By David Byrd

In 2011, Broadvox worked in partnership with Audio Codes and Microsoft to provide a Junior College with a comprehensive communications and collaboration solution. The liberal arts junior college has a number of campuses statewide, and like many higher education institutions had been challenged with monthly reoccurring operating costs and the need to improve staff efficiency. The college’s costs for legacy carrier services continued to be substantial, slow to adapt to staffing changes, and extremely difficult to budget. Beyond cost issues, the physical diversity of the college made collaboration between staff and students slow and cumbersome. By deploying Microsoft Lync Unified Communications with Broadvox GO! SIP Trunking and integrated via AudioCodes Mediant E-SBCs (Session Border Controllers), the college was able to reduce their monthly reoccurring charges by 80%, and dramatically improve staff efficiency.

 

Challenges

Costs – The telecommunications services at the junior college were based on legacy TDM services from a major local exchange carrier, supporting the staff and facilities across seven campuses. The costs associated with the service comprised a significant portion of the communications budget and were very unpredictable, making them difficult to budget. The unpredictability in costs were the result of fees associated with moves, adds and changes – often due to instructor and staff mobility and office changes. The local access line charges, local and long distance calling fees were significant.

Need for Collaboration – In addition to cost management, the ability for instructional staff, students and administration to collaborate was quite limited – requiring physical meetings that were often difficult to schedule and requiring staff to travel between the widely distributed campuses. The inability to effectively collaborate between staff and campuses slowed the decision making process and was highly inefficient.

Retention of Local Telephone Numbers – as many of the employees and students lived relatively close to the various campuses, maintaining local telephone numbers for each of the various campuses was important.

Reliability – any modification to the communications infrastructure at the college must encompass a survivability strategy, allowing each of the campuses to be self-sufficient and continue to offer services in the case of a service interruption, disaster or a WAN or data center failure.

 

Solution

Phase I

  • Deploy Microsoft OCS R2 at each of the seven campuses, providing instant messaging, desktop collaboration and new IP Phones for voice communications.
  • Install two AudioCodes Mediant Hybrid Gateways at the main campus and smaller gateways at each remote campus as needed to integrate OCS with the existing TDM trunking and legacy services.

Phase II

  • Upgrade the AudioCodes Mediant 1000 gateways at the main campus to add E-SBC capabilities, deploy Mediant 800 E-SBCs at each of the remote campuses
  • Activate Broadvox GO! SIP Trunking services with ported and purchased local numbers at each of the campuses
  • Decommission the legacy services and the majority of the TDM trunking circuits (keeping only a few analog trunks for alarm panels)

Phase III

  • Upgrade each of the campuses to Microsoft Lync

 

Results

With the completion of the migration plan, this junior college completely moved to Unified Communications, eliminating the legacy carrier services and TDM trunking. Retaining local numbers in each of the campus locations, the college now utilizes Broadvox GO!Local and GO!Anywhere SIP Trunking for all local and long distance calling,. Interoperability and security for the college is accomplished with an array of AudioCodes Mediant 1000 and Mediant 800 E-SBS devices, with at least one device installed at each campus.

After a financial analysis, the college realized an 80% reduction of monthly reoccurring telecommunications charges and has seen continued per-user reduction in communications costs.

By migrating to Unified Communications and SIP Trunking, the college is more efficient, more responsive to student and staff needs, and is better prepared for growth.

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