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University of New Mexico Pilots Unified Communications System

The University of New Mexico (UNM) will be piloting an IP-based communications network with the installation of a suite of applications called Univerge from NEC Unified Solutions. In 2006, the campus began implementing its IP communications network, which will eventually support 22,000 voice terminals (IP, TDM and analog), connecting administration, faculty and students, as well as the UNM Hospital campus and Health Science Center.

This first installation is being called a "strategic deployment" that includes the university's top administrators and department heads. UNM is planning, as funds become available, to develop and install the IP communications network across campus.

"Our goal in deploying IP and application-based communications is not only long-term investment protection, but also building on our NEC infrastructure to make communications on campus more intuitive and convenient," said Mark Reynolds, associate director for ITS communications network services. "With the assistance and expertise of NEC, this deployment is helping us understand how UC can improve business communications, work efficiency and information availability among executive users at our university."

The Univerge applications being deployed include:
  • UC700 desktop client with presence-based call routing; click-to-call and clipboard dialing from any desktop application; standards-based instant messaging; communication history information, a unified message center; and voice, video and Web conferencing with screen sharing capabilities.
  • MC530 mobile client, which lets users use some UC features and functionality on dual-mode Wi-Fi and cellular mobile devices with handoff from the wireless network to the cellular network.
  • DT300 and DT700 series IP terminals featuring a modular design, SIP compatibility, LCD touch screens and XML support to allow for customized content development.
The school is already using NEC's MA4000 management console for centralized management of new and existing deployments. The console lets IT administrators keep up on address moves, adds and changes and make scheduled changes to the network. Ultimately, the company said, the administration package will allow users to control their phone settings from their Web browsers.

For the deployment, NEC's UC for Enterprise suite has been installed in conjunction with a SV7000 IP communications server connected to the university's two existing NEAX 2400 IPXs. This upgrade enables all of the university's IP-PBXs to function as one.

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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