VOSS Solutions

VOSS UC Management and the Education Sector

Jim Ortbals, VP Partner Sales, VOSS

VOSS was a sponsor at another World Wide Technology (WWT) event last week; this time it was WWT's TEC Day (which stands for technology, education, collaboration) in Honolulu.

I mentioned in my last blog, that at WWT's GeekDay in Washington, most conversations at the VOSS booth centered on Government and the Federal space. So it was interesting that at this week's event in Hawaii, many of my discussions about VOSS revolved around the Education sector, and their evolving challenges in the UC space.

And, when it comes to UC, colleges and universities do have their work cut out. They invariably have lots of users that are spread across many sites and locations. In addition, IT budgets in education are notoriously tight, so on the one hand there is no new budget available for investment in new initiatives, and on the other, there is a pressing need to control the spiraling operational costs involved in provisioning the UC network. So, scaling the network to offer the latest UC services, or to cover new geographical areas or departments, becomes a major headache for the IT team.

We were delighted to share our experience in solving this challenge, with a solution called UC Overbuild that has been deployed into many enterprise accounts across North America, including educational establishments.

The great thing about UC Overbuild is that it overlays a management platform on to any existing IPT or UC environment. UC Overbuild automatically "learns" all existing data that has been deployed in the incumbent UC environment, and provides a single portal to replace all the interfaces for multiple UC services.

For the educational institutions that I talked to in Hawaii, a centralized management console would allow the IT team to radically cut operational costs, simplify administration by introducing automation thus freeing staff to work on more challenging projects, and release budget to augment the network with new applications or services.

The reason we feel that UC Overbuild is being so well received by the education industry, is that there are multiple migration paths that you can choose from:

  1. Process automation and management could be introduced immediately, empowering you to achieve cost savings and productivity improvements straight away.
  2. Process automation and management could be introduced in phases, enabling you to continue with existing processes for as long as required, while gaining some immediate management benefits. The IT team could continue with non-managed tasks until automated processes are in place, and fall back to a non-managed or partly unmanaged approach at any time.
  3. Process automation and management could be introduced to parts of your infrastructure, or across the entire environment; giving you control over which parts of your organization should be automated and managed.

It’s no surprise that educational establishments are struggling to continue to provision UC with no management system in place. What is interesting though, is that whether I’m talking to a finance house in New York, a federal department in Washington, a healthcare organization in Florida, or a university in Honolulu, the fundamental challenges around UC with no management are the same; and VOSS really does empower all of these different types of businesses to solve this pressing issue.