GUELPH, Canada - July 10, 2002 - The University of Guelph announced today that it will begin to install an advanced new voice, video and data network from Cisco Systems this summer to meet the needs of increasing student enrolment and to expand its technological capabilities.
Guelph will be the first university in Canada to implement a fully converged, campus-wide Internet Protocol (IP) voice and data network. By running voice, video and data over one network, organizations can reduce administration costs and improve productivity by creating a single platform for advanced applications that will give them a competitive edge.
"This project speaks to our proud tradition of leadership and innovation," said Mordechai Rozanski, president of the University of Guelph. "It also signifies the increasingly important role information technology plays in leading-edge learning and research."
The network infrastructure will replace the university's legacy PBX telephone system, which reached user capacity two years ago. Based on the Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (Cisco AVVID), the network will enable advanced voice and data services in all campus residences and administrative buildings. The network will feature 7,000 IP phones and 12,000 data ports across the campus, making it one of the largest IP telephony networks in Canada. The university currently has 660 Cisco IP phones at its East Residence as a trial. The entire campus will be transitioned to IP telephony over the next three years.
"By reducing costs and driving productivity gains, network convergence and IP telephony are having a huge impact upon businesses, governments and educational institutions around the world," said Brent Rebus, director of enterprise operation at Cisco Systems Canada. "The University of Guelph is proving to be an innovator in technology as well as education, and will reap the benefits of this forward-thinking approach."
Improving campus communicationsWhen Guelph's current phone system was reaching capacity and its data network needed an upgrade, a campus telecommunications committee was formed to investigate the options. After a thorough review, the committee determined a converged network solution from Cisco Systems was the best alternative.
"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 trial program at East Residence has been an overwhelming success," said Elmslie. "The installation went smoothly and the students adapted to the new phones without any trouble. We were also able to reduce costs by only having to install a single converged network, instead of separate systems for voice and data."
The ability to transport voice, video and data over a single network infrastructure will also simplify network management. In addition, it has allowed the university to consolidate its data and voice areas, leading to a unified help centre environment, Elmslie pointed out.