As one of the top public universities, The University of Virginia is steeped in tradition, scholarship, and innovation. However, its communications infrastructure was beginning to show their age and the University had to ensure they were kept up-to-date given the data needs throughout their system. The University of Virginia’s phone system was made up of two distinct parts — the University itself and its sister health system. All told, the telecom system included more than 22,000 lines and 20,000 phones among 400 buildings. Given that the University’s legacy phone system would phase out in two years, they turned to Convergent to work with their telecom vendor Broadsoft to deploy a VoIP upgrade over a 15 month timeframe.
The University’s main challenge was that their staff didn’t have the expertise or bandwidth to handle the migration themselves. Convergent’s first task was clear — hire project leads, project assistants, and logistics coordinators to execute the deployment. For an organization as large as Virginia’s, that meant hiring 16 new staff people throughout the University and health system. It also meant the need for user guides and training material development, which Convergent spearheaded to ensure all University staff would be able to access the system easily. Within two months the first flight was scheduled — a transition of phones in one building to ensure smooth deployment before the larger roll out.
Following the initial success, every ensuing week had an average of four additional flights that transitioned 100-350 phone numbers each. Each flight required the installation of new VoIP phones and management of the University’s analog phones, fax machines and other legacy equipment. By the end of the 15 month project window, the entire system had been updated and moved over to VoIP. The University of Virginia was able to disconnect the old Siemens system with no dropped or missed calls.