Notre Dame chooses hosted VoIP service

Today, we'll take a look at how The University of Notre Dame decided to move to VoIP and a multimedia converged architecture.

We recently talked with Dewitt Latimer, Notre Dame's deputy CIO and CTO, about why Notre Dame chose SBC as its partner. Notre Dame's 16,000 users and 7,000 telephone stations will soon be using SBC's Hosted IP Communications Service.

Dewitt said he chose a hosted approach in lieu of a private network because "we maintain and enjoy a reputation as a superior academic institution. We also realize that we can't be the best at everything else, so we look for the best partners. We looked at several providers, and SBC was the only one left standing."

A big factor in the university's decision was SBC's approach to the entire infrastructure. SBC started by researching the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

"Our students pretty much all carry a cell phone and a laptop, so I knew going into this that wireless was going to be a big part of this deployment," Dewitt said. "Adding Cingular as a cellular partner made the deal all that much sweeter."

SBC's ability to assure quality of service, its price, and its ability to "bring in a strong project management team" to make the transition from Centrex to VoIP also factored into the decision, Dewitt said.

In his closing comments, Dewitt said, "We're very fortunate to have one of the more visionary companies as a partner. Their game plan for the future - including wireless, Wi-Fi and applications - was critical to my decision."

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