Leeds Trinity University Case Study

Requirement: Unified Communications

Leeds Trinity University needed to bring together their disparate ways of communicating into one platform, so employees and students can access and use multiple communication applications through a single interface, using any device and from any location.

The Client

Leeds Trinity is a public University in West Yorkshire with a current intake of over 3000 students. The University has been providing outstanding, student-centric higher education for nearly 50 years and has also been ranked as the sixth best University in the country for teaching quality according to The Times’ prestigious Good University Guide 2018.

Leeds Trinity University wanted to modernise its communications, transitioning from the existing inflexible legacy PBX systems to a more flexible, efficient and collaborative Unified Communications (UC) solution. The University also wanted to roll-out UC features to a wider user base, develop further usage scenarios for students, staff and potential students, and introduce virtual classrooms and enhanced learning methods. Additionally, whilst the University had some business units with call queuing and group distribution requirements, there was no dedicated call handling resource to effectively answer and distribute calls. The University needed to ensure it was well-placed to engage professionally with both new potential and existing students, and was looking to encourage greater, more effective interaction between staff, students, external partners and the wider community.

Technical Solution

GCI proposed a Skype for Business Enterprise Voice solution, which would bring together all of the typically disparate communication platforms into one to enable employees and students to access and use multiple applications through a single interface, using any device, from any location. As a Unified Communications specialist and Microsoft Gold Communications Partner with a wealth of expertise in Skype for Business, GCI were the ideal partner for Leeds Trinity University. Skype for Business servers were deployed in a pool within the datacentre to provide resilience, and integrated with the Exchange Unified Messaging component within Office 365. GCI also addressed the requirement for business continuity in the design phase, so that no Skype for Business service outage will impact on availability. The service facilitates normal voice services, with the added value of users being able to use any mixture of devices that suit the differing profiles within the University.

Archiving of Leeds Trinity’s IM messages is provided via Exchange in Office 365 with Skype for Business’ monitoring server database located in an SQL server. The SQL Server provides the University with reports on call quality via its integration with GCI’s UC Analytics. UC Analytics provides comprehensive analytics on IM usage, including the number and type of conference calls made, volume of video calling and more, helping to encourage user adoption as well as providing service metrics. 

To protect the network against external threats, an Edge server was deployed in a demilitarised zone (DMZ) to add an additional layer of security to the University’s LAN by acting as a small, isolated network positioned between the Internet and the LAN.

Success and Company Benefits

Leeds Trinity University’s new Microsoft Skype for Business Enterprise Voice Solution has paved the way for a more collaborative and innovative way of learning. Not only has it solved challenges with communication between staff, students, external communities and partners that serve the University, but the solution has helped increase levels of satisfaction of staff, lecturers and students alike. Skype for Business has also saved the University time and money by providing a platform to collaborate more efficiently, with UC Analytics successfully delivering information surrounding user adoption. Subsequently, Skype for Business has also enabled Leeds Trinity to replace its legacy ISDN systems with a much more flexible, highly-available and cost-effective SIP Trunking service.

Mark Joyce, Director of Information Services at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Our implementation of Skype for Business is enabling the University to make further advances in the way that students and staff collaborate as part of learning, teaching and research by using a state-of-the art Unified Communications solution. To fully realise the benefits of Unified Communications, we needed an experienced and trusted partner to help us through this transition and to achieve our UC goals, and GCI were just that. Their experience and understanding of the transformation from traditional telephony to Unified Communications has been invaluable.”

 

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