Colleges turn to unified communications to save costs, boost productivity

Smith and Lang said Marquette made the switch because the university’s analog telephone system was approaching its end of life, and for the additional functionality that unified communications brings to the table.

An added bonus is the ability to participate in conferencing from desks in addition to conference rooms.

“Now, we’re able to offer video conferencing and web conferencing right from the desktop,” Lang said.

Faculty now consider bringing in virtual speakers via web or video conferencing, Lang said—something they previously did not often do.

Schools that are planning to implement a unified communications system should plan from both a technology perspective and a communication and training perspective, Smith said.

The university established a project management office to oversee implementation, which Smith said is working very well.

“Planning is critical,” he said. “Just like any other thing, it’s more of a cultural thing than a technology thing. The technology works well; it’s just getting people to understand it and use it effectively.”


CDW-G 2010 Unified Communications Tracking Poll

Laura Ascione

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