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Cardiff Metropolitan University Case Study

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Case Studies

ShoreTel’s UC solution ensures that Cardiff Metropolitan University’s education and training opportunities are accessible, flexible, and of the highest quality

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Rise in student population requires better call handling

CMU was looking for an intuitive telephony system that could easily scale to meet rising demands, enable students to connect with lecturers across its five academic schools, and facilitate the increased call volumes received from applicants.

Handle high call volumes across disparate campuses

Successful communication among campuses, departments, CMU students, and other stakeholders forms an important part of efficient management of the university’s operations. Following a review of the business communications market, Deryck Jones,
systems and communications manager at CMU, identified unified communications (UC) as the best solution for the university.

“After comparing different product demos from ShoreTel, Mitel, and Aastra, we opted for the ShoreTel UC system due to its inherently scalable and resilient architecture,” says Jones. “Resilience is the key for an institute the size of ours, and we
found the ShoreTel system to be intuitive in both usage and deployment.”

ShoreTel UC remote worker voicemail support makes the grade

CMU worked with ShoreTel partner Solar Communications to implement the new UC system. Solar worked closely with CMU to
better understand its needs and tailor the deployment accordingly.

To ensure employees never miss a call, CMU opted for hundreds of voicemail accounts. By integrating voicemail capabilities, the university’s staff is now able to retrace missed calls. Voicemails can be accessed locally or remotely using a telephone or PC, ensuring users can follow up with missed calls, irrespective of their location.

CMU’s clearing process offers students another chance to secure a place at the institution through last-minute vacancies. When A-level results are released in August, CMU receives a barrage of calls from hopeful students looking to secure any remaining places. As demand for university places continues to soar, CMU needed a system that could be easily scaled to cope with the influx of calls received throughout the clearing process.

ShoreTel Workgroups provide routing and queuing, which allows CMU to tailor the caller’s experience by pre-screening calls and routing them to the appropriate person. Applicant processes have become more efficient as a result of callers being connected to the appropriate advisor quicker and having their requests processed faster.

“Clearing is a stressful time for applicants and university staff alike. The ability to effectively route calls to the appropriate parties in one click has ensured that we deal with all enquires efficiently and get applicants the decisions they are waiting for as quickly as possible,” explains Dave Garwood, clearing project manager for CMU. “During the clearing process, we can receive over 4,000
calls each day. Our new ShoreTel system offers advanced call handling to manage this high volume of calls efficiently.”

Federating staff and student bodies

CMU’s legacy system could not effectively connect students and lecturers across its disparate campuses. Solar worked with CMU to develop a flexible and intuitive system that can adapt to its mobile academic and student population, and easily connect them as they move throughout the campuses.

“WE WANTED A SYSTEM THAT WOULD MAKE LECTURERS MORE ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS. SHORETEL OFFERED US A SCALABLE AND COSTEFFECTIVE SOLUTION THAT COULD EXTEND TO OVER 1,000 MEMBERS OF STAFF SCATTERED ACROSS OUR CAMPUSES.”

Deryck Jones
Systems and Communications Manager
Cardiff Metropolitan University

“We wanted a system that would make lecturers more accessible to students. ShoreTel offered us a scalable and cost-effective solution that could extend to over 1,000 members of staff scattered across our campuses,” says Jones.

“Our legacy system required additional administration work every time a member of staff moved departments,” states Jones. “With ShoreTel, each user has its own personal identity on the system that is easily transferable.”

CMU’s legacy system had left its help desk helpless for up to three days when a system failed. ShoreTel’s distributed architecture incorporates a switch-based hardware platform with no single point of failure. Its built-in disaster recovery ensures that if a system fails, CMU’s help desk will stay up and running.

Moving forward

The ShoreTel system was initially implemented at CMU’s School of Management and has since been deployed across additional departments, including Communications and Marketing, the International Office, and the university’s student advice hub, iZone.

“The ShoreTel UC system is an integral cog across our departments,” says Jones. “The iZone offers a one-stop shop in the main campus; students can approach us with any query and receive an immediate answer from our dedicated team. We received over 6,000 inquiries in the first four weeks, and we’re able to deal with each of these efficiently thanks to our new system.”

“Now we can provide a proactive communication structure to all stakeholders, and that means CMU can aim higher and compete in the international education arena,” concludes Dr. Kelvin Hughes, head of the department of international studies and Information systems at CMU.

“NOW WE CAN PROVIDE A PROACTIVE COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS, AND THAT MEANS CMU CAN AIM HIGHER AND COMPETE IN THE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION ARENA.”

Dr. Kelvin Hughes, Head of the Department of
International Studies and Information Systems
Cardiff Metropolitan University

 

CHALLENGE:

  • Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) experienced a rising number of university applicants. It needed a system that could facilitate high call volumes and connect its staff and students across disparate
    campuses.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel provided a Unified Communications (UC) system, including ShoreTel IP phones, Switches, and ShoreTel Workgroups.

BENEFITS:

  • Call routing capabilities
  • Local and remote voicemail access
  • Advanced call handling
  • Reduced call wait times