Hinds Community College - Office Communications Server - Reduces Travel and Improves Collaboration with UC
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Hinds Community College - Office Communications Server - Reduces Travel and Improves Collaboration with UC

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"With Office Communications Server 2007, business associates seem like employees of the college. Our actual locations are irrelevant. I can be in my office or at home and still conduct business." ...

"With Office Communications Server 2007, business associates seem like employees of the college. Our actual locations are irrelevant. I can be in my office or at home and still conduct business." Russell Wood, Director of Technology, Hinds Community College

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    Hinds Community College - Office Communications Server - Reduces Travel and Improves Collaboration with UC Hinds Community College - Office Communications Server - Reduces Travel and Improves Collaboration with UC Document Transcript

    • Microsoft Office System Customer Solution Case Study Community College Reduces Travel, Improves Collaboration with Unified Communications Overview “With Office Communications Server 2007, business Country or Region: United States Industry: Education—Community colleges associates seem like employees of the college. Our actual locations are irrelevant. I can be in my office or Customer Profile Based in Raymond, Mississippi, Hinds at home and still conduct business.” Community College has approximately Russell Wood, Director of Technology, Hinds Community College 1,100 employees and 17,000 students. It offers more than 170 academic and With six campuses spread across central Mississippi, Hinds occupational programs. Community College wanted better ways for its 1,100 employees to Business Situation communicate and work together. For example, it sought to reduce Administrators at Hinds Community College wanted to reduce travel and collaborate the need for time-consuming and increasingly costly travel. more efficiently with each other and However, the college’s existing tools, which included e-mail and external partners. phone communications, provided limited interaction. To improve Solution collaboration, Hinds implemented Microsoft® Office The college implemented Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 and Communications Server 2007. Administrators use Web integrated the solution with its existing conferencing to share documents and presentations with remote infrastructure, including its IP-PBX system and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. colleagues, which saves time and reduces costs. They also use presence information and integrated communications tools to Benefits  Reduced travel costs and improved collaborate more efficiently with external partners and to streamline return on investment routine tasks. The college expects that Office Communications  Extended collaboration  Improved workflow Server 2007 will enhance the education and services that it offers  Enhanced services students.
    • Situation also wanted a solution that would help Established 90 years ago in Raymond, employees share information and work Mississippi, Hinds Community College now together more efficiently. For example, to serves five counties and a diverse student collaborate on a document, a Hinds population of approximately 17,000. In employee typically faxed a paper copy or sent addition to the main campus in Raymond, the an e-mail attachment to colleagues. People college has five other campuses located in then made changes individually and merged central Mississippi. Hinds is part of a network the changes later into a single document. The of 15 community colleges in the state process was tedious, and it slowed projects. dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable The college hoped that better education. It offers both occupational training communications tools would bring multiple and academic programs for students benefits, including improved workflow. planning to pursue baccalaureate degrees at universities. Solution Hinds Community College administrators Staff members from the college’s six discussed several products and services― campuses meet regularly to discuss ideas for including GoToMeeting―at their annual improving administration. At an annual meeting. However, they wanted a solution conference held in October 2007, the that the college could manage as part of its meetings themselves were a discussion topic, own IT infrastructure, one that would include according to Russell Wood, Director of multiple collaboration options, including Technology at Hinds Community College. “It audio, video, and Web conferencing. Hinds was just a brainstorming session, but one of was still looking for a solution for its the results that came from it was an initiative communications needs when administrators to explore other avenues for conducting attended EDUCAUSE 2007 in Seattle, business,” he says. “We asked, ‘How can we Washington. While attending the event, which meet better? How can we facilitate a better brings together educators from across the use of time?’” country, Wood learned about Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007. The problem concerned not just annual meetings, but monthly meetings with other “There were several options with Office colleges as well. To reduce the need for Communications Server 2007 that were travel, a different college hosted the meeting really attractive to us, especially in this age of each month. However, for most of the year, $4 per gallon gas,” he says. “These included administrators spent more time traveling