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New communications platform solves technical challenges at Kentucky university

Campbellsville University experiences smooth transition to hosted phone system from Jive Communications
University Business, February 2016
Photo credit: Elvis-Obukowho Ufuoma
Photo credit: Elvis-Obukowho Ufuoma

It was clear starting in 2013 that an aging, on-premise, analog phone system would not cut it anymore for Campbellsville University in Kentucky. The institution, which sits an hour and a half outside of Louisville and serves over 3,500 students, needed to ensure reliable phone service for all departments across a main campus and three remote sites.

“By May 2015, three critical areas of the university—Admissions, Graduate Admissions and Development—started experiencing unreliable incoming and outgoing calls,” says Jessica Castenir, IT business analyst for CU. “There was static on the phone lines, calls were constantly dropped and incoming calls were failing.”

Castenir and her team reached out to many communication system providers, searching for a quick, simple and cost-effective solution. Yet none could fulfill these simple criteria—until they found Jive Communications, Inc.

With a Voice over IP set-up, Jive’s phone systems are user-friendly, reliable and seamlessly scalable. The unified communications platform is supported by top-tier data centers that ensure the required uptime to successfully run a higher ed campus. Jive’s hosted solution removes the management burden from institutions that do not have the personnel resources to operate telecom systems.

“Jive mailed us 25 hosted phones completely free within two days of contacting them,” says Castenir. “They were able to secure three direct-in-dial numbers, forward phones and successfully connect the 25 users all within two days. This was impossible according to all of the other vendors we contacted, but Jive made it happen.”

This temporary solution for the critical need areas was so well received that by August 2015, CU went campuswide with 350 Jive phone solutions.

“Even during the testing period, Jive’s call quality and overall system reliability were beyond exceptional,” she says. “And the technical support staff was friendly, easy to reach and very competent.”

The technical support staff configured custom settings for specific users, as well as led two one-hour training sessions. These sessions provided Castenir and her team all the information necessary to work with the platform.

Some CU staff worried about internet or network issues disrupting phone service, since Jive’s system is VoIP. As a result, to prevent downtime, CU has a redundant internet circuit in place for emergency situations.

The smooth transition from the premise system to Jive was even noted by users outside of the IT department.

“Campbellsville needed a reliable communication system and Jive provided that,” says Otto Tennant, vice president for finance and administration. “The project implementation was seamless across all locations, which, given the size of the project, was a major accomplishment.”

With the campuswide implementation taking merely seven days, Tennant notes it would have been possible to introduce even more elements in the initial installation. “It was such a smooth transition, we could have implemented some other features, such as e-fax and conference room set-ups.”

Jive is a provider that continually seeks to meet the needs and desires of its customers, and constantly seeks to expand and grow its capabilities, says Castenir.

“For example, we need to add videoconference capabilities, especially for our remote sites,” she says. “Jive is seeking to meet that need with their Jive-Polycom video bridge.”

Above all, Castenir commends Jive for professionalism in all situations, and for providing a phone system that “just works.”

“Jive provides the most current communication technology for our business environment,” she says.

For more information, visit jive.com/education/higher-ed

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