data communications system,” Wagner explained. “We wanted to upgrade our system to improve our overall service to citizens as well as within City operations.”

By installing a VoIP system, the city disconnected 752 lines in the old system.

“The City of Durham’s needs were a perfect fit for our services,” said FeatureTel founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Levering. “We knew that we could be successful if given the opportunity.”

A Web portal is being added for users to access company and personal directories and also to view and work with voice mails.

FeatureTel is based in Apex.