IRVING, Texas--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a leading provider and integrator of advanced IT, communications, networking and biometric solutions, today announced that it is assisting Wichita Public School District (WPS) in Kansas in its migration to a new UNIVERGE® SV9500 communications solution designed to meet the district’s needs for leading-edge integrated telephony and unified communications (UC) for many years to come.
“NEC has proven to be a trusted advisor through this process and understands our goals and philosophy -- that technology integration is at its best when paired with effective instructional strategies”
NEC, known as a global leader in the development of IP communication networks for small, medium and large enterprises, has a strong history of serving education. WPS’s new UNIVERGE SV9500 network will provide the kind of innovative and flexible communications environment it was seeking as it migrates from a legacy TDM based platform. With over 100 sites consisting of a diverse range of facilities such as schools, administration facilities and alternative programs, WPS’s campus needed everyone in its organization to be able to communicate seamlessly both with outside callers and with one another. WPS elected to migrate from the UNIVERGE SV8500 to the SV9500 platform, a feature-rich system that supports virtualization and is ideal for large enterprises and geographically distributed (multi-campus) networks.
WPS is recognized as one of the top 100 school districts in North America and is the largest school district in Kansas, educating approximately 10 percent of all public school students in the state and more than half of all school-aged children in its home base of Sedgwick County. The district is growing, and now has over 51,000 students, with the trend likely to continue as its traditional Pre K-12 student enrollment is at its highest level in more than 10 years.
WPS Chief Information Officer (CIO) Cathy Sweeney said the safety of the school district’s employees and students was her highest priority in making this decision. The new SV9500 system provides 99.999% availability (less than 6 minutes per year of downtime) therefore providing a high reliability Unified Communications platform. A secure, redundant network provides the foundation for the other key criteria WPS was seeking: cost-effective delivery of technology and content services of the highest quality to enrich teaching, learning and staff development.
“NEC has proven to be a trusted advisor through this process and understands our goals and philosophy -- that technology integration is at its best when paired with effective instructional strategies,” said Cathy Sweeney, CIO, Wichita Public School District. “NEC worked with us to determine and implement the right design not just for our immediate needs, but anticipating growth as well as our safety and security needs for the future. Our plan eliminated guesswork and we felt NEC was vested in sharing in our success. We knew that as our lives have become more and more digital, we needed a network that would maximize both our voice and data network. Our vision, in the Wichita Public Schools, is to create an environment with technology naturally integrated into the teaching and learning process and the business functions including the safety of our students and staff. Our teachers and staff now have top line resources available and rely on these tools on an everyday basis.”
As part of the network transition, WPS migrated its primary and secondary data centers to VoIP, and to achieve a higher level of reliability and redundancy, installed a high availability Wide Area Network (WAN) failover component between the two data centers. In addition to the operational cost savings the new VoIP network provided, NEC worked with WPS to migrate to SIP to also reduce carrier costs.
“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with WPS and provide them with a platform that will enable educators’ access to the high-quality digital content and campus-wide communications that will help them to enhance learning and cost savings inherent in VoIP technology,” said Larry Levenberg, vice president, NEC Corporation of America. “The Wichita School District is known for its innovative approach to education, as well as for taking the smarter approach by using technology to enhance the safety and security of its staff and students.”
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