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U of Maryland Eastern Shore Talks Up NEC Univerge Unified Communications

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has begun deploying a voice over IP-based unified communications platform from NEC Unified Solutions. The installation includes the Univerge SV8500 communications server, which provides call routing capabilities and productivity applications, such as presence recognition, instant messaging, unified messaging, conferencing, click-to-call, and single number reach. The university has also simultaneously installed the MA4000 application, a Web-based management tool that simplifies deployment, phone moves, adds, and changes and provides users with a simple means to configure their own phones.

The new communication technology has enabled the registrar's office, for example, to direct calls to multiple staff members through auto call distribution. In the past, it was possible for messages not to be returned for days or for elongated wait times to drive callers to hang up.

"The Univerge SV8500 has already reduced our total cost of ownership, streamlined productivity, and given us a competitive edge through progressive technology other institutions may not have," said Phil Taylor, director of IT. "We are very impressed with the SV8500's E911 location capability, end-to-end encryption, high reliability and built-in unified communications applications. More importantly, our employees are pleased with the time they can now save through improved communications."

Eventually, NEC said in a statement, the school will deploy the company's UM8500 unified messaging system and new DT series XML-based IP desktop phones. UM8500 includes videomail, a find me/follow me capability, and viewcall for desktop call control. Also, Microsoft Exchange Server integration enables the system to read aloud a schedule of activities for any given day, up to a year in advance.

The university has been using Repartee, a communications platform from Active Voice, which is a subsidiary of NEC.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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