The Interactive Intelligence all-in-one IP communications software suite, Customer Interaction Center® (CIC), was selected following a competitive tender in which 12 different solutions were reviewed. Once fully deployed, Interactive Intelligence will replace the University‘s aging PABX platform which was increasingly difficult to maintain and unable to scale with the University’s changing communications requirements.
The new unified communications solution, which will be implemented by Interactive Intelligence partner, CallTime Solutions, is unique in Australia in that it is a single software platform that incorporates a fully featured IP PBX application suite and Multi Media Contact Centre built for VoIP and SIP. In addition, the University has selected Polycom IP handsets as part of the statewide roll-out due to their high quality voice and tight integration with Interactive Intelligence. The automatic self provisioning capability will make handset deployment easy and time saving for CSU IT staff.
“The Interactive Intelligence solution has an excellent architecture, is easy to maintain and, importantly, scales to meet the diverse needs of our growing multi campus environment,” said Phil Roy, Director Operations – Division of Information Technology, Charles Sturt University. “Interactive Intelligence’s strength in unified communications will also assist us to add more quality functionality and we look forward to taking advantage of the system’s presence and mobility capabilities to better service our community.”
In addition to all campuses, the University will roll out the new IP telephony system to the University’s student residential accommodation, including current construction sites where 600 student accommodation units are being built in Wagga Wagga, Thurgoona and Bathurst. It will also be deployed for the University’s new dentistry school.
The Interactive Intelligence server comes “preloaded” with the one software package that contains all of the telecommunications applications that the University may choose to deploy in the future. In addition to unified communications, these include IP PBX, presence management, multi-media contact centre, outbound dialler, auto attendant, IVR, fax server, voice and screen recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, workflow management, self-service, voice recognition, and mobile applications.
Each campus location will be equipped with an Interaction Media Server that will provide the local processing power to remove load from the main communications server. In addition, the solution is equipped with a powerful “SIP Proxy Business Continuity Application” that can take local control of IP handsets and gateways in the unlikely situation of the main and redundant servers or the WAN failing at the same time.
Implementation has already commenced with trial and design work due to be completed by the end of the year. Early university adopters as well as those business units which require distributed call queuing and management will cut over to the new system in the first part of 2009.
By the end of next year, the University will have completed the roll out of the new Interactive Intelligence platform and will then decommission the former PABX system.
“Once complete, Interactive Intelligence will help us to improve the way we do business. We will be able to develop new business processes applying new phone, email, web chat and instant messaging applications regardless of the location of the staff member or student. Using CIC's features, we'll not only be able to automatically route calls to staff wherever they may be but we'll be able to track these interactions so we can more effectively operate as a seamless organisation.
“In addition, while the initial tender did not focus on contact centre applications, Interactive Intelligence has strength in this space and we will look at the potential benefits of this in due course. We also chose this solution at this time as we felt that we would get great support from both Interactive Intelligence and CallTime Solutions," said Roy.
CSU has a network of campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange and Wagga Wagga, with specialist campuses in Canberra, Goulburn, Manly and Parramatta. It delivers nearly 500 courses to around 35,000 on campus and distance education students.