the ability to host Web conferences, show than talking. “Anything would be better than video presentations, and make phone calls. driving six hours roundtrip for a three-hour We saw the potential to conduct business meeting,” says Wood. without actually having to go anywhere.” And since the annual meeting in 2007, rising With help from Enabling Technologies, a fuel prices have added to the pressure to find Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Hinds moved a solution. Wood says, “Times have changed, forward with the implementation in January and the college increasingly has to review the 2008. The IT services provider specializes in way we do business.” helping higher education institutions take advantage of new communications Hinds wanted to reduce travel time and technologies. “Enabling Technologies was the costs, but that was not the only concern. It facilitator,” says Wood. “It coordinated the
    • “It’s just a tremendous project and provided the resources to do the June 2009. The features that employees are integration.” using include instant messaging (IM) and timesavings to be able voice over IP (VoIP), conferencing, and to see if someone is Hinds and Enabling Technologies installed presence awareness, which is integrated Office Communications Server 2007 on HP throughout the Microsoft Office available and ask a ProLiant DL360 server computers running Communicator 2007 client and Microsoft quick question using the Windows Server® 2003 Enterprise Edition Office applications, including the Microsoft operating system. The solution integrates Office Outlook® 2007 messaging and one of the tools with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 collaboration client. With presence available in Office Enterprise Edition, which runs on Windows information visible, employees can quickly Server 2008 Enterprise. Exchange Server see who is online and available for Communications Server 2007 Unified Messaging delivers e-mail, collaboration. 2007. We can … realize voice mail, and faxes to one inbox. Through federated communications, the much faster turnaround The unified communications solution also college also sees presence information for its as a result.” interoperates with the college’s Private vendors and partners. Federation allows Branch Exchange (PBX) solution from Mitel. Hinds employees to securely collaborate with Russell Wood, Director of Technology, Hinds “Last year, we consolidated our PBX systems people located outside the collegiate firewall Community College from six vendors to just the Mitel 3300 IP as if they all shared the same network. Edge Communications Platform,” says Wood. “The servers in the network perimeter provide consolidation gave us features such as four- connectivity for federated partners, public IM digit dialing across the entire school district, connections, and the college’s external users. and the ability to keep the same number when we changed locations.” The school Employees are using a variety of devices for district retained those benefits with the new calls, including Polycom CX200 desktop solution because “fortunately for us, our PBX phones and Jabra GN9350 headsets. Wood works with Office Communications Server says, “I have one of the Polycom desktop 2007.” phones at home, so that on weekends when I’m working I can look down and see who is When Hinds began deploying Office logged on to Office Communications Server Communications Server 2007, it used an 2007. In effect, my office is extended to my AudioCodes Mediant 1000 gateway. home.” However, it now plans to remove the product and instead use its existing Mitel IP-PBX Hinds has also started using the Microsoft system as an application services gateway at RoundTable™ conferencing and collaboration all campus locations. Wood explains, “Mitel device, and Wood says that its panoramic, and Microsoft work together, so the software 360-degree view is an improvement over that handles the media services is built into traditional conferencing systems that the the IP-PBX. It simply performs a Session school has used. “With RoundTable, everyone Initiation Protocol conversion between Office is more engaged because you’re looking at Communications Server 2007 and the PBX.” people across the table, instead of looking at a camera and screen at the end of the room.” After successfully finishing the first pilot with 20 users, Hinds rolled the solution out to 250 Wood plans to take advantage of the new administrators at the college. The second conferencing capabilities to improve phase was complete by May 2008, and the collaboration with other institutions. For college expects to include all employees by example, Hinds has established a
    • “Office Communications relationship with Bridgewater College in the Extended Collaboration United Kingdom, and the schools regularly With its unified communications solution, Server 2007 will work together and share instructors. He says, Hinds has transformed its work environment. continue to add to the “I envision my department using RoundTable Before, its network confined employees to with Office Communications Server 2007 in physical locations and limited communication collaboration that our quarterly technology conference calls, to with colleagues. Now, Hinds administrators education is really all update each other and discuss new can share IM communication and presence solutions.” information with other institutions and about. It can only get enterprises from any location. “I can see better.” Benefits presence information for salespeople, my By implementing Office Communications support representatives at Microsoft, and Russell Wood, Director of Technology, Hinds Server 2007, Hinds Community