News Release

California Bay Area K-12 Educational Institutions Improve Productivity and Reduce Costs with Cisco Networking Solutions

Cisco Integrated Services Routers and Unified Communications power networks that replace aging, legacy systems
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Mar 27, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 27, 2006 - Cisco Systems announced today that two major educational institutions in the Northern California bay area have upgraded their networks with Cisco integrated services routers and the Cisco Unified Communications system. The San Ramon Valley Unified School District, a K-12 district with 24,000 students, and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, which provides services to the county's 32 school districts, will replace aging private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems with a Cisco Unified Communications system. The solution, which combines wireless, Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and security services on a single platform, helps reduce costs and provides highly secure data services for teachers, students and administrators.

"Schools continue to turn to IP networks to help lay the groundwork for 'Connected Learning' environments, where they can not only realize significant productivity and ease-of-management benefits, but also easily expand their academic service offerings," said Charles Fadel, global lead of education for Cisco. "Once the converged network is in place, the possibilities to enhance teacher and district productivity and to create student-centered learning environments are almost endless."

Cisco Routers Link 32 School Districts in Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) helps each school district achieve greater efficiency and cost savings by centralizing functions such as payroll and financial services, Internet services, credentialing, staff development, and state-mandated administrative services.

"One of our roles is to educate school districts about technology that can help them," said Phil Benfield, senior network engineer for SCCOE. "With an easy-to-deploy IP communications system combined with Cisco's integrated services routers, schools can get rid of old bell, surveillance and attendance systems. In addition, this deployment provides a foundation for future advances, such as the ability to extend our educational services beyond the campus walls."

AMS.NET, a Cisco Silver Certified Partner proposed the SCCOE solution. In the first phase of deployment, SCCOE installed the Cisco Unified CallManager call-processing system to support 614 users in the main administration building and five remote sites. SCCOE plans to have 40 percent of its remote sites up on the Cisco Unified Communications system by June 2006, and the remaining sites by the end of 2007.

According to Benfield, the first phase is already reaping benefits. Employee moves, adds, and changes are handled quickly without a separate service contract. Departments are communicating and coordinating more efficiently thanks to the unification allowed by easy four-digit dialing.

Growth in San Ramon Triggers Need for Unified Communications

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is growing rapidly, with a new school opening this summer, and two more in 2007. Demands on telephony and data network infrastructures have kept pace. The IT department set a goal to increase network bandwidth at the 32 existing sites while providing IP telephony services in new and remodeled schools. Over half the district will operate with Cisco's Unified Communications system.

"We're extremely satisfied with the ROI we've experienced from the deployment to date," said Jon Threshie, the district's director of technology. "We're moving toward having a unified, quality phone system that is much easier to manage for moves, adds and changes. It also provides better reporting capabilities and cost accounting for audits. And with the voice services and other capabilities embedded directly on the Cisco integrated services routers, we can easily deploy services for our newly built and remodeled schools."

Key features of the system especially valued by San Ramon administrators, besides cost savings, include intra-district extension dialing, caller ID, conferencing, reporting, integrated district-wide voicemail, graceful failover technologies, and scalable options for growth in the number of users and features.

The San Ramon Valley deployment includes Cisco Unified CallManager, Cisco Unity Voice Messaging, Cisco Unified IP Phone 7940Gs and Cisco 2851 Integrated Services Routers. A new high school opening next summer has wireless services as well, so that students and teachers equipped with notebook computers can benefit from getting training and doing research online.

Cisco Solutions Deliver Advanced Services

The Cisco Unified Communications system is based on Cisco's market-leading Unified Communications portfolio, which includes Cisco Unified CallManager, Cisco Unity, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace and Cisco Unified Contact Center, as well as the recently introduced Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco Unified Presence Server and Cisco Unified Customer Interaction Analyzer.

The Cisco integrated services routers offer a wide range of performance and power. They are particularly valuable for connections to the branch offices of larger enterprises and for connecting the offices of smaller businesses. They offer integrated routing, voice, security and wireless services.