The Open University is a pioneer in teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve their career and life goals by studying at times and in places that suit them. Since its 1969 launch the University’s innovative distance learning methods have delivered educational success to 1.85 million people worldwide. Today more than 200,000 students are learning from some 6,400 tutors and 1,100 full time academic staff, all backed by a 3,500-strong support team.
The university’s strengths in science hit the headlines in November 2014 when the European Space Agency’s 10-year Rosetta mission scored a world first by landing a research probe on a comet. It was the conclusion of more than 20 years research by Open University scientists who developed instrumentation on board the probe to provide data on the comet’s composition and history.
Communications plays a pivotal role in learning, especially distance learning. With a diverse, legacy telephony infrastructure a review of the Open University telecoms infrastructure was carried out which showed that they needed to rationalise multiple lines and numbers, build in more resilience and make savings on call and line rental costs.
The Open University telecoms infrastructure now needed to deliver greater operational flexibility in the way incoming calls were handled, together with the extra resilience that comes from being able to instantly reroute inbound calls to alternate numbers and destinations during contingencies, for example power outages.
We replaced The Open University’s telecoms services with 600 resilient SIP trunks and a number of dedicated and resilient data connections into its main campus and head office in Milton Keynes. At the same time we supplied Gamma telephone connections to 14 regional sites within the UK.
To meet the need for enhanced call handling and routing we provided our cloud-based Inbound service which gives authorised users complete control from anywhere over incoming call routing. This also provides a further layer of resilience during potential service interruptions by allowing incoming calls to be sent to one or more backup locations.