News Release

Educational institutions lead Canada in adoption of IP telephony

20 Canadian school boards, colleges and universities currently utilizing next-generation Cisco technology to run voice and data over a single network
Jul 11, 2002

TORONTO, Ontario - July 10, 2002 - Canadian educational institutions are leading the nation in the adoption of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, the advanced technology that transports voice over an IP network. According to Cisco Systems - the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet - 20 Canadian colleges, universities and schools boards from coast-to-coast now feature Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (Cisco AVVID) networks that power voice and data services.

"IP telephony is gaining tremendous momentum in the Canadian education sector as it delivers significant cost savings and productivity gains," said Brent Rebus, director of enterprise operations at Cisco Systems Canada. "From lowered total cost of ownership and simplified network management, to increased organizational flexibility and productivity-enhancing applications, network convergence is making a real, measurable impact."

According to IDC, more than one-third of large Canadian enterprises surveyed said they plan to invest in IP-based communications systems over the next year. "Those results legitimize the perception that IP-based telephony is a viable business communications solution," said Lawrence Surtees, director of telecom research at IDC Canada Ltd. IDC Canada also projects that business IP telephony traffic will eclipse residential IP telephony use by 2004.

Canadian educational institutions that have implemented Cisco IP telephony solutions include: Algonquin College, Assiniboine Community College, Collhge Lanaudihre, Commission scolaire de la Riveraine, Commission scolaire de Laval, Commission scolaire de Montrial, Commission scolaire des Affluents, Commission scolaire des Premihres Seigneuries, Commission scolaire Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier, George Brown College, Mount Royal College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Sheridan College, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), University of Guelph, and UQAM (Universiti du Quibec ` Montrial).

The fast growing IP telephony market

IP telephony is gaining momentum in Canada and around the world, and Cisco has established itself as the market leader. Globally, Cisco has shipped over 850,000 IP phones to more than 4,500 customers worldwide. It is currently shipping an average of 2,000 IP phones every business day.

Some Canadian customers currently deploying Cisco's IP telephony solution include:

Guelph University
Guelph University is implementing the first fully converged, campus-wide IP telephony network at a Canadian university. Featuring 7,000 Cisco IP phones and 12,000 data ports, the network will be one of the largest IP telephony networks in Canada. "The Cisco AVVID solution provided the adaptability, scalability and long-term cost savings we needed," said Ron Elmslie, director of computing and communications services at the University of Guelph. "The ability to transport voice, video and data over a single network infrastructure will simplify network management and consolidate our data and voice groups, providing a unified help centre environment."

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) recently installed 460 Cisco IP phones at a new residence tower and eventually plans to convert its entire campus to IP telephony. "We see converged IP communications as the wave of the future and didn't want to invest in legacy technology," said Peter Kehler, director of information systems. "Not only does IP telephony provide a solid business case by reducing costs, the convergence of voice and data also opens up a range of exciting possibilities." SAIT is currently exploring a number of converged applications, including putting Cisco SoftPhone technology on student laptops to enable them to answer calls directly from their computers anywhere on campus.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is currently installing 300 Cisco IP phones at its new Centre for Information and Communications Technology. NAIT is using this deployment to pilot IP telephony as the first step towards its long-term vision of IP convergence across the entire campus. "As a leading technical institution, we pride ourselves on working with leading-edge technology," said Jeff Zabudsky, dean of curriculum and technology innovation at NAIT. "IP telephony is an exciting new technology because it empowers converged tools. In the short term we're looking at converged voice and data applications such as Unified Messaging and IP SoftPhone. Over the longer term this IP communications will power e-learning, customer relationship management and a truly mobile workforce."

Commission scolaire des Affluents
Commission scolaire des Affluents underwent a major reorganization and review of its information systems over the past two years and while implementing a new telecommunication fibre optic network, it opted for IP telephony. "The success of this operation on a technical level, combined with the economic benefits, have such great impact that many school boards in Quebec are choosing this technology," explains Bernard Lemonnier, director of information technology services at Commission scolaire des Affluents.