Unified Communications Featured Article

Cisco Aids Charter Oak State College with its Unified Communications System


November 07, 2011

To offer unprecedented customer-focused phone, chat, and e-mail service to the thousands of students, Charter Oak State College has adapted Cisco Unified Communications (UC).

Cisco UC Voice over IP, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner with Cisco Master Unified Communications Specialization, to analyze its business objectives and technical requirements. (VoIP) system is a perfect match for Charter Oak State College need to cater students’ necessity. The College worked closely with ePlus Technology

Later on, ePlus made a move by designing a Cisco UC solution that offers the requisite functionality, integrated with existing network components. It has the high availability and reliability needed to attract and retain students and improve customer service. ePlus was engaged on the initiative for pre-sales design, project management, installation, and end user training.

George Claffey, Charter Oak’s Chief Information Officer said that they had many partners that provided input and assistance with this project and then they brought together leadership from several state agencies to help them to learn and develop a solution that would provide unparalleled customer service for their growing population of online students.

“The Cisco UC system will provide students, faculty and staff multi-modal support through voice, chat, and interactive video conference. Higher education is in a time of tremendous change and there are some traditional models that just aren’t sustainable anymore. Our goal was to develop a solution and identify a partner who could meet our needs today and help us respond to the industry and customer shifts of tomorrow,” Claffey added.

Charter Oak State College can now improve the communications between the students and staff and can also generate more flexibility in teaching methods.

Mark Melvin, chief technology officer of advanced technology solutions for ePlus Technology said that they are pleased to extend their long-term relationship with Charter Oak with the selection and implementation of Cisco Unified Communications.

Melvin said that by leveraging their Cisco expertise, higher education experience, and Connecticut procurement contract, they are able to pass many benefits along to the College, including cost savings, enhanced collaboration, improved staff productivity, and better student retention.

In other news, Governor Dannel P. Malloy recently named six of his nine appointments to the Board of Regents for Higher Education, which oversees the four regional state universities, the community college system and Charter Oak State College.

The Board of Regents is comprised of 19 appointments; nine by Governor Malloy (including the selection of one of his appointees as the Chair); four ex-officio, non-voting members (Commissioners of the Departments of Economic and Community Development, Public Health, Education and Labor); two student representatives; and four legislative appointments. The Governor will complete his remaining appointments in the near future.



Jyothi Shanbhag is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Jyothi's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell




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