IP telephony connects Deakin's campuses

Voice&Data Staff

Deakin University has just completed one of Australasia's largest IP telephony roll-outs. Working in partnership with Dimension Data and Cisco Systems, over 4500 IP handsets have been deployed. The new system has saved money and added flexibility and functionality, allowing staff and the university's IT department to benefit from a simpler, more reliable system.

With five campuses as far afield as Warrnambool and Geelong, tertiary institution Deakin University was a good candidate for IP telephony. An increasing amount of course-work being delivered online and an ageing PABX made moving to a VoIP system a natural step.

The IP telephony solution utilises Cisco's architecture for voice, video and integrated data (AVVID), enabling data, voice and video to be transmitted over a single IP-based network infrastructure.

The IP telephony network is not only cheaper and more flexible, but it has also enhanced manageability for both IT staff and end-users in many tangible ways.

We especially like the idea of having one data infrastructure to manage, and also the ease of moves, adds, changes, deletes (MACDs). Between 20-25% of all our staff move at some point - which is comparatively high. Previously we were intimately involved in every move, but now staff just unplug the phone, move to the new office and plug in again. After a move the first thing staff members want is their phone, and that staff can do this themselves so easily is fantastic," said Craig

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Warren, operational service provision manager, Deakin University.

The extension mobility feature is also great. Staff move between our five campuses all the time, and 10% of staff - about 400 people - operate permanently out of two campuses. The existence of extension mobility, which enables staff to receive calls wherever they happen to be, is an enormously attractive feature.

Videoconferencing has proved unexpectedly popular and has reduced travel between the disparate locations of the university.

Calls out of the university are so much cheaper - we are saving up to $50,000 per annum. The simplification of MACDs can be quantified by our ability to re-deploy three people to other tasks. Maintenance savings are in the order of $50,000 per annum as CallManager is so much cheaper to maintain in comparison with PABXs.

The roll-out of a new telephone system touches every single person in the organisation, so it needs to be well-prepared and well-executed if it's to provide good benefits in the long run, concluded Warren.

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