Unified Communications boosts Horndean College

The Hampshire school uses Siemens Enterprise Communications kit to cut costs and provide better services to staff and students

Horndean Technology College has deployed Unified Communications (UC) across its campus in the hope of benefiting both staff and students.

Horndean Technology College in Hampshire, had a phone system in place but felt it was aging and needed replacing to cope with more modern demands, as well as to cut costs.

The secondary school was also keen to explore the opportunities new communications infrastructure could bring to the students, as well as the staff, for interactive learning.

Horndean decided to work with Siemens Enterprise Communications and chose to deploy its HiPath 3800 IP convergence system. This hardware enables up to 500 IP workpoints to run OpenScape Office HX software for calling, instant messaging and presence information on both fixed and mobile devices.

The installation was carried out by Peach Telecoms, a provider based locally to the school in Whiteley and a Siemens partner, taking just two weeks over the school holidays. It was deployed within the existing network, also minimising any disruption.

The system enables the receptionist to pinpoint where staff are in the school and direct calls to the nearest IP-enabled device to them. It also provides a voicemail service so that staff can pick up their messages from any device, rather than just their own office phone.

“OpenScape Office allows the integration of voice, voicemail, messaging, video and the ability to work via mobile devices – making it simple to ensure any message is delivered to the correct person, first time,” said Rob Keenan, head of UK portfolio management at Siemens.

We foresee immediate improvements with this new system

Nicola Bugden, Horndean Technology College

“For Horndean’s staff, who are mobile throughout the day and need to be contacted and contact others in the college, our UC technology will greatly enhance their ability to manage, educate and inspire.”

From a student perspective, it means teachers are easier to contact and new opportunities could be taken advantage of for remote learning.

“Our image, reputation and ability to attract funding is not only forged by pupil achievement but also through how parents and the wider community interact with us,” said Nicola Bugden, school business manager at Horndean Technology College.

“We foresee immediate improvements in all three areas with this new system but we can also see huge potential benefits in the future as we continue to implement UC in our College as we evolve as an institution.”

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