OpenScape Unified Communication Server to support e-Strategy and enable converged voice and data network across multiple sites
Leicester College, one of the ten largest colleges in the country, today announces its selection of Siemens Enterprise Communications to provide it with the OpenScape Unified Communications Server (OUCS) to converge its data and voice networks across three campuses. The project includes delivery of the HiPath 8000, HiPath Xpressions voice messaging, HiPath Wireless and HiPath Mobile Connect – Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) to enable efficient communication between staff and learners, and lay a strong foundation for a Unified Communications strategy. It also includes HP ProCurve Ethernet Switching equipment in order to provide a resilient, cost efficient data network.
The decision to implement a VoIP network and associated Wi-Fi functionality came as the Freeman’s Park and St. Margaret’s campuses underwent refurbishment. The construction of Abbey Park, a £20 million, five-story building on a new site, added to the need for a converged network to ensure seamless communications between the staff and learners using the sites. The HiPath 8000 will be deployed across all sites, following an upgrade of existing network infrastructure and located at Abbey Park. In addition, Abbey Park will benefit from wireless access in pre-selected areas.
Staff roaming between the three sites will utilise the wireless network with the use of Siemens FMC technology – HiPath Mobile Connect. These users will have dual band GSM / Wi-Fi phones which will allow them to automatically and seamlessly switch between their telecom operator’s cellular network and the college’s VoIP network – even whilst they are on a call. This is expected to provide cost savings of between 15%- 40% against current mobile bills.
Paul Chapman, head of Libraries and e-Strategy at Leicester College, said of the project, “The decision to converge our voice and data networks was a simple one. It will allow us to deploy VoIP, which is essential to our e-Strategy over the next five years. The added advantage of having a single point of contact with Siemens for the full voice and data requirement provides us with added reassurance. We don’t expect to need to refresh our infrastructure to this extent for another 25 years, so it was essential to choose a supplier we could trust.”
The first benefits end-users will experience include hot-desking, voicemail for staff and wireless access for all at the Abbey Park campus where 205 wireless access points are being deployed. Chapman added, “Selecting the best wireless kit was important to us. We had previously run a pilot scheme at Freeman’s Park with a different vendor and it just didn’t meet our requirements. Many colleges jumped on the wireless bandwagon a few years ago and deployed first generation kit. We have seen how they are now having to replace a lot of the equipment and are glad we have taken a timely approach and been selective in our procurement.”
As a further education institution, Leicester College’s student population consists of 85 percent part-time learners. As such, the e-Learning programme the college adopts is vital to the success of staff and learners alike. Chapman explained, “We already have a 24/7 online library and an Open Source sharing and learning platform for those not able to attend the campus. With OpenScape Unified Communications Server and HiPath 8000 voice being open and standards based architecture it is clear we can now look to integrate other Open applications into our communications infrastructure. It’s important to us to offer our part-time learners a fully rounded online campus experience to ensure they meet their potential.”
David Leighton, sales director public sector at Siemens Enterprise Communications, commented, “Leicester College has always been seen as a front-runner in deploying innovative technology. Its adoption of Open Source platforms demonstrates its understanding of the intrinsic benefits these flexible technologies bring. Its selection of the OpenScape UC Server fully complements this strategy. The open nature of the HiPath 8000 means that integration with other applications is not a challenge and its plan to deploy Unified Communications will benefit staff and students alike.”
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About Siemens Enterprise Communications:
Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG is one of the world's leading suppliers of Unified Communications technologies. The company's unique Open Communications approach to providing software, solutions and services for enterprises of all sizes enables business processes to be more productive, faster and more secure - with any device, network or information technology infrastructure. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG with global headquarters in Munich.
More about Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG at http://www.siemens.com/enterprise or alternatively for the Siemens Enterprise Communications in the UK at http://www.siemens.co.uk/enterprise
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