Leading examinations board selects Aastra

Cambridge Assessments has selected Aastra to provide an agile mobile communications solution. The solution replaces a failing voice over WiFi solution, delivering enhanced call quality in terms of audio and reliability.

The solution will be implemented by Aastra partner, Eastern Voice and Data, and will offer an all-in-one unified and collaborative communications solution.

Cambridge Assessments faces the same challenge as many businesses; ensuring that key operational personnel remain in constant communication and highly reachable when away from a desk in a warehouse environment.

Chris Barron, Group Telecoms Manager, Cambridge Assessments, comments: “Production warehouses can be demanding places and we had to ensure that our internal customers were happy to trade in Cisco handsets for Aastra ones and spend time adopting a new solution. In the end, user adoption was seamless, achieved simply via a series of 30 minute group sessions with an Aastra trainer.”

Colin Mann, Head of Marketing, Aastra UK and Ireland, remarks: “Cordless digital and IP telephony has increased in popularity for a number of reasons including the need for stable and reliable in-house mobility solutions. In large campus sites, metal buildings and older buildings for example, WiFi telephony is unable to deliver the same level of experience, as the WiFi signal is affected by concrete walls and other structures.”

He adds: “Our cordless handset solution offers compatibility with many of the other phone systems on the market, which means that it can usually be integrated with an organisation’s existing phone systems.”
With Aastra’s DECT technology, stand-by and talk time are typically twice that of WiFi solutions and the range can be up to double. The wider bandwidth used in DECT provides better voice clarity which is often crucial in noisy industrial and commercial environments.

Taking a significant market lead, Aastra has become the first vendor offering a fully certified CAT-iq compliant cordless solution. The CAT-iq (Cordless Advanced Technology – internet and quality) certification is the latest international standard for cordless telephony and it means that Aastra can deliver CD-audio quality for voice on cordless handsets.

Chris Barron, Group Telecoms Manager, Cambridge Assessments, explains: “Because of Aastra’s strong focus on open standards, the Aastra 430 IP Communication Server and cordless handsets seamlessly connected to our 2,000 line Call Manager. With a good understanding on each side, we sat down with Aastra’s product support and a couple of laptops, and by the end of the afternoon it was working.”

Having already realised significant cost savings, the cost of deployment of the solution was around twenty five per cent of the Wi-Fi solution, and is expected to have an ongoing impact on costs, as calls are made over the network.

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