NextiraOne Helps Lincoln Think Tank

NextiraOne has delivered an innovative communications solution for Lincoln’s flagship Innovation Centre which opened this summer. The network combines high speed voice, video and data services and applications and was designed by NextiraOne to provide “agile” communications in a Green IT environment.

City of Lincoln Council’s Innovation Centre opened in June 2009and is a state-of-the-art building designed to provide office accommodation and facilities for new and innovative businesses across the County. The project has close links with the University of Lincoln and Innovation Lincolnshire and was funded by the City of Lincoln Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Enterprise and the Objective 2 European Regional Development Fund. City of Lincoln Council wanted the design of the building, both inside and out, to reflect its purpose by being innovative and sustainable and by providing a high-tech, flexible working environment which would also meet these environmental objectives. The communications platform was a critical element of the provision of a 21st century working environment and the City Council awarded the tender to NextiraOne to provide the very best in state-of-the-art integrated communications across voice, video and data, with the latest in flexible, mobile and secure applications for the tenants who will use the Think Tank.

The Unified Communications solution designed and implemented by NextiraOne provides an “agile” working environment for businesses. It covers voice, video and data communications and includes wireless networking and remote/mobile worker applications in a complete end-to-end communications solution using a virtualised environment designed for an eco-friendly building.

NextiraOne’s innovative communications solution makes use of Alcatel-Lucent’s new virtualised IP telephony BiCS (Business integrated Communications Solution) platform. This allows all the elements of the communications solution to be consolidated onto one server – with a second server providing the resilience required to ensure the business continuity and disaster recovery necessary in today’s business environment.

Virtualisation dramatically reduces the number of servers needed to run the communications platform (typically from 6-10 servers down to one with a second back-up server) and therefore provides a more energy-efficient environment. Fewer servers mean less power consumption. They take up less rack space and require less physical room space which can in turn reduce the cost of cooling and air conditioning and other infrastructure costs.

The new communications platform offers a high tech environment for businesses using the Lincoln Think Tank, giving tenants and users as much choice and flexibility as possible in terms of connectivity – so that they can work time-efficiently and cost -effectively. It will make the Centre unique in offering its tenants an instantly available communications package that includes the ability to set up audio and video conferencing, to access un-filtered internet and greater bandwidth using high speed data switches that will give Gigabit to the desktop, plus a wireless network with the latest N standard which gives a much faster throughput and improved service. Multi-tenancy applications include the ability to drop in and drop out of the communications system with Presence applications indicating whether a user is available and how he/she can best be contacted – by messaging, desk phone or mobile, for example – whilst Unified Messaging allows all types of messages to be accessed from a single user interface regardless of location or device. Teamwork applications mean that users can share data, applications and presentations as part of the conferencing function.

“The communications packages that we can offer our tenants and visitors, will make us unique amongst Innovation Centres,” Kate Mear, Economic Sustainability & Programme Manager, City of Lincoln Council (Lincoln Think Tank). “We had some very clear requirements in our brief to the company in terms of what we wanted to offer our customers and also what we needed to do environmentally. NextiraOne demonstrated their expertise, and we are delighted with the result and proud of what we can now offer.”

NextiraOne is Europe’s leading expert in communications services and has a direct sales and service presence in 17 countries, serving more than 60,000 customers. The company designs, installs, maintains and supports solutions to meet the communications needs of its customers – from voice, data and video to mobility, security and applications. Working with the world’s leading technology companies, NextiraOne provides end-to-end communications solutions to deliver measurable business benefits to its customers.

Steven Skakel, Managing Director UK & Ireland at NextiraOne, said: “The Lincoln Think Tank is an iconic building and we were delighted to be chosen to deliver a communications design that would match its inspirational approach. Our team has risen to the challenge and I have no doubt that we have delivered an innovative communications solution that will contribute to the success of this excellent example of 21st Century business practice.”