The voice and data team at Sheffield University is part of Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS). This group manages wired and wireless data outside the core, and all telephony including the core.
‘We will be an innovative and influential department, respected by the University and recognised as a leader in the sector, delivering excellent customer-focused services.’
Within CiCS, Telecommunications Development Officer Chris Daniels explains some of the challenges he faces.
“One of my responsibilites is to organise the installation of new telephony services to the University. With progressive migration to IPT the VoIP estate is growing fast, resulting in over 9,000 endpoints./p>
“This means that a relatively small team manages the voice estate as well as wired and wireless data.”
Daniels finds that a resource intensive task with a high overhead is determining firmware requirements and compatibility. It’s an important task because there is concern that there may be unreported issues and that these undiagnosed problems will be compounded as additional IP endpoints are added.
Daniels uses Prognosis to gain insight into firmware compatibility for core hardware and endpoints.
The ability to check the status of firmware and do quick reporting on large elements of the voice system saves his team a significant amount of time.
He adds “Without Prognosis for example, it would take a long time to manually run a handset breakdown by type and firmware version.
“Automating this means we can rapidly identify issues related to these components and prevent them becoming persistent problems.”
Daniels also finds that proactive alerting of issues and reporting on voice inventory is a real aid to IP migration.
When voice quality issues are reported Chris’s team is now able to look back to determine the cause of the problem, whether it’s a weak link or capacity overload on the voice path.
Prognosis gives the team the ability to check the health of the voice network during business critical times and prove that everything’s OK.
Daniels adds “It was easy installing Prognosis. The pre-requisites were clear and accurate and allowed us to complete our tasks as needed.
This smooth embedding of Prognosis into CiCS operations helps him achieve two further goals.
- Constructing a mid to long term deployment strategy for new services
- Researching and testing new methods of telephony provision across the campus.
He concludes ”We received some one-to-one remote training after the install to walk through some of the common tasks. It was one of the smoothest installs I’ve experienced.”
“Prognosis does a lot of things more easily and from one place, than it would otherwise take to do manually.”
Telecommunications Development Officer Corporate Information and Computing Services