Edinburgh Napier University had a requirement to review its telephony and Unified Communication infrastructure (voice, instant messaging, video calling, etc.) and develop a strategy to meet their current and future needs. The University engaged FarrPoint to complete this review and deliver a new UC strategy.
“As a vendor-agnostic consultancy, Farrpoint could give us an independent, user-centred view of the solutions which would meet our existing and emerging needs. The feedback on their approach has been very positive, with all stakeholders feeling valued and consulted. Senior Leadership Team agreement on the final recommendation was very straightforward as they were led through the analysis, options and recommendations to a logical conclusion. The phased approach allows us to address potential technical debt in good time, meeting the urgent needs first and building on the solution over time. Farrpoint continue to show their deep understanding of the market and remain trusted advisors.” Claire Taylor, Edinburgh Napier University, Director of Information Services
When the pandemic hit, it became apparent that to maintain their desired level of service and support, Napier’s technology demands would dramatically increase. The University recognised the need to review their current infrastructure and develop a strategy for the future so they could best support their staff and student community, both within the UK and internationally.
It was identified that the telephony technology had moved on since the University’s systems were last reviewed, and the existing solution required an upgrade to meet the University’s changing requirements.
The University enlisted the services of FarrPoint to deliver a strategy that would consider:
Due to the accelerated demands for remote working during the pandemic, the University had deployed a number of different Unified Communication solutions to deliver Teaching & Learning and for Operations & Administration. Whilst this helped enable the University to continue to operate throughout the pandemic, not having a single, consistent UC solution caused confusion amongst some users, and led to issues with integration with other University systems. In addition to this, it was found that the existing solutions were limited for external communications with prospective students and the wider public. There was a clear opportunity for Napier to improve their Unified Communication solutions for both their internal and external audiences, with a core objective to improve the experience when interacting with the University.
During the Discovery stage, FarrPoint conducted a series of interviews with representatives from various roles and locations across the University to understand how they currently work and establish the various requirements the strategy needed to address as it was essential that FarrPoint’s recommendations would benefit all users.
A number of areas where the current telephony and UC systems were not aligned to users’ needs were identified during this process, including confusion about which of the current systems should be used. In addition, the costs associated with the existing systems were gathered.
Following the Discovery stage, a range of potential solutions were identified, and an analysis was completed by scoring each option based on the degree to which it met the current and anticipated future requirements gathered from the various stakeholders and its 5-year lifecycle costs.
The output of this analysis and costing exercise identified a recommended option and enabled the resulting strategy to be delivered, which also included a suggested approach for the procurement and implementation of the recommended option.
A shortlist of solutions capable of meeting the requirements identified was agreed which delivered the following benefits:
A key benefit of the recommended solution was that implementation could be performed largely in-house as a continuation of the existing rollout of Microsoft Teams, with limited requirement for external professional services needed for the telephony, contact centre functionality and system integration elements.
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