College is other companies.” Wood says. “Office Community College reducing costly travel while it expands its Communications Server 2007 has extended collaboration capabilities. Employees can the way we communicate with our support work easier from any location, and they use companies and the people we work with. It’s integrated communications tools to simplify a tremendous advantage.” workflows and expedite results. Ultimately, Hinds expects to improve collaboration for He continues, “With Office Communications students as well as administrators. Server 2007, business associates seem like employees of the college. Our actual Reduced Travel Costs and Improved locations are irrelevant. I can be in my office Return on Investment or at home and still conduct business.” By taking advantage of Office Communications Server 2007 Web Improved Workflow conferencing capabilities, Hinds expects to When Hinds administrators discussed their reduce the inconvenience and cost of collaboration needs, they agreed they wanted traveling to meetings. Instead of driving to tools that could help them use their time meet with other college administrators in more efficiently. They wanted to streamline person, Hinds administrators can collaborate routine tasks, and get answers and resolve and share information remotely. Wood is problems quickly. Office Communications encouraging colleagues in other institutions Server 2007 helps them meet those goals to adopt the unified communications solution because it integrates communications tools as well. “The more organizations that deploy and presence information with their Office Communications Server 2007, the productivity applications. For example, more we can benefit from conducting instead of sending out multiple copies of a meetings online.” document for separate revisions, employees can make changes together more quickly. The college also expects to save money because it can use its existing IT “Just yesterday, a coworker and I were having infrastructure, including the Mitel IP-PBX. an IM conversation with Office Communicator That integration will help the college achieve 2007, and we realized that we needed to a better return on investment than it would by escalate it and look at a common document,” using a solution that requires additional Wood says. “So we just jumped into a Web hardware. Wood notes, “Our PBX system meeting, and we marked up the document talks directly to Office Communications together in real time as our conversation Server 2007, which eliminates the need to continued.” buy gateways for each of our six locations.”
    • “Office Communications “It’s just a tremendous timesavings to be able to see if someone is available and ask a Server 2007 will quick question using one of the tools continue to add to the available in Office Communications Server 2007,” he adds. “We can move seamlessly collaboration that between an IM conversation and a video education is really all conference, and realize much faster turnaround as a result.” about. It can only get better.” Enhanced Services With help from Enabling Technologies, Hinds Russell Wood, Director of Technology, Hinds implemented better ways to communicate Community College and share information. The services provider helped the college take advantage of both new technologies and its existing infrastructure. Next, Hinds is investigating possibilities for extending its unified communications solution to students. In 2007, Hinds provided students with a central e-mail service through Microsoft Live@edu, a set of hosted communication and collaboration services that includes Microsoft Exchange Labs e-mail. Wood hopes to integrate Office Communications Server 2007 presence information with the Live@edu services, which also include social networking tools such as IM communication and blogs. Wood says, “I can see instructors sitting at their home computers, available to students for discussion, counseling, or exam review. Office Communications Server 2007 will continue to add to the collaboration that education is really all about. It can only get better.”
    • For More Information Microsoft Office System For more information about Microsoft The Microsoft Office system is the business products and services, call the Microsoft world’s chosen environment for information Sales Information Center at (800) work, providing the programs, servers, and 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft services that help you succeed by Canada Information Centre at (877) transforming information into impact. 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text For more information about the Microsoft telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) Office system, go to: 892-5234 in the United States or (905) www.microsoft.com/office 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com For more information about Enabling Technologies, call (800) 923-4310 or visit the Web site at: www.enablingtechcorp.com For more information about Hinds Community College, call (800) 446-3722 or visit the Web site at: www.hindscc.edu Software and Services Hardware  Microsoft Office  AudioCodes Mediant 1000 gateway − Microsoft Office Communications  HP ProLiant DL360 server computers Server 2007  Jabra GN9350 headsets − Microsoft Office Communicator 2007  Microsoft RoundTable  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio  Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform − Windows Server 2008 Enterprise  Polycom CX200 desktop phones − Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Partners − Microsoft Exchange Server 2007  Enabling Technologies Enterprise Edition This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published June 2008