Education Use Case: Mass UC Onboarding & Offboarding Automation for a Seamless Start to the School Year
Bill Dellara, VP Product, VOSS Solutions
We are excited by the interest our latest VOSS Automate for Education release is receiving; a custom solution that caters to the specialized needs of the education market.
I was recently involved in a particular education use case that I wanted to share with you.
VOSS Use Case
The beginning of an academic term or year is a busy time for the IT team, where huge amounts of data changes need to take place in a very short period of time:
- Staff and Student changes
- Old staff and students need to be removed from – and new staff and students added to – the system
- Movement of staff between schools and rooms – update services
- Profiles ensure the right services for the user type are deployed accurately
- Soft clients for roaming staff need to be provisioned
- Fixed devices need to be provisioned for room-based staff
- The admin team expects an entirely different profile to academic staff
A large US-based university approached VOSS with the requirement to automate this entire unified communications (UC) onboarding/offboarding process. They wanted to introduce a UC automation management platform that would absorb complexity by automating the many complex manual steps of setting up (and decommissioning) a UC profile for any given student or staff member.
In doing so, the university would be able to decentralize administrative control from the central voice team, to:
- Empower their 60+ schools to take more ownership through handling far more of their MACD changes without engaging the central IT team. This would enable far more agility in how each school uses the service to suit their specific needs.
- Give staff and students access to a real-time self-service portal to manage their own services in a controlled and auditable way, which would increase service adoption, and significantly decrease response times to changes.The flexibility of the VOSS portal enables the university to define exactly the services they want to expose and even create a few different levels of access for different user types.This empowers users to make changes as they need, without risk of breaking their services or the delay of engaging an administrator or helpdesk.
- Where schools or end users do not want to take on self-administration, VOSS provides the ability for lower tier helpdesk staff to complete a far wider range of day-2-day tasks instead of requiring skilled resources for simple tasks.
VOSS Automate was installed, and immediately, the central voice team saw a reduction in tickets, freeing them from mundane MACD tasks to work on more challenging and fulfilling tasks. End users received far faster response times, fuelling productivity and improving satisfaction. In addition, the university experienced a sharp uptick in user adoption including additional uses of the technology due to the agility the self administration capability provided. VOSS was also able to provide automation that simplified other use cases that came up such as provisioning temporary staff and visiting professors.
VOSS integration and self-service access greatly reduced the load on skilled resources from the central IT team, reducing costs and freeing up those resources to focus on driving innovation and delivering more business value from the technology. The IT leadership was impressed with the amount of projects and other work the skilled resources were able to achieve after the implementation as they had far more time available. This evolved their relationship with the schools as they could help them address more challenges and innovation rather than be a roadblock.
The value doesn’t stop there:
- VOSS affords the university the ability to easily update existing services for new users without a full tear down and rebuild. With VOSS automation, these changes can be made quicker and are less disruptive because you can maintain personalized settings – such as speed dials and voicemails – where needed.
- VOSS automates the movement of staff between classrooms, updating the voice services for the new room to reflect the user being moved, and associating to their other services.
- VOSS integrates to ticketing and other business systems to extend the university’s existing portal and processes to be able to handle UC-related tasks as well. By including UC tasks into the wider business processes (such as onboarding), this reduced the time and effort virtually to zero as they were fully automated eliminating any handover to IT or the schools to complete.
- The automation behind all the access listed above reduces the errors and misconfigurations of services by utilizing templating and automation rules that ensure designs are adhered to, and implemented consistently.
- During the project, VOSS innovated with the team to create additional automation rules to handle specific use cases and scenarios. Features such as “reassign services”, met the need for automating the move of users between schools as well as rotating visiting professors. This feature alone reduced manual effort by over 98% while enabling the task to be carried out by an individual school rather than the skilled resources in the central IT team.
To learn more about VOSS for Education, click here.