UK College Upgrades to IP Office™ Server Edition to Increase Capacity and Benefit from New Capabilities
Reaseheath College was reluctant to move away from its trusted Avaya IP Office™ 500 platform. But the transition to the new IP Office Server Edition platform proved notably non-disruptive. What’s more, it has given the College a substantial boost in capacity and unified communications capabilities that promise new efficiencies and savings across its operations. While just as dependable and easy to manage as the old, the new solution now runs on a virtualized Hyper-V environment – ideal for disaster recovery, administration and mobility in a busy education setting.
Rob Brown was extremely happy with his telephony system. As head of technical services at one of the UK’s leading land-based colleges, Brown and his small team are responsible for a vast range of IT solutions and services. While many of them caused him regular headaches, with complex configuration and regular maintenance updates, the Avaya IP Office™ 500 was the exception: “it was easy to configure, and incredibly reliable: it just sat there and did its job.”
But Brown had a problem. Reaseheath College had grown rapidly – faster, in fact, than had been expected when the IP Office 500 had been purchased. Student numbers had soared, impressive new facilities added and the number of staff grew accordingly. His much-valued platform would have to be replaced by a larger one.
Replace a much-loved IP Office 500 solution with a higher capacity system
Integrate with Microsoft Hyper-V
Complete the transition in a live environment with no user disruption
Capacity more than quadrupled
Minimal administrative effort
Host of new opportunities for UC and mobility
Ready for future growth
Brown contacted Evoke Telecom, the College’s support partner, who confirmed that the natural successor from Avaya was IP Office™ Server Edition – which offered the same core capabilities and dependability, but with higher capacity and some additional features. However, Brown and his colleagues had a few complicating factors to consider. One was whether to move to a hosted model, rather than on-premise; another was that Reaseheath College had already opted to introduce Microsoft Hyper-V as its core IT platform – following the path that many other UK education providers have taken.
It was therefore hugely welcome news that the latest release of IP Office Server Edition, version 10.1, could be deployed on Hyper-V. “We would have moved to Server Edition anyway,” Brown confirmed, “but the fact that we could run it on our chosen virtual software platform was a real plus.”
As well as being compatible with the new virtual platform, IP Office Server Edition was also ready to work with the College’s existing Avaya handsets. “That not only meant we wouldn’t have to pay for new handsets,” Brown explained, “it also meant we wouldn’t have to retrain users.” This in turn helped make an on-premise solution, retaining the existing handsets, a more cost-effective option for the College.