people meeting

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh first opened its gates to students in 1583 and since then has become a world leading centre for teaching and research with global ambitions. Over 41% of the University student population comes from outside of the UK. The University operates from a number of locations in and around the city of Edinburgh, one of the most attractive places to live, work and study in the UK.

University of Edinburgh

The Client

The University of Edinburgh first opened its gates to students in 1583 and since then has become a world leading centre for teaching and research with global ambitions. Over 41% of the University student population comes from outside of the UK. The University operates from a number of locations in and around the city of Edinburgh, one of the most attractive places to live, work and study in the UK.

The Project

The University was operating a network of 6 legacy Sopho PBX systems supporting more than 10,000 users. Whilst the University had also introduced some VoIP technology they recognised that a more strategic approach needed to be taken to ensure the project was completed in a timely manner and delivered best value.

To address these issues and put in place a modern communication solution to support new ways of working, the University took a strategic decision to initiate a replacement project. Their first step was select a specialist consultancy to assist in the project, and following a competitive procurement 4C Strategies were appointed to advise and assist the University

How 4C Helped

Our first piece of work for the University was to undertake an options analysis to determine an appropriate way forward. This analysis needed to consider not just the technology to be deployed, but also alternative service models such as hosted or managed services.

From this options analysis a business case was developed to secure the budget for the project and we were retained to manage the procurement working closely in collaboration with the University procurement department.

A restricted OJEU procurement was undertaken and a supplier selected to deliver a resilient multi-site IP solution, with enhanced features such as contact centre.

Following award of contract to Getronics UK with an NEC server based solution 4C were retained to manage the implementation phase of the project.

Outcome / Benefits

The overall outcome of the 4C project is that the University is about to complete the implementation of a new NEC server based IP solution, supporting users across multiple sites on a single virtual system.

As a subsidiary project 4C has assisted the University to select a supplier of SIP network services and to migrate multiple inbound DDI ranges to SIP in addition to outbound service. The SIP service is delivered in highly resilient configuration with a direct primary connection to the University primary data centre with failover to a resilient JANET connection. The SIP services were successfully first used in 2016 for student clearing and admissions.

Some key highlights of the project and the associated investment are as follows:

  • Security of the telephone services as the Slegacy opho PBX systems will be decommissioned before withdrawal of support.
  • Provision of enhanced contact centre features to support the Estates and IT help desks, and to manage the clearing and student admissions process in August of each year.
  • A reduction in operating costs arising from the transition to SIP which has an included UK landline and mobile call tariff.
  • Reduced costs of moves and changes as users can reconnect their handset anywhere on the University network.
  • Improved resilience both through a multi-server on-site deployment and resilient SIP connectivity.