American Civil Constructors

Civil Construction Firm With Regional Offices and Nationwide Customers Enhances Productivity and Reduces Costs Using Zultys IP PBX with UC

“We’ve definitely seen significant productivity gains after installing Zultys’ solution. Presence, Instant Message, call routing and call forwarding features have particularly saved us time, eased workloads and allowed us to respond quicker to our clients’ needs. With all of these great features, I believe Zultys, hands down, beats any competitor. I’d recommend Zultys to anyone.”

Rick Brooke

IT Manager
American Civil Constructors


  • Headquartered in Littleton, CO; 7 regional offices
  • Nationwide operations and clients
  • Connectivity required across the organization, including remote areas and construction sites
  • Hundreds of users

The Customer

American Civil Constructors (ACC) is one of the nation’s premier construction and maintenance companies. Its comprehensive services span multiple market segments including the Civil, Marine and Landscape industries. It’s a preeminent provider of road rehabilitation and paving services, freeway seismic retrofitting, bridge construction and repair, reservoir and culvert construction, sports field and golf course construction as well as commercial landscape construction and landscape management services. The firm works for a geographically diverse client base through operation hubs in Denver, Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco. Combining decades of experience with a passion for outstanding work, ACC brings an impressive track record of consistently delivering successful projects from Ketchikan, Alaska to New Orleans, Louisiana.

“With multiple regional offices and field operations located throughout the U.S., it’s extremely important that our teams coordinate closely to address our clients’ needs,” said Rick Brooke, manager of IT/Operations at American Civil Constructors. “With several disparate phone systems connected together from multiple vendors, maintenance costs were soaring and subject to vendor schedules. We determined that an investment in a new single, feature-rich system solution was needed to bring all of our communications control in-house. New technology was also going to deliver added benefits to our business productivity, for example, using tools like Presence and Instant Message, fax-to-the-desktop and other unified communications (UC) tools.”

The Challenge

As the company was expanding to tap into new business opportunities, ACC was concerned about the stability, complexity and capability of its aging telecommunications system, which was comprised of multiple products from Mitel, Toshiba and others. Recognizing their system would need to meet the increasing demands of more users and support newer productivity-enhancing applications, ACC was concerned with:

• the growing burden and complexity of operating and maintaining disparate phone systems;

• the challenge of promoting and managing effective communications between multiple regional offices and field operations; and

• the unacceptable time and resources required to install or move phone extensions.

The company evaluated multiple technology alternatives and decided that the best path forward was to adopt a VoIP system.  The flexibility of an IP PBX offers the ability to implement a range of applications like UC now and add future services when needed.

“We explored a number of possible solutions including solutions from Cisco, ShoreTel and Avaya,” said Brooke. “But they were either too costly, too cumbersome or too complex for our needs. I narrowed the field to just two possibilities – Zultys
and ShoreTel.  I then called for a shooting match between them. I asked each vendor to drop off what was needed to configure a single phone line and one phone, fresh out-of-the-box, with no configuration changes. In addition to the box, the ShoreTel solution required a WinTel server and did not have fax-to-desktop nor chat functionality. Zultys needed no extra components and had a greater depth of call handling, which was all user controlled through a simple GUI. The Zultys solution was more affordable, much easier to install and had all the features I needed and more.”

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The Solution

ACC worked with KineticWorks, a reseller in Denver, CO, to craft the Zultys solution. Six MX250 IP Phone Systems and two MX25s were installed along with Zultys phones. A MX250 was placed in their primary headquarters office in Lakewood, CO, which serves as a hub for two MX25 PSTN/SIP gateways in Broomfield, CO and Aurora, CO. The company also installed MX250 IP Phone Systems in Littleton, CO; Irving, TX; Seattle, WA; Martinez, CA; and Benicia, CA.

The company secured licenses for MXIE™ (the Zultys Unified Communications Client), fax, call record and other features. ACC also migrated much of its incoming/outgoing fax services to the new Zultys IP Phone System. The MX250s were grouped together into an MXnetwork configuration, providing complete company-wide UC including extension dialing, presence and chat services.

According to Brooke, “We immediately found ways to tap Zultys’ system capabilities to increase productivity and reduce operations costs. For example, we’ve migrated most of our fax origination/termination over to the Zultys UC solution. As a general contractor, many of our subcontractors work diligently on their bids until they’re due. Many of these subs would then attempt to fax the bids minutes before the deadline. Previously, we had a single fax machine, maybe two, servicing these multi-page bids. Subcontractors would be greeted with busy signals. Once we installed the Zultys solution, we sent these incoming electronic fax files into an ACD group for action. Project managers could quickly act on the faxes and archive them directly into each client project folder. This built-in capability of the MX250 saved us, and our subcontractors, a lot of time and made it easier to track and respond to client bids.”

ACC also noticed that employees were increasingly using the MXIE UC client for multi-tasking and troubleshooting to resolve issues. Prior to MXIE, things were often a game of voicemail tag. The ability to contact someone at his or her desk by using Presence has been very helpful.

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“I can honestly say that at least one of the regional systems paid for itself with a single phone call,” Brooke said. “We had
 a client contact us on a Friday and request that we deliver equipment on-site, ready to go for an early start on Monday.” He added, “When we arrived on-site, the client wasn’t ready and claimed he’d never made the request. Using the MXIE visual voicemail, we were able to pull his message out of the system, drop it into an email, and send it back to him proving the request had been made. The client paid for the mobilization fee. So that unit, in one call, more than paid for itself.”

The Impact

The Zultys solution allowed ACC to easily migrate from multiple, obsolete phone systems and upgrade to a single, cost-effective VoIP system offering seamless UC across multiple offices and regions. It also simplified the task of adding new users to the system as well as reduced the time and resources required to move users to another office.  Fax costs dropped dramatically as a result of the new Zultys implementation.

ACC has come to rely heavily on Zultys’ MXIE UC client for intra-office communications through Presence and Instant Messaging, integrated email, voice messaging and easy call handling. One of the company’s key concerns has also been satisfied through the visual voicemail feature.  Sales and operating staff can now quickly locate and act on time-sensitive messages as well as forward voice mails to others with a simple drag-and-drop action.

American Civil Constructors’ eight offices around the U.S. are connected together into a seamless UC system using MXnetwork for guaranteed service and survivability.