Siemens Enterprise powers Durham University’s IP Telephony project


Siemens Enterprise Communications, a provider of
enterprise communications, announced that it has been appointed by Durham
University of the UK as its strategic technology partner to implement a
communications system as part of a university-wide investment program to
deliver world-class facilities for its 15,000 students and 3,000 staff.


The Communications Infrastructure Upgrade (CIU) project
will enable Durham to meet the challenge of continuing to provide exceptional
facilities for its UK and international students while achieving significant
efficiency savings to allow reinvestment.


As part of the upgrade program, Durham is introducing
Siemens Enterprise Communications’ IP telephony platform, OpenScape Voice, and
migrating 1,500 voicemail accounts to its Xpressions voicemail system, which
will offer greater workplace flexibility for Durham’s academic and support


The new system comprises 6,500 voice licenses,
underpinned by a core university-wide dual vendor data network.


To provide increased capacity and greater resilience, it
will offer time-saving benefits and a reduction in overall call costs through a
more streamlined communications program, replacing six legacy ISDX systems and
a legacy voicemail system currently used at the university. The agreement
includes a five year maintenance contract.


Durham has also chosen Siemens Enterprise Communications‘ OpenScape Contact
Center application to significantly enhance its IT helpdesk function, which
will help improve staff productivity and ensure user queries are answered
quickly and effectively.


“We are committed to offering staff and students the
best possible facilities. As such, the university is undergoing extensive
renovations – including new buildings and new technology,” said Colin
Hopkins, head of CIS Network Support, Durham University.  


As part of this project, Durham University opted to
implement IP telephony across the entire university, to create a more efficient
phone network that will ultimately support ambitious plans to deliver
outstanding service to its student base.


To provide technologically advanced yet cost-effective
study and research facilities, Durham decided to upgrade many facilities, as
well as introduce a new university-wide data network to underpin its new
Siemens Enterprise Communications IP telephony system.


This new infrastructure, which is currently being
upgraded, will give the university’s governing body the option to upgrade to
full unified communications at a later date.


By 2012, 6,000 IP telephony handsets will be in operation
across 30 of the university’s locations. The SIP-based communications system
will offer the ability to introduce features such as presence to allow staff to
check their colleagues’ availability.


To date, the upgrade and relocation of the telephony
services based at the North Lodge site saw in excess of 2,500 extensions and
voicemail redirected, with the Contact Centre live from the 9th of April 2010.


These developments incorporated the demolition of the
core site North Lodge, which was the central telephone exchange for the whole
University, routing and directing telephone calls across the entire estate.
This was a major milestone in the overall migration.


The CIU project will continue for a further 12 months,
during which IP telephones and data network upgrades will be executed across
the remainder of the university, seeing benefits in improved capacity,
resilience and quality of the data and telephony services.


“This is a significant project with a renowned UK
university to deliver an extensive and forward thinking communications
infrastructure,” said Andy Clark, head of public sector UK, Siemens
Enterprise Communications.


The decision to move to a centralised IP-based
communications infrastructure will provide both staff and students with an
enhanced communications experience, eliminating third party costs and reducing
administration costs.


In a complex organisation such as a university, creating
one communications system is a smart and efficient way to facilitate a more
streamlined working environment.


Recently, Siemens Enterprise Communications announced
Peoples Natural Gas selected Siemens Enterprise Communications to upgrade to a
robust communications, contact center, and unified communications environment.


Additionally, the solution includes an IVR, disaster
recovery and business continuity built into the design, and audio, video and
web conferencing.


By Team
[email protected]