Bill & Greg's Most Excellent Adventure

Tidbits on Unified Communications for our education customers.

Unified Communications is not coming, it is here!

Unified Communications is not coming, it is here!

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Last week I was at Teched where one of my colleagues introduced Sprint in a presentation on Nortel and Microsoft’s continuing efforts around UC. Sprint a long time customer of Nortel and Microsoft and with 64,600 employees operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the US.

The presentation was focused on Sprints challenges including maintenance of PBXs across the US, introduction to VoIP without breaking the bank (how to introduce VoIP handsets and replace TDM handsets – where’s the ROI?), and existing VoIP solutions were not viable due to limitations around SIP trunking.

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As you can see Sprints network includes a number switches scattered throughout the US. The new plan is to consolidate and provide services in a main facility using the CS2100s, Microsoft’s OCS 2007, and Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging to provide a centralized, manageable VoIP infrastructure for years to come.

The part of the presentation I found valuable was the lessons learned.

  • 1. UC is a cultural shift to all levels of the organization. Challenge your teams to look at the bigger picture.
  • 2. Gain Stakeholder support at officer level in org
    • IT
    • HR
    • etc
  • Bring silo’d teams together at the beginning
    • Exchange/Mail
    • Voice
    • Desktop
    • Networking
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of end-user adoption
  • Don’t forget about Support – convert teams to support mixed infrastructure
  • Seek out experts – I believe in this one as well. Alot of my customers have fantastic resources but it’s always good to have a second set of eyes on the project for confirmation.

Bottomline – Sprint was challenged with business and technical hurdles to move to Unified Communications. Nortel and Microsoft helped the Sprint team and now Sprint has a plan for the consolidation efforts.

It was exciting and I found the presentation excellent and an example for my customers in education. My hat goes off to the Sprint, Nortel, and MS teams on this project!!

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