James M Ralph
Kaplan University Part A – 25 points In order to continue to make the school productive and lower the cost of communications and improve communication, it is essential for the school to change from the current system to a unified communication solution such as VoIP. VoIP will not only continue to offer the same features that the current PBX does, but offers additional features that will improve communications campus wide. VoIP would allow for an improved call center and notification system. This would be ideal in emergency situations were campus wide notification is needed. Web and video conferencing is another feature that would improve campus productivity.
The IT Department of Butler took the lead in the integration of the Microsoft Exchange with the VoIP system which allowed users to check their voicemail through their email and smart phones. IT also implemented contact center and mass emergency notification. Emergency notification increased campus safety and the contact center greatly improved customer service. This was the first time the University had call center technology-phones simply rang until answered. IT continues to launch new features as they continue to become available and cost efficient. According to Wylie Wong (2011) “the university upgraded to the latest version of Cisco's VoIP system, called Cisco Unified Communications Manager. During the upgrade, the university switched to Microsoft Exchange 2010 for voicemail, providing users with unified messaging for the first time. Employees can now listen to their office voicemails as .wav files in their PC's e-mail inbox. They can also use their smartphones to access their office voicemail and e-mail when they are out of the office or in meetings.”
The challenge to launching this new technology comes from the vendors making the technology cost efficient. As with any new technology, the hardware and software can be expensive as it is first launched and as it continues to be used, the cost for the technology slowly degrades over time. The return on investment has to be substantial in order to continue to make the technology appealing to universities seeking out ways to reduce cost and increase productivity. According to Wylie Wong (2011), “Colleges are increasingly adopting unified communications because it empowers administrators, faculty and staff with new ways to communicate and collaborate, resulting in increased…