Channel Partners

January 9, 2008

3 Min Read
Case Study: Avotus Helps Transform Algonquin College Into Ontarios Most-Wired Campus

Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, is the third-largest college in Ontario and the largest outside of metropolitain Toronto. Ranked No. 1 in the province in student satisfaction, the college is positioned to become Canadas leading college. Early on, Algonquin embraced leading-edge technology. E-learning is now an integral part of nearly all its programs. The college has more than 100 multimedia e-classrooms and some 10,000 students currently enrolled in hybrid courses that blend classroom time with online learning activities. Algonquin is also a leading provider of online distance education.

Business Issues

Algonquin College faces a variety of telecom challenges in providing varied services to its administration, faculty and resident students. In order to offer high-level service to its users, the IT department at Algonquin, which also serves satellite campuses situated as far as 90 miles from the main campus, must provide an infrastructure that meets both present and future needs. One major challenge for the college was the ability to charge back long-distance calls to students in a timely fashion. The existing college billing system was extremely slow, sometimes resulting in disruptions in service. If a student exceeded his $150 long-distance limit, he ran the risk of having his long-distance service cut off. After a thorough review of their telecommunications network, Algonquin decided to replace their outdated PBX phones and switch to Ciscos Call Manager VoIP system.

Solution

The software selected by the college to interface with the Cisco IP phone system is Avotus Intelligent Communications Management (ICM). Avotus ICM has a Cisco Account Code Manager module that authenticates caller account codes before permitting long-distance calls. In less than one month, Avotus and Cisco worked together to have the system operational at Algonquin.

Results

We dont receive any complaints now, says Monica Balastik, Algonquins network/systems administrator. Thanks to Avotus, billing information is available anytime. Students are now billed in a timely manner and no one has had their long-distance privileges revoked due to unpaid bills since the system has been in operation.

I can go into the system to look at collected call records, and if someone reports a prank call, I can view all of the details, adds Balastik. The new system is also very helpful for our departments. They can now view their long-distance bills and drill down to see what phone numbers were dialed by a certain user and how long each call was.

Success Highlights

  • Secure Validation of caller authorization codes ensures that only approved users incur communications charges. While residents can use the in-room phones to make local calls, anyone attempting to make long-distance calls will require proper account codes and PINs.

  • Informative Users of the system can see the length of the call and the cost associated with the call on the Cisco IP phones.

  • Easy to use The previous system for billing required a great deal of manipulation before a report could be produced; data had to be extracted and formatted. Now with Avotus, some steps have been eliminated in the process. Users simply click a button to see their information.

  • Cost effective The system has resulted in cost savings to the college because administration of the system is simplified.

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