Unify, formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications, today announces that it has been selected by the University of Oxford to transform its existing communication infrastructure. The University is making the investment to meet the increased collaboration requirements of its staff and student population and support the University’s strategy of providing a world-class forum for intellectual engagement.
As a world-renowned centre of innovation, learning, teaching and research, the University of Oxford has recognised collaboration and finding new high-tech communications and collaboration applications as key to its future success. Following an evaluation of its current infrastructure and user needs, they decided an unparalleled digital user experience that intrinsically promoted new ways of working was at the centre of the transformation and at the top of the requirement list.
The three-year project will see Unify replacing the University of Oxford’s existing iSDX and Cisco Call Manager telephone exchanges with OpenScape Voice and OpenScape UC application. Managed services will play an important role in the transformation – providing lifecycle services, Service Delivery Manager and a dedicated call receipt desk – ensuring that collaboration and engagement move forward uninterrupted.
In the University’s group working environment the flexible provision of services across the campuses is critical – supported by a high degree of resilience. The scalable and dynamic OpenScape portfolio will allow the University to consume services as required and the managed services will ensure continuity of service at the highest level. In addition, Unify’s new Enterprise Licensing scheme will provide the University with full utilization flexibility for staff and students through a user based licensing model and programatic benefits that will ensure investment protection for the long term.
In the first phase of the roll-out, which commences in December, Unify will deploy full collaboration services, including voice, video, instant messaging and presence to an initial group of staff and students. The introduction is supported by Unify’s ‘OpenScape UC Adoption Programme’, which provides a range of change management activities, including UC awareness, creation of change champions and blended learning – all designed to facilitate and drive cultural change with regards to communications.
On completion, the University plans to implement full Unified Communications to approximately 40,000 students and staff over potentially in excess of 100,000 devices, across 38 self-governing colleges and financially independent institutions. Through this transformative approach, University of Oxford will significantly enhance the user experience, enabling staff and students to collaborate in a more effective way, enhance the existing bring your own device (BYOD) programs and further establish new ways of working from anywhere.
Dr Darrell Sturley, Deputy CIO and sponsor for the project, said: “The University of Oxford is world renowned for its innovation, dynamism and collaborative culture. Technology definitely plays a key role and our students in particular demand a rich user experience – using the communications to collaborate in the way they want with no confinements or barriers. It’s this enablement of intellectual exchange that we required most from a technology partner. From the outset, Unify proved that the OpenScape Portfolio would provide our staff and students with the rich user experience they are demanding. At the same time Unify demonstrated that it understood the education and commercial environment we operate in. Ultimately, improved communication technology, that enables our staff and students tofully embrace BYOD, new ways of working and collaborating, whilst still remaining reliable and scalable, is a core component of our future success. Unify’s solution gives us exactly what we wanted and it has established itself as a potential long term strategic partner.”
Trevor Connell General Manager West/ East Region at Unify, added: “The best universities were founded on the principles of innovation and learning and in today’s competitive market the best education institutions continue to strive to provide their students world-class experiences in this regard. Collaborative technology is at the heart of innovation as the ways in which we work and consume information are rapidly changing. Our leading OpenScape software will provide a more integrated and collaborative working experience whereby, regardless of location or device, staff and students will be able to engage and better collaborate with each other. Business continuity is central to what we will deliver and risk is mitigated by managed services and a flexible software model while costs are driven down and productivity increased. The University of Oxford is taking great strides in making its vision of innovation and collaboration come to life in a smarter way, and we’re very proud to be partnering with them on this journey.’