Siemens Enterprise Communications, a provider of enterprise communications, has been appointed by the University of Greenwich to deliver a next-generation communications environment that will enable the university to achieve cost efficiencies and enhance the overall student experience. The ICT team selected the flagship OpenScape Unified Communications Server (OUCS) architecture to meet their requirements following a highly competitive EU tender and input from PTS Consulting.
The new OUCS architecture represents a refresh of the University's existing communications infrastructure which had become unable to handle effectively the high call volumes and voice/ data traffic across the campus. The architecture and licensing model of OUCS is perfect for large scale campus environments and fully met the university's requirement for a scalable and resilient next generation communications environment that could meet both today's requirements and provide a clear long term road map that ensures the infrastructure will grow and develop with the university's evolving needs.
As well as the underlying telephony, the university wanted to improve its contact centre, which is critical to securing prospective students as well as being an important primary information source for its existing 25,000 students. The use of Unified Communications applications was also a driver to improve collaboration and increase the speed of information flow between the staff and students. Siemens Enterprise Communications' innovative software applications (including OpenScape UC and OpenScape Contact Centre) and open standards approach represent an area of differentiation and the open architecture provides easy integration into existing university software as well as social media tools such as twitter.
The phased implementation across the three primary sites started in September 2010 and includes:
4000 OpenScape Voice licenses for enterprise grade VoIP which will converge the existing voice and data networks and deliver significant cost savings, critical at a time of public sector spending cuts
1000 OpenScape UC Application licenses to provide the benefits of unified communications, increasing staff and student collaboration through one number service and also presence information deployed on both desktop and mobile devices
120 OpenScape Contact Centre Application agent licenses to ensure first contact resolution, especially important during the busy August "clearing" period when call volumes are at their highest. The monitoring and reporting features of OpenScape Contact Centre will also enable key metrics and targets to be set
Alan Broadaway, the University of Greenwich's Head of Information and Communications Technology, says, "At Greenwich we have a beautiful location and amazing facilities, but we needed a communications infrastructure that matched. The competition between Universities for students, especially in London, is demanding and we want to ensure an outstanding professional student experience, which starts from the first time they contact the University right through throughout their degrees. My needs were clear: I was looking for a credible partner with superior technology now alongside a forward-looking solution that would align with our growth plans; meet our financial and sustainable requirements; and provide a real sense of innovation for the future. Siemens Enterprise Communications fulfilled all of these requirements but importantly could also demonstrate a successful track record with success at other leading UK Universities."
Andy Clark, sales director public sector, Siemens Enterprise Communications is delighted by the success: "In today's financial climate it is crucial that the public sector identifies areas of cost efficiencies but also does not lose focus on delivering excellence in service. The new communications infrastructure can meet these challenges by using network convergence for cost savings and next generation software applications to increase collaboration between staff and students. We have proven deployment processes for both technology migration and also the cultural implications of providing a new way of working from our experience across a number of universities."