University of Nottingham chooses MeetingZone

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The University of Nottingham needed to review its audio conferencing capabilities as part of the migration of its telephony services from analogue to Voice over the Internet (VoIP). It has chosen MeetingZone’s cost effective, easy to use and flexible services to deliver conferencing capabilities to its 2,000 plus users.

 ”We needed to identify a conferencing service provider who could not only improve on the service being delivered by our incumbent supplier, but importantly, deliver a cost effective solution that will integrate with our VoIP network and MeetingZone does just that,” explained Paul Robbins, Telecoms Development Officer for the University. 

 ”It is vital that we ensure our users continue to experience a high quality conferencing and collaboration service, which overcomes any shortfall in functionality posed by the new VoIP network,” continued Robbins.”MeetingZone meets this major requirement and will enable us to carry on promoting conferencing and collaboration in order to grow usage.”

As the University moves forward with its move to IP, it is also looking at deploying a Unified Communications (UC) solution. “MeetingZone will work closely with Paul Robbins and his team to ensure the successful further integration of our audio and web conferencing services within a UC environment,” added Tim Duffy, MeetingZone’s Chairman.

The University of Nottingham researched possible audio conferencing solutions and considered the procurement of an on-premise system which proved to be extremely expensive. It also looked at solutions delivered by other conferencing service providers but found them to be more costly and in one case, felt that the provider’s branding did not fit with that of the University.

“MeetingZone’s flexible pricing structure was a key factor for us. Its ability to provide local dial-in numbers is crucial when bringing together our three University campuses located here in Nottingham, China and Malaysia,” continued Robbins. “Crucially, MeetingZone’s online transparent billing system enables us to monitor our conferencing costs and allocate the relevant cost centres at the time of setting up new user accounts.”

“Another key advantage of MeetingZone’s solution is the ease with which I can set up new user accounts via MeetingZone’s Conferencing Portal. I am constantly being asked to set up conference calls at very short notice,” commented Robbins. “MeetingZone enables me to meet this demand by quickly and easily allowing the instantaneous set up of new accounts which are activated immediately.”

 It was also important that the University was able to customise the user interface when participants to a conference call dialled in.

“Users are greeted by a message which welcomes them to the University of Nottingham’s conferencing services. This has been recorded by the same person who records all of our recorded messages and announcements, delivering a degree of familiarity for our users and giving them the impression that they are using an in-house service,” said Robbins.

 Deployment of MeetingZone’s audio and web conferencing solution, which is used extensively throughout the University’s remotely located campuses across all academic departments, coincided with the start of the University’s Travel and Expenses Initiative which University employees now use to claim expenses and book travel.

 The team driving the new project were strong advocates of conferencing and collaboration services and promoted MeetingZone’s solution at seminars held across the University, to introduce the Travel and Expenses Initiative.

 The seminars highlighted the role that audio and web conferencing plays in cutting business travel by providing an alternative to face to face meetings between remotely located participants. Reduced business travel results in reduced operating costs for the University at the same time as enabling it to have the least possible impact on the environment by reducing its carbon emissions.

“MeetingZone’s audio conferencing services coupled with its Glance web conferencing solution, which we found invaluable as it allows screen and application sharing, played an important role during the initial planning and implementation of the Travel & Expenses Initiative,” explained Michael Domokos, Project Manager Information Services – Programme Office, at the University. “We were able to fast track the development process as the project team was able to meet as often as necessary without anyone having to leave their desks.”

 ”The initial introductory contact from MeetingZone was excellent and this has been matched by its ongoing customer service. Choosing the right conferencing and collaboration service provider who will work with you to deliver the services which meet your specific requirements is the key to a successful deployment,” concluded Robbins.

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