University of Melbourne has chosen to move its telephony solutions into the cloud after signing a contract deal with Amcom Telecommunications.
University of Melbourne will deploy the Amcom cloud collaboration (ACC) telephony and unified communications solution across eight campuses in metropolitan and rural Victoria to approximately 13,000 users.
Powered by Cisco's host collaboration solution, the ACC platform is a pay-as-you-go consumption-based service that will be integrated into the university's existing unified communications exchange, provided through Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet).
The university is the first to sign a deal with Amcon since it inked a deal with AARNet in May. The University of Melbourne is a member of AARNet.
As part of the contract, the university will have access to a range of enterprise solutions including telephony, video telephony, voicemail, instant messaging, presence, as well as access to collaboration solutions such as Telepresence, WebEx, and Contact Centre.
Speaking with ZDNet, Sendur Kathir, CIO of The University of Melbourne, said it was important for the university to deliver communication and collaboration tools to its student and staff.
"Universities are all about research and collaboration. What this will enable us to do is enable people to have a degree of collaboration that we don't have today, not just nationally but internationally. We believe its plays into the core needs around collaboration at the university between students and staff," he said.
Kathir highlighted how it was particularly important to offer these new features to students and staff so that the university is able to service those that have been bringing their own devices to campus — which he acknowledge has been happening for years now — inlcuding giving people the choice do bring their devices, transparnecy in regards to costs, and the type of services that will be available to them.
Kathir also said the agreement is consistent with the university's overall "cloud first" strategy to deliver information and applications over mobile channels and devices.
"We've looked at this opportunity for over 12 months, and what we've decided to do as part of this arrangement with Amcon and network provider iiNet is that we will move telephony system to the cloud," he said.
"What that means is that we will get the benefits of a range of things in regards to voice, video, collaboration, and instant messaging that we don't have today. Those are the things we will be able to take advantage of through this initiative."
The service will be rolled out across the campus over the remainder of calendar 2014. Amcom said it expects its partnership with AARNet will lead to further contracts in the higher education sector.