Leicester College is developing its e-strategy around a new unified communications platform from Siemens.
The OpenScape Unified Communication Server will support the college's e-strategy and enable a converged voice and data network across three campuses.
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The project includes delivery of the HiPath 8000 comms platform, HiPath Xpressions voice messaging, HiPath Wireless and HiPath Mobile Connect (fixed mobile convergence) systems to enable efficient communication between staff and learners.
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 £20m, five-storey building on a new site, added to the need for a converged network to ensure seamless communications between the staff and learners.
Staff roaming between the three sites will use the wireless network with the use 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, "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."