PBXact & Zulu UC Helps Respected University Stay Connected while Fighting Pandemic
With over thirty years of experience, Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES), a respected university ranked among the best in Ecuador, offers students a quality education in over fifty disciplines across ten departments.
The mission of UEES is to serve society by creating an environment for the development and training of high-level entrepreneurial professionals who will benefit Ecuador and the world with their contributions to teaching, research, and engagement.
Proudly accredited as an Ecuadorian institute of higher education, UEES not only offers a world class education as one of the best research universities and the number 2 business school in Ecuador according to América Economica, it also enables students to expand their worldview with international agreements with the best universities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
The situation with UEES started out simply enough. The time was right for the university to upgrade their legacy PBX. This was their main objective, alongside the additional goal of leveraging Unified Communications (UC) functionality to improve the depth of collaboration between staff and administrators. The need was also felt to improve the level of telephone service to increase the level of engagement available to enrolled students and potential candidates.
This started a search for a UC solution that was both flexible enough to accommodate the needs of a growing university while providing the best value, a balance of advanced feature sets, equipment reliability, and competitive pricing.
From the beginning of their search, one key requirement for the new phone system was mobility functionality to accommodate the frequent travelling of various deans and departmental directors participating in academic conferences and keep everyone connected through the university phone system from anywhere in the world.
The Solution From Sangoma
The university evaluated the several UC solutions and vendors available in the Latin American market. Ultimately, the team from UEES concluded that the vendor that offered the highest degree of flexibility while remaining the best value in addressing the university’s requirements was Sangoma.
The first phase of the solution involved refreshing the telecommunications infrastructure on the main campus. This phase saw the implementation of a high-volume PBXact appliance and almost 400 Sangoma IP phones. The main goal of this stage was the replacement of the existing system and desk phones for the campus staff.
The second phase included setting up Zulu UC client access for users who needed mobility functionality right away with plans to roll it out to every user in time.
The university’s focus on mobility as a key requirement was a blessing in disguise when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the campuses of UEES in Ecuador and abroad.
The Unified Communications (UC) system had been successfully deployed for less than two months when the coronavirus situation required immediate action.
The first action the university took was enabling Zulu UC for all staff to seamlessly allow them to work remotely while strict quarantine and curfew measures enforced by the government were in place. Setting this up for users was quick and easy, which was a big relief to the university since incoming calls could continue to be handled. Users were happy to find out how easy it was to use their work extension from their homes.
Then, to help alleviate the medical system overloaded with people in need of testing and guidance, the university implemented a virtual medical telecare service offered as part of their social contribution to pandemic relief in Ecuador.
With the help of 80 doctors from around the country who are able to easily connect using Zulu UC, patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms are able to speak to a doctor from the comfort of their homes for a screening via the emergency hotline setup by the university.
Beyond the university’s admirable contribution to alleviating the medical burden of the pandemic, unifying their voice and messaging capabilities into a single platform, accessible from anywhere, provided a pleasant boost to user productivity among university staff.
For university faculty and staff, Zulu UC was, by far, the favorite feature, due in large part to its role in allowing a seamless transition to remote work and enabling access to a full suite of communication tools from a single interface.
The university expected this as mobility and flexibility were the main motivations behind their decision to deploy the Sangoma solution. What really surprised the university, however, was the fact that they did not incur any additional licensing fees while being forced to rapidly accommodate remote work. This was possible because Zulu UC is included in the price of the total PBXact solution.
The message UEES ultimately wants to stress to businesses and organizations researching phone systems is to keep total cost of ownership in mind. Many vendors have hidden licensing fees and other undisclosed expenses associated with their solutions. In this regard, the university appreciated the upfront pricing and low total cost of ownership only found with Sangoma.
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