Clark Atlanta University Improves Campus Communications With Siemens Enterprise Communications

Unified Communications Solution Delivers New Capabilities to Better Serve Students and Parents

Mar 29, 2011, 12:11 ET from Siemens Enterprise Communications

RESTON, Va., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Facing a telecommunications infrastructure that was rapidly becoming obsolete, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) sought the help of Siemens Enterprise Communications to deploy a campus-wide IP unified communications (UC) system that would move the school to IP phones, improve call center capability, and help the university save money.

Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, CAU's mission is to prepare a diverse community of learners to excel in their chosen endeavors and to become responsible, productive, and innovative citizen leaders, locally and globally. The University, which in 1988 consolidated Clark College (1869) and Atlanta University (1865) into one University, today offers 38 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral degree and specialist programs, each developing socially, globally responsible leaders.

However, CAU's aged and inflexible telecommunications system was no longer meeting the needs of faculty, staff, students or parents. The system's limitations reached a critical point in 2010, when parents inquiring about changes in federal financial aid policies flooded the school with nearly three times the normal call volume and overwhelmed the system. "We couldn't see all the calls that were coming in," said Reggie Brinson, associate vice president and CIO of CAU. "This was unacceptