Initially, the Alcatel-Lucent solution will connect human resources, finance and marketing teams based at the new central London office with other university departments. Once complete, more than 2000 employees across the entire campus will have access to IP Telephony, softphone applications and unified communication tools, based on their individual requirements.
Although the previous telephony system that managed the University’s estates and facilities department was still very much in operation, the institution recognised the need to bring communications under the control of the information systems department. It thus made sense to converge IT and telecoms.
The information systems team evaluated solutions from several vendors, opting for Alcatel-Lucent’s as the best all-round and most cost-effective telephony offering and engaging Alcatel-Lucent premium business partner Amillan to undertake the project. However, the university then announced a significant restructuring project that would see schools consolidated and several departments relocated to new premises – all of which urgently required telephony.
The department saw the project as an opportunity to trial the communications services at the central London office. Amillan completed the initial IP telephony rollout to 400 employees in just two months, allowing the university to migrate staff to the office with minimal disruption.
Lee Rose, associate director infrastructure at the University of Westminster said, “Our corporate services team undertakes critically important work which is dependent upon reliability and quality of communications. Alcatel-Lucent has given us a modern and flexible communications infrastructure to transform these services and give our internal teams swift access to students, other departments and external partners.”
“Moving forward, we’re looking to use technology to enhance the student experience, for example offering SMS notifications to hearing-impaired students. Thanks to the Alcatel-Lucent IP platform, communications services such as these are now well within our reach.”
Martin Ratcliffe, account manager at Amillan commented, “With such a varied user base, from technical support staff to academics, staff buy-in is crucial to project success. The deployment at the new office has served as a useful and successful trial to bring staff on-board, and as unified communications tools are rolled out, we’ll work with individuals to ensure everyone is comfortable with the technology they’re using.”
Mark Turner, VP northern region, enterprise markets group at Alcatel-Lucent added, “A growing number of universities are now turning to Alcatel-Lucent to transform their communications and make their organisations more dynamic. The University of Westminster has been quick to recognise the advantages of unified communications and is now using technology to improve internal efficiency and, ultimately, the standard of services it is able to deliver to its students.”