How Unified Communications Helps: Business Continuity Ensures It’s Business as Usual at Spalding University
In fall 2012, UCStrategies interviewed a number of Mitel Unified Communications (UC) customers across various industries to identify the quantitative and qualitative benefits they’ve achieved with UC.
Based on these discussions, several themes became obvious, with four benefit use cases demonstrating the most value: business continuity, mobility, collaboration and customer service. UCStrategies created a four whitepapers presenting their findings, and over the course of the next couple of months we will be highlighting some of those key findings in a series of blog posts, How Unified Communications Helps.
Spalding University, a four‐year college in Louisville, Ky., supports traditional and working students in both general and vocational‐focused programs, with more than 2,400 students and 175 faculty members.
In order to improve service to its growing user community, while guaranteeing that staff and faculty can stay connected regardless of location, Spalding deployed the virtualized Mitel Communications Director integrated with a VMware vSphere 4 virtualization server in a separate data center, as well as the virtualized Mitel Border Gateway on VMware vSphere, to provide a secure, plug‐and‐play method of connecting remote workers.
Put to the Test
The ability of the Mitel virtualized solution to ensure business continuity was tested when the university experienced power outages and lightning strikes where the phones and Mitel Communications Director are located. The virtualized system switched to another platform seamlessly without any disruption.
Several months later, the university experienced a flood on campus, and was able to move and relocate faculty and staff without having to close any departments or cancel any classes.
“Integrating voice from our campus into our data center makes it easier for our network staff because everything is running on the same platform,” says Ezra Krumhansl, Spalding University’s executive director of IT. “If there’s an outage on the campus, everything in the data center including voice can be managed remotely due to the built in redundancy.”
Reducing the Impact on Staff and Budget
Had the Mitel systems not been in place, these two events would have affected about 50 percent of the business population and university services, and lasted about two weeks. Assuming that the affected groups had to cease operations, the result would have been a loss of about 5 percent, for about 50 percent of the population.
Based on two events in five years, this translates to roughly 0.5 percent of overall work force time/effort. With an overall university operating budget of approximately $5 million per year, this translates to about $125,000 over those five years.