Uni of Western Sydney completes VoIP rollout

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Uni of Western Sydney completes VoIP rollout

Only emergency phones remain analogue.

The University of Western Sydney claims to be saving $500,000 per year from a recent IP telephony network deployment across its six campuses.

Two NEC SV8500 VoIP servers were installed at the university’s Parramatta and Werrington (Penrith) campuses to support up to 4,000 users across the network.

The staged rollout began in Parramatta in June 2009, and was completed last June, replacing a total of six NEC TDM systems and 60 PABX units.

UWS chose to lease a $1.2 million unified communications system from NEC following an open tender process – a cost-based selection that came as a surprise to UWS IT director Mick Houlahan.

Existing handsets were reconfigured for VoIP. Outgoing PABX equipment was kept in situ for a week after deployment, and could be reactivated within “minutes” in case of any implementation issues.

Houlahan said the implementation went smoothly at all campuses, so that  this contingency strategy did not need to come into play.

The new network allowed staff to use the same phone numbers at multiple campuses, and future upgrades would enable unified messaging and presence features.

UWS, which deployed Microsoft’s Live@Edu email system for students last August, also was considering implementing Microsoft’s Office Communications Suite to enhance the network.

The VoIP system used mains power and would not be usable during power outages, but Houlahan said there were “a lot of mobiles [phones] around the place” in case of emergencies.

Emergency fire telephones and phones in the building’s few lifts would also remain on an analogue network.

UWS expected to save $500,000 by consolidating infrastructure for the new IP telephony network. Its rolling lease with NEC would be reviewed on an annual basis.

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