LONDON, UK, February 9, 2006 - The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), the government department responsible for inspecting schools and childcare provision in England, is to deploy a Cisco Systems Internet Protocol Communications (IPC) solution to help it develop a more integrated and national organisation. The Cisco IP Communications (IPC) solution will be delivered over a fixed and wireless converged network infrastructure and is expected to help Ofsted reduce costs by removing the need to pay for inter-office calls.
"Ofsted is creating a national organisation out of the previous regional structure and the deployment of Cisco IP Communications will help to achieve this. We expect the technology to improve services and save money on telephony charges," said Peter Duffy, head of information services for Ofsted. "We put out four tenders for the new network and telephony infrastructure and three bidders proposed Cisco technology."
Ofsted together with technology partners LogicaCMG and BT will replace its existing mix of traditional telephony and data systems with Cisco Local Area Networks (LANs) at its four UK offices in London, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham and will connect the offices with a Cisco Wide Area Network (WAN). Cisco IP Telephony will be deployed to 1,000 office-based staff. Ofsted is also considering wireless networking at its offices and extending the Cisco IPT solution to 1,500 home-based inspectors with Cisco IP-Softphones integrated into laptops. The Cisco solution will help Ofsted make communications more effective by improving functions such as the ability to forward external calls instantly to staff at any office and support video conferencing.
Ofsted will use Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches and Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches to create the LANs and WAN infrastructure. The Cisco IPC solution will comprise 1,000 Cisco 7900 Series IP handsets, some with colour screens and some with video conferencing capability, Cisco CallManager software and Cisco Unity for unified messaging.
"The deployment of Cisco IP Communications in a high profile government agency like Ofsted is a significant win for Cisco because it reinforces our position as one of the leading providers of communications technology to UK government," said David Critchley, Director - Public Sector, Cisco Systems UK. "Cisco technology is a key enabler in helping national organisations such as Ofsted to improve operational efficiency, control costs, and increase collaboration so that they can have the means to raise the level of service they offer to the community."
The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is the inspectorate for children and learners in England. Its job is to contribute to the provision of better education and care through effective inspection and regulation. This is achieved through a comprehensive system of inspection and regulation covering childcare, schools, colleges, children's services, teacher training and youth work. Each week, it carries out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits, helping professionals in education and childcare make a difference to the lives of children and young people. Ofsted is a non-ministerial government department accountable to Parliament. Its independence means it provides impartial information about the quality of education and care. (www.ofsted.gov.uk)
LogicaCMG is a major international force in IT services and wireless telecoms. It provides management and IT consultancy, systems integration and outsourcing services to clients across diverse markets including telecoms, financial services, energy and utilities, industry, distribution and transport and the public sector. The company employs around 21,000 staff in offices across 35 countries and has more than 40 years of experience in IT services. Headquartered in Europe, LogicaCMG is listed on both the London and Amsterdam stock exchanges (LSE: LOG; Euronext: LOG). More information is available from www.logicacmg.com
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.
In the UK, BT serves over 20 million business and residential customers with more than 30 million exchange lines, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators. More information is available from www.BT.com.