Unified Communications as a Service (KCTCS)

EHCS - A strategic solution for current and future unified communications requirements

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Client: Kentucky Community and Technical College System
With 16 colleges and more than 80 campuses across Kentucky, KCTCS brings first-rate education to every corner of the state. KCTCS currently serves more than 80,000 students, making it the largest post-secondary education institution in Kentucky. It’s easy to move from one college to another, and many courses are offered in the evening or online.

Challenge
In 2002, the CIO and IT Department for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) were searching for a primary, experienced IT vendor to provide a unique and integrated solution for their diverse IP Telephony needs. Those services included complete design, plan, install and ongoing management of a VoIP IP Telephony solution for every College.

KCTCS understood the direction of the telecommunications industry, moving from PBX analog phones to the IP-based phones that use the Internet for making phone calls and much more. They believed that the managed service was the right approach to support their communications system.

Their goal was to install an innovative phone system that included Quality of Service (QoS), and the ability to integrate voice, video and data at some point in the future. They aimed to reduce long-distance charges by placing all colleges on one network so that calls across the state would be local extensions. They also wanted this solution to be billed using a utility-based model where they would be charged on a monthly basis for each phone. This allowed KCTCS the option of reducing or eliminating upfront capital costs, and gave them the ability to determine the price, based on the number of phones installed and managed.

CBTS Solution
CBTS developed a state-wide solution that included hardware procurement of Cisco equipment and Managed Services that comprised:
  • Design, Installation, Training, Monitoring and Management of Cisco IP Phones
  • Call Manager, Unity Messaging and Voice Mail
  • Transitioned schools from T-1 circuits to the KPEN statewide network and more recently onto CB SIP Services
  • Call Centers for Office Efficiency
  • Emergency Notification Service for Student Safety
  • Updated Dial-Plan Improvements
CBTS used a best-in-class approach to help KCTCS fully implement a comprehensive strategic solution for current and future IP Telephony requirements. The size of the installation (7,500+ users) also presented CBTS the opportunity to develop and implement cost reduction methods, while increasing quality standards at KCTCS. Several Cisco VoIP engineers at all levels, as well as security, wireless, data and VDC consultants and technicians were utilized for the multi-year project. 

Given the success of the voice implementation, KCTCS asked us to manage their data networks at all 16 colleges as well. The additional services implemented include:
  • Strategic Design and Planning
  • Voice, Video and Data solutions using Voice over IP
  • Complete Installation and Onsite Training
  • Remote Network Monitoring and Management
  • Project Management and Quality Assurance
  • Related Projects in Addition to the IP Phones
    • Call Center Management
    • VPN Client Services
    • Call Detail Reporting
    • Virtual Servers from Virtual Data Center (VDC)
    • Cisco Emergency Responder
    • Informacast
Results
KCTCS has reduced costs for long-distance since all college to college calls across the state are on the network. Greatly reduced capital expenditures and installation of a state-of-the-art VoIP Phone and wireless system has, according to users, surpassed their expectations. KCTCS has also integrated Call Centers and Emergency Notification into the solution.  As new facilities emerge, it is a simple utility model change to add voice and data services. This model is very predictive financially. KCTCS just needs to pay what they use.
The contract was initiated in 2002 and extended twice. CBTS won a contract renewal in September 2012 through 2020.  The devices are maintained, upgraded and replaced by CBTS as needed, and as they become end-of-service (EOS).  CBTS is managing more than 7,500 handsets for the system and all infrastructures that support the IP Telephony solution.

CBTS is now a key IT partner with KCTCS with the unified goal of making education improve the employability and quality of life of Kentucky citizens.