University of Hull installs Avaya unified comms network

The University of Hull is to deploy an Avaya telephone and unified communications environment to reduce costs as part of a digital transformation project

The University of Hull has selected Avaya’s telephony and unified communications technology to help support staff, attract students and cut costs.

The 10-year deal forms part of an ongoing £25m digital transformation project at the university, and will be supported by BT.

“This partnership represents a step-change in our university’s telephony service that will open up myriad opportunities to enhance our staff and student experience,” said John Hemingway, ICT director at the University of Hull.

An Avaya Aura solution will be rolled out at the university’s contact centre, replacing an existing Unify (previously Siemens Enterprise Communications) installation.

This will provide new levels of flexibility and let the university’s IT department better manage peaks in call volumes, such as those that occur during the clearing process following A-level results day.

It said that inbound callers would receive better customer service as calls would be answered more promptly and routed more quickly.

Hemingway said the installation would also foster greater collaboration and integration in internal student services.

For example, the university will exploit Aura’s contact centre features to manage communications across all channels between academic staff and students, reflecting the increasing use of social media platforms in education.

It will also use Avaya’s Engagement Development Platform to let students design their own communications-enabled processes, with Avaya committed to sponsoring a number of activities in this area.

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“When it comes to selecting suppliers, we also pay close attention to analyst and other third-party recommendations,” Hemingway said. “Avaya has a fantastic reputation in the education sector and its track record as a visionary leader further underlined to us that its capabilities and approach were exactly what the university needs: excellence in innovation, reliability and adaptability.”

Steve Joyner, Avaya’s EU head of sales engineering, said the supplier had drawn on its experience of working with other academic institutions to understand the challenges faced at Hull.

“Modern communication and collaboration technology is a fantastic foundation for digital transformation, and when this project is complete Hull will be able to differentiate itself from competitors through the quality of its digital services it offers to staff and students alike,” he said.

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