Republic Polytechnic Builds IP Telephony into Transparent, Wireless Campus IT Environment
Deployed by Radiance Communications with Equipment from Cisco Systems, Republic Polytechnic’s IP Telephony System Delivers Voice over Wireless LAN.
Republic Polytechnic, Singapore’s newest polytechnic, has taken its electronic-campus vision a step further with the implementation of an advanced voice communications system that runs across the school’s wireless Internet Protocol (IP) network. The IP telephony system, provided by Radiance Communications using equipment from Cisco Systems, was chosen over a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system because it allowed the polytechnic to realize its vision for a collaborative and mobile IT-enabled working and learning environment. Campus staff can access a variety of communications tools including e-mail, instant messaging and now telephony to keep in touch with one another over the school’s wireless and wired network.
The Cisco IP telephony solution includes Cisco IP phones in the administrative offices, Cisco CallManager for software-based call processing, Cisco Unity Unified Messaging, and Cisco IP Communicator on the laptops and personal computers of Republic’s staff. The Cisco IP Communicator is a software-based application that endows desktop computers or laptops with the functionality of IP phones, providing high-quality voice calls on the road, in the office, or from wherever users access the corporate network.
By reducing infrastructure and staffing expenses, the IP telephony system lowers the school’s operational costs. Republic’s IP telephony system operates on the same IP network that is used for video and data, which has allowed Republic to consolidate multiple networks into one. The system also enables the polytechnic to utilize its workspaces more effectively, saving on facility costs.
“The vision at Republic Polytechnic is to create a totally wireless and mobile environment for our staff. All our staff are equipped to be truly mobile, next-generation knowledge workers. As our society progresses to being more ‘e,’ we are embracing technology tools that will allow us to become more effective workers wherever we are and whenever the time. The adoption of IP telephony is a strong case in point of how we can minimize our fixed-line costs, while enhancing our communications with our clients — be they stakeholders, parents, teachers, the media — as we are now fully connected wherever we are,” said Prof Low Teck Seng, Principal and CEO, Republic Polytechnic.
Republic Polytechnic was established in 2002 and currently serves more than 1,900 students. The vision to incorporate IT into the school’s operations was conceptualized from its inception, to save the polytechnic from the hassle of having to maintain disparate networks and to migrate the system later as needs evolve. Building a robust and resilient IP network that can deliver voice, video and data, also provides the school with a platform that can easily scale as it grows. Republic’s leaders would like to increase student enrollment to 13,000 by 2010.
“The Radiance-Cisco proposition was compelling for us not only from a cost point of view but also from a migration perspective,” added Prof Low. “The solution provides a growth path for Republic to expand our base of IP telephony users. It also offers other value-added services, which enables the phone to be used not only for voice communication but also for uses such as information retrieval, text messaging and resource management. More importantly, Republic is able to use the platform as a basis for academic projects.”
“Radiance shares the vision of Republic Polytechnic. Our expertise and experience in deploying converged networks enable us to offer a solution that is most suitable for the polytechnic. As Cisco’s first IP Communications Specialization partner in Singapore, we believe that the convergence of voice and data will bring many benefits to businesses and organizations alike,” said Ng Kheng Ghee, Chief Executive Officer, Radiance Communications Pte Ltd.
“We are starting to see more organizations deploy IP telephony as a replacement for traditional PBX systems. The level of adoption has progressed beyond the early introductory phase, with end-users able to clearly see the benefits of IP telephony. In fact, IP telephony systems provide a measurable improvement in voice quality over traditional systems, in addition to delivering value-added services and reduced operational costs,” said Craig Gledhill, managing director, Singapore, Cisco Systems.
The value-added services on Republic Polytechnic’s IP telephony solution are enabled by NexLabs’ SMARTApps portfolio of productivity applications designed for the Cisco IP Phone. NexLabs is a Singapore-based provider of Intelligent Information Management solutions.
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