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Texas A M To Migrate Operations to VoIP

Texas A&M University has signed a three-year $20 million renewal of an agreement with Verizon Business to provide traditional voice and data network services, cabling, and managed services. Under separate agreements, Verizon Business will also migrate the majority of Texas A&M's operations to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) while providing the university with advanced audio-conferencing services.

Verizon Business is currently working with the university on the first phase of installing VoIP to new buildings on campus. The university has a goal of installing 3,000 lines in a half dozen buildings this year and in about 10 more buildings targeted for next year. Ultimately, Verizon Business will help the university migrate the majority of its campus from its existing time division multiplex (TDM) network to a next-generation VoIP platform.

"Our traditional copper infrastructure was more than 50 years old in some areas, and we needed a long-term solution," said Walt Magnussen, director for telecommunications. "By deploying state-of-the-art voice-over-IP technology, we can meet the long-term needs of students and faculty at the university for years to come."

As part of the upgrade of the campus infrastructure, Verizon Business will install advanced switching gear and provide on-site technical support and managed and professional services.
The new converged VoIP platform can handle large amounts of traffic--voice, data, and video--while eliminating the need for separate voice and data networks.

Texas A&M will use Verizon Business audio conferencing services, including Instant Meeting reservationless audio-conferencing service, which includes integration with other applications. For example, Instant Meeting audio conference users also can take advantage of Mobile Conference Connection, a mobile device application, to schedule and initiate conference calls from a BlackBerry or Windows mobile Smart phone. Instant Meeting includes tools such as Web Moderator, which allows users to manage calls, including the ability to monitor attendance; mute, disconnect or add additional lines; record conferences; and create sub-conferences. Verizon Business also offers audio integration with popular instant messaging (IM) and e-mail calendaring applications.

The conferencing services are provided under the MiCTA umbrella contract. Verizon Business is an endorsed provider under MiCTA, a nonprofit association that aggregates common services for its members at a competitive price.

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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