Redstone Converged Solutions, an Avaya Gold business partner, is working with the University of Gloucestershire to implement a converged communication network across its four campuses located in Cheltenham and Gloucester. The network is one of the largest applications of IP telephony within the UK education sector. It will enhance connectivity within the university campus and externally, to provide more effective communication for its 6,559 students and 352 teaching staff.
Recently, the University leaped into the top 100 league table within The Times University Guide 2005 and plans to further storm the league with recent investments in new, design-led premises and improved facilities such as a designated centre of excellence in teaching and learning for staff and students. Now, this vision is being replicated across its IT and communication infrastructure with considerable investment and resources being pooled to overhaul its existing communication system with IP telephony. The new system will help the University to reduce existing call and maintenance costs, as well as offer staff and pupils better flexibility and mobility.
The first phase of the converged communication network implementation has been completed with IP phones installed in 90 individual student rooms in halls of residence and 30 staff residences with centralised administration at the University central headquarters at The Park Campus in Cheltenham. Each phone includes functions such as voicemail, online directories and voice security.
All rooms in halls of residence will be equipped with IP telephony. Considerable cost savings to both the University and students will be achieved as all inter-campus calls will be routed over the corporate network opposed to calls made over the public network, along with the associated reduction in maintenance costs.
Also, the migration to IP telephony will offer numerous benefits to students and staff. In addition to having voicemail and a directory available on each telephone handset, IP telephony offers optimum flexibility and mobility. Settings such as call divert can be changed immediately and extra functions such as such as call routing from the landline to mobile handsets using the same extension number and mobility capabilities for staff can be added easily.
“Having experienced the difficulties of maintaining a traditional PBX for the past 18 years, as well as its limited out-of-office capabilities, we were looking for a communication system that was easy to deploy and maintain whilst being flexible enough to evolve with us over time. The University was keen not to purchase just another telephone system, but through IP telephony, extend the reach and range of digital devices on the network to provide the best possible communications service for the staff and students,” explained Bill Lawrence, Head of Learning & Information Services at the University of Gloucestershire.
Rob Coyne, chief commercial officer of Redstone Converged Solutions comments: “The University of Gloucestershire is a forward thinking organisation, and its technology strategy and blueprint clearly reflect this. The University places a high priority on delivering high quality services through a flexible, efficient and cost effective approach. Redstone and Avaya look forward to continuing their work with the University, helping it to drive both it business and education strategies forward.”
The IP telephony network forms the first phase of an ongoing IT infrastructure programme for upgrading the network at the University. Future applications include conference call capabilities, modular messaging and video conferencing. In addition, the University is looking at mobility applications such as call routing from the landline to mobile handsets using the same extension number and Fixed-Mobile-Convergence (FMC) for staff. Avaya and Redstone are continuing to work in partnership with the University to help define additional applications which will improve the University operations and services offered.