Gogo: Finding a Scalable SIP Solution

Since delivering its first inflight Internet experience in 2008, Gogo has grown to over 800 employees in five offices around the country. With 1000s of customers thirsty for in air data connections, it’s crucial that Gogo is highly available to support its staff and its airline partners globally. Capacity was near its max, but the company was growing too quickly to wait for traditional telecom installation timelines. Luckily in 2013, Rick Breidenstein knew how he could gain the control he needed to handle the situation before even joining Gogo’s IT department.

Damage control

A major issue Rick faced in his role at Gogo was that call demand was clogging all available phone lines to the point that there was little room left for outbound calls. The phone system couldn’t keep pace with growth.

The entire organization used a Fonality call management system to connect to the PSTN via PRI lines. To expand capacity, he would either have to commit to enough lines to handle peak traffic, or find a more scalable overflow solution that didn’t take months to install. On top of existing congestion, the company was opening a new office in Irvine for which Rick would need a flexible connection he could manage from his office in Illinois.

A voice solution with experience

In a previous role, Rick had built his own Asterisk server to get his office running VoIP internally. They needed to connect out to the PSTN, but Rick couldn’t justify the cost and time required to install POTS lines.

Back then, Rick chose Flowroute to connect his shiny new phone system to the telephone network because, as he puts it, “Flowroute has a really good reputation on the Asterisk forums.”

From his past experience, Rick knew Flowroute had the simpler, more flexible phone connection, Gogo needed. It wasn’t a hard sell internally.

“We decided to go with Flowroute because of cost and implementation speed. Setting up locations with Flowroute is extremely easy. I knew I could get the account set up and running in a matter of minutes.”

Meeting every requirement

Flexibility was another huge factor for Rick and his team, they were frustrated with the limited scalability of PRI connections. SIP trunking service from Flowroute alleviated that pain. Rick said, “The number of concurrent calls you can have running is only dependent on the amount of bandwidth you have.”

Using a SIP trunking provider like Flowroute also makes it easier for Rick to build redundancy into his system. “If we have dual Internet connections, that inherently gives Flowroute redundancy. Whereas, with a PRI coming in, we’re limited to that single connection.” (Unless of course, you go ahead and add the expense of setting up a dormant group of 23 call channels as backup…)

One piece of advice

If Rick could give you one piece of advice, it would be to get as much control of your phone system as you can. A strong call management system like Fonality goes a long way to giving enterprises function and routing control. But, in terms of channel capacity, you need a service provider that puts you in charge.

You don’t have a crystal ball to tell you how many call channels your operation will need next year. So you shouldn’t tie your service to a provider that limits the number of channels you can access on demand. The pace of business demands speed of implementation and instant activation of service, and you should to.

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