Edinburgh University Begins Move to VoIP

One of the UK’s most prestigious universities, the University of Edinburgh, has extended its relationship with NEC Philips Unified Solutions by purchasing an IP server blade, the SV7000 and IP DECT technology, as part of the first phase of a complete migration to a VoIP communications infrastructure. The server will be integrated with the existing SOPHO iS3000 server.

The university is currently using a hybrid communications platform that provides mixed IP telephony and traditional systems, which was implemented to enable a seamless transition to IP telephony. The existing SOPHO iS3000 server runs nearly 10,000 extensions throughout the university, and the new SV7000 server has been implemented as a remote server in the Kings Building running 30 extensions.

Murray Clayton, Telecoms and Security Systems Manager at the University of Edinburgh, explains, “As part of the first phase of the migration we have implemented the IP server, which has been running for the last three months across two sites. We have been pleased with the results and are now in a position where we can look to further extend our use of VoIP technologies, including IP DECT handsets, to a larger user group increasing the number of extensions to between 800 and 1000 across the University.”

The first phase of the migration has been extremely successful. The university has realised the benefits that they hoped to achieve when the process began, including the ability to work remotely and improved accessibility for employees. Edinburgh has the largest university in Scotland with over 200 buildings, and therefore the ability of the DECT handsets to work on any network enables staff to move between buildings with no disruption.

Clayton comments, “The iS3000 and SV7000 are both incredibly flexible and compatible servers, and therefore we are able to achieve a very smooth migration to an IP-based platform at a pace which suits us. Users are able to carry their DECT handsets with them at all times as they can be used over any IP network, including a broadband connection at home and we can therefore take advantage of the benefits of homeworking. In the future we also hope to take advantage of fixed-mobile convergence, to extend this flexibility even further.”

The University of Edinburgh has been a customer of NEC Philips Unified Solutions for the past 17 years, and envisages the full migration to take another 15 years. Commenting on the recent joint venture with NEC, Clayton comments, “We have been a customer for a very long time, and feel that the relationship with NEC can only enhance the product range, making it even stronger than it currently is.”