Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Division of Information Technology
910.521.6260 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Unified Communications provides all-in-one solutions
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has been chosen to participate in the Microsoft’s Lighthouse project; receiving a $40,000 cost avoidance for implementation services. Through a partnership with Microsoft and the NWN Corporation, UNCP, East Carolina University, and Davidson College have been selected to implement a Unified Communications infrastructure in higher education. These institutions will be the first to utilize this technology.
What is Unified Communications? It is a communication system that consolidates a variety of different devices and applications into a single platform. Utilizing the existing network technologies, the Unified Communications system integrates a wide range of communication data by encompassing devices and users. It creates seamless communications across the entire network.
How does Unified Communications benefit us? One of the primary benefits is unifying messaging, which integrates messages from a variety of different devices – e-mail, voicemail, fax, text messaging, and video – into a single resource such as a computer or mobile device. It enables users to have access to data through one access point. For example, faculty and staff will be able to receive e-mail and voicemail on their computers, and access secure instant messaging and online chat. Unified Communications will allow users to share a document and desktop video conferencing on a real-time basis.
UNCP’s current voicemail system is over twenty years old, and is reaching the end of its usefulness. The estimated voicemail infrastructure replacement cost was projected at $45,000. With the $40,000 cost avoidance from Microsoft, we will achieve a total of $85,000 cost savings. In addition, replacing the voicemail infrastructure with a Unified Communications system will not only consolidate communication devices, but also leverage the current network and server infrastructure. Because the computer infrastructures will be centralized, it will bring about greater flexibility in network management and cost savings in administration.
The Unified Communications system will be available to a small pilot group on campus by June 1, 2008.
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