University of Huddersfield - Gamma answers the call with Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams

The University of Huddersfield is an award-winning University with teaching excellence at its heart.

It won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award in 2017, is joint-first in England for professional qualified teaching staff* and is joint-second in the country for National Teaching Fellowships which mark Britain’s best lecturers**.

It’s little wonder that the University of Huddersfield has attracted some 20,000 students from the UK and further afield. The university boasts academic schools in applied sciences, arts and humanities, computing and engineering, business, education and professional development, and human and health sciences. Courses are focused on equipping students for post-graduation careers and so every student is given the opportunity for professional work experience during their studies. Impressively, 94.6% of undergraduate and 96.4% of postgraduate students are in work or further study 15 months after graduating.***

* HESA 2021 ** HEA 2021 *** HESA Graduate Outcomes 2018/19.

Gamma's 2021 Key Clearing Statistics

  • On 10 August, we  successfully delivered 387,227 clearing calls over SIP trunks and Inbound
  • Manchester Metropolitan University, Queen Mary University of London and Birmingham City University were the busiest Universities for call volumes over the Inbound platform on the 10th of August
  • Demand for dedicated support rose again, with 40% of direct customers opting for dedicated support

 

The Challenge

The University’s Network and Telecoms Manager John Clayton, implemented a six-month trial of Teams with a small number of test-users. His thinking was that the Microsoft platform could make a possible replacement for Skype and Instant Messaging and generally allow greater collaborative working. At the time there was no thought of including voice in the mix since the University’s fixed telephony systems were felt to be mature and stable.

“We felt the future was going to be Teams, but the addition of voice was going to be sometime down the track. The advent of Covid-19 changed the picture completely,” said Clayton.

Suddenly, like enterprises the world over, the university was faced with securing continuity of business, in this case with staff and their student customers variously locked down at home, or self-isolating during the on-off relaxations of lockdown. Now, the large-scale deployment of Teams with voice was viewed not as a future project, but an urgent make-or-break imperative.

A key question was how to add voice to Teams. Should the fixed voice system be retained and if not what would an alternative that was both flexible and affordable look like?

Huddersfield University

The Results

With Teams fully rolled out, and staff having access to embedded enterprise voice via Gamma’s Teams Direct Routing, the University of Huddersfield has been able to respond rapidly and creatively to the easing of Covid-related restriction.

Says Clayton: “We’ve over 2,000 people on the Gamma voice system now who are able to make calls from wherever they are at the time.

Feedback has been very positive. People like being more mobile and able to work in a hybrid manner with video and voice.”

“Gamma proposed a very simple and predictable cost model and as a company they have been extremely responsive, especially our account manager Stuart Percival. Overall the solution is saving us money as we enjoy the benefits of simpler and less costly maintenance and administration.

Moving lines and creating new extensions can now be done at the click of a button, and we no longer need to unpick complex billing data and re-charge it to cost centres. We’ve scoped a five-year ROI and I believe we are on track to achieve that.

Plus, recently, using Gamma and Microsoft Teams allowed for academics to make calls over the clearing period both on and off campus. This flexibility was well received by staff and will continue to be used in the future.”
John Clayton, Network and Telecoms Manager.

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