The Open University (OU) is the UK’s largest university, and delivers its courses via distance learning to over 250,000 students. With 5,000 staff spread around the country, the OU decided to explore options to replace their existing PABX telephone system, as well as introduce new communications technology to reduce costs and reduce the university’s carbon footprint.
There is a Lync case study on the university, from the UK team, which focuses on the cost savings that the OU are achieving. According to Adrian Wells, the OU Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure:
|We believe that the saving by deploying Microsoft Lync 2010 instead of buying a new PABX will be around £2 million over five years|
The savings quoted, of over $3m in the next five years, come from :
- Not replacing the hardware of their existing PABX, which was scheduled
- Dropping the third-party maintenance for their existing PABX
- Reducing travel by their staff to and from their headquarters by 5-10%
And in addition to this they are starting to see that providing presence awareness (being able to see if colleagues are free or busy, and where they are) is helping them to reduce unnecessary phone calls and emails. And real-time collaboration (for example, desktop sharing or user to user video conferencing) improves the ability of remote colleagues to collaborate without having to be face to face.