ANU signs up for massive IP telephony deal

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System integrator NSC, in conjunction with Avaya has won a massive IP telephony deal with the Australian National University that will see 15,000 IP handsets installed at the uni in a three-year contract believed to be worth over $10 million.

The deal covering 130 ANU campus sites in Canberra and three remote sites, is claimed to be the largest IP telephony rollout to date in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is the second major IP telephony contract the consortium has won in the space of three weeks. On October 22, it announced an $8 million IP-based voice and data contract with the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Under the contract, NSC is replacing an aging PABX system, which is a mixed bag of Ericsson, Commander and NEC equipment. Cisco routers run the core ANU WAN and the LAN is an HP switch-based network, said Craig Neil, MD at NSC.

Phase one of the project - to end in March - would see NSC install the Avaya MultiVantage software on eight S8700 media servers and 108 Avaya G700 media gateways supporting up to 15,000 end points. This portion of the contract is worth around $5 million.

During phase one, around 2000 Avaya digital IP phones would be installed and 4500 analogue phones – the analogue handsets would eventually be replaced by digital phones over the life of the contract. Around 6500 end points would also be installed within the first three months.

The contract would also see NSC integrate ANU's human resources and hospitality applications, an LDAP directory gateway and Octel voice mail platform on the new network, said Neil. The Multivantage software also lets ANU extend its applications to wireless devices such as mobile phones and Pocket PCs.

The NSC/Avaya consortium defeated bids from Damovo, which was bidding an Ericsson/Cisco solution; Nortel and Alcatel, which was bidding with partner Integ Communications.

Carlton Taya, MD at Avaya Australia, added that other Australian universities would be able to hook in to the ANU network. He claimed that ANU is one of a few universities the company “has its eye on,” adding that the government and education sectors would be the early adopters of IP telephony.


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