Resellers play Santa early in Townsville

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Townsville reseller Fortel Communications has teamed up with distributor IPL and telecommunications provider Alcatel to donate and deploy a traditional and IP telephony system for a children's charity.

Townsville reseller Fortel Communications has teamed up with distributor IPL and telecommunications provider Alcatel to donate and deploy a traditional and IP telephony system for a children's charity.

Fortel organised a collaboration between national voice-and-data specialist IPL Communications and Alcatel in order to donate a fully operational Alcatel OmniPCX Office system for Townsville's new Ronald McDonald House, a charity that helps seriously ill children.

A spokeswoman for Alcatel said Fortel "organised the whole thing", deployed the Alcatel hardware, co-ordinated cabling and communications for the project.

"[Fortel] was instrumental and proactive in approaching IPL to see if we'd be interested in being involved in the project. [Fortel's] Martin Wilkinson put his hand up to help wherever he could and this was the result of that effort," she said.

Distributor IPL arranged all the logistics and got the product and associated components to Townsville for its reseller Fortel, which donated all its time gratis.

Stead Denton, managing director at IPL Group, said the distributor wanted to "enrich the lives of others" wherever possible. 

"Fortunately for us, we operate in the technology area which allows us to help people from time to time, as in the case of the Ronald McDonald House," Denton said.

Ronald McDonald House in Townsville will be the 11th such House in Australia.

It is attached to Townsville Hospital and has 12 rooms, a communal kitchen and general living area. It is expected to provide accommodation for newborn babies and their families from north Queensland.

Alcatel's OmniPCX Office exchange supports traditional and IP telephony, data, secure internet access, and electronic messaging in one unit.

Ronald McDonald Houses aim to be "homes away from home", allowing sick children and their families to stay together while children undergo hospital treatment.

Rob Carnell, general manager of Alcatel's enterprise business, said effective, efficient communications were critical for such a charity.

"The Alcatel OmniPCX Office gives Ronald McDonald House a converged voice and data solution that's easy to use, manage and upgrade as their needs change," Carnell said.

The Alcatel spokeswoman added that Alcatel had wanted to donate to a good cause.

"The opportunity presented itself and Alcatel thought it was a good thing to be involved with," she said. "Communications is vital for a place such as Ronald McDonald House and it was a donation Alcatel was more than happy to make.  It also wanted to support IPL and Fortel by providing the equipment."

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