Case study title

Unified Communications - Education Sector - University of London

Client Name

University of London



The Overview

Unified Communications services in the Education Sector, seamlessly integrating voice, video and online collaboration across multiple devices for 1600 staff and 60,000 students

Universities are having to reinvent themselves in order to manage costs and remain competitive in order to attract students. Catering to 1600 staff members, 60,000 students undertaking distance education and several hundred post graduate students, the University of London needed a new approach.

GCIs implementation of Lync 2013 has revolutionised communication across the University of London. Teams are now more productive even when they are mobile or working from home, and the University is on track for cost savings and new income generation. The new solution was implemented with minimal downtime, and the University said it was fantastic that such a project had been delivered on time, to budget, and against all objectives.

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  • Maximised Staff Productivity
  • Flexible Working
  • Enhanced Collaboration
  • Cost Reductions

The Challenge

At full capacity the University of London’s existing voice infrastructure and PBX could no longer meet their needs. Maintenance was expensive and hard to get and the system was insecure. The University of London sought a future- proof solution that would enhance their business, address changes in the workplace, and grow with them to meet their needs for the next 10 years. They needed a solution that offered security and resilience, which allowed their staff to remain productive while working remotely or on the move, and to free up valuable physical resources that could allow the generation of income elsewhere within the University.

The Solution

Recognising that the University of London wanted a single communications platform to enable flexible working, with seamless integration across multiple devices supporting voice, video, online collaboration as well as traditional phone calls, GCI proposed Microsoft Lync 2013.

Lync 2013 would allow the University to meet their needs of maximising staff productivity by providing flexible working, including hot-desking, working from home and collaborating over HD enabled virtual meetings. It would also reduce their costs of telephony, travel, and would free-up physical resources that could generate income.

By implementing the latest version of Lync, the University would benefit from a scalable solution that is able to equip and support their growth for the next 10 years. Unlike most of their competitors, GCI offered Microsoft Lync 2013 as a long-term solution which would avoid the expense and upheaval of upgrading in the near future. As one of a very small number of organisations accredited to deliver every aspect of Lync, GCI were able to offer a complete transformation to the most up-to-date Lync solution along with full end- to- end support, including support of the legacy equipment during the transition.

Diverse connections from the University of London into the GCI Cloud platform provide full resilience, guaranteed data security, availability, and peace of mind. In just 4 weeks GCI replaced 1600 handsets with very little downtime or disruption to the University. To ensure the University received maximum benefit from the communications, GCI also committed resources to training staff in the new technology so that improved working practices could be quickly embraced.

Stuart Brown, Head of Central ICT Services at the University of London Computer Centre said that they were impressed by GCIs all-inclusive pricing model. This gave them full project management, hardware including phones, switches and other devices, data recovery and ongoing account management and reporting. The fixed annual subscription price per user meant the University could add additional users at a fixed and agreed price.

Regarding the whole project Stuart Brown said, “GCIs project management was excellent and the Project Manager did a very good job under difficult circumstances and testing timescales. As with all projects they are bigger than you expect, but GCI delivered to very tight timescale, on budget, and against all objectives; something as we all know doesn’t materialise very often.”