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Aquinas College

 

EtherWorks, a provider of data network consulting services for medium to large sized organisations today announced the completed installation of a Unified Communications IP telephony system at Aquinas College.

Aquinas College needed to upgrade its aging traditional PBX campus telephone system. The College considered several vendors and suppliers before it became clear that the Cisco Systems Unified Communications product line supplied and installed by EtherWorks would deliver the best and value for money and functionality.

Aquinas College students and staff have formed a successful relationship with schools in Central Java in Indonesia. During the most recent trip, teachers were able to “phone home” utilising the Cisco technology stack that EtherWorks had installed for the College. A simple iPhone Cisco Mobility app was used in conjunction with an IPSec VPN between the handset and the College. This enabled the iPhone to direct dial extension numbers of desk phones over a WiFi connection. “It was just as good as being in my office on the campus”, reported Russell Mort, Campus Minister, after he telephoned the Deputy Principal with a progress report. “It’s almost poetic, that even the wireless access points that are being used in one of partner schools here in Indonesia are the units that [Aquinas College] donated and setup for them. EtherWorks actually supplied them to [Aquinas College] some eight years ago,” Aquinas College’s IT Manager John Neumann said.

As well as those sorts of neat features, we’re also delivering positive tangible impact for our College,” John said. “We can facilitate more transparency between parent and teacher communication. For example, by leveraging the Unified Messaging features of Microsoft Exchange that EtherWorks implemented for us, we can easily enable all teaching staff access to voicemail. Teachers spend a lot of their day in the classroom and aren’t readily available to take call-ins from parents. With Unified Messaging, even teachers without a handset on their desk can receive voice mail in their e-mail mailbox, and manage that item in the same way as any other actionable mail item. ”

EtherWorks also supplied PhoneControl software to monitor how telephony resources are being used. Jan McKenzie, Business Manager at Aquinas College said, “We’re already enjoying this new visibility. We can see straight away cost savings available by analysing a report of how many external phone lines are being used simultaneously.” “We had a larger partial E1 from the days when another school was piggy backed off our system. We can see that we would save around $3000 per annum just by changing to a more appropriate ISDN product since we can see that we do not come close to using all available ISDN channels,” John added.

As well as Unified Messaging and call control visibility, EtherWorks delivered a truly converged system by integrating IP telephony with an analogue public address system. Aquinas College doubled its student enrolment numbers over the last four years and needed an efficient mass notification system. As part of the significant College building works program, an analogue PA speaker system was installed. It is fully integrated with software from SingleWire that works with Cisco’s Unified Communication Manager. Logical zones of speakers are all individually pagable from any Cisco handset – campus wide.

About Aquinas College

Aquinas College is a leading Catholic co-educational secondary school located on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Aquinas College is a thriving, friendly community of learning which prides itself in offering quality Catholic education. The innovative curriculum, technologies and extensive resources provide the opportunity for every student to experience success. The welfare of each student is paramount. The members of staff are highly qualified, dedicated and committed to the teaching vocation.


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