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Wright State Upgrades Telecom System

Wright State University has gone public with an upgrade of its main voice communications system. The Fairborn, OH-based institution has stayed with NEC, which provided its legacy NEC 2400 digital private branch exchange, serving 4,600 telephones. That was replaced in July 2012 with a NEC Univerge SV8500 Ultra Module Group (UMG) system, which the company said was the first deployment of that model in the world. The upgraded telephone system supports 8,000-plus stations.

According to a case study published on the project, the update actually began at four remote sites that had links back to the voice infrastructure at the main campus. The university placed NEC's SV8500 servers at those sites, a product line that has been out for several years. However, the SV8500 UMG configuration, which went into the main campus, wasn't available yet.

Wright State hired NEC dealer Black Box Network Services to handle the implementation last year. Cutover was about 65 minutes, versus the four hours the university expected. "The bulk of the migration is really logistics coordination," said Steve Nickell, Wright State's telecommunications manager. "The actual swap out consisted of us just installing the termination cable points of our phone plants."

The deployment team conducted a week of post-deployment testing and monitoring. According to Nickell, "It's running like a champ. And all of our essential applications, including our E911 and our automatic call distribution, were seamlessly transitioned."

The SV8500 UMG system provides unified communications, presence, and mobility solutions. It's also expandable. "If we get a requirement on short notice, we have the capability of expanding the switch as needed. That was our main reason for moving forward with this upgrade," Nickell said.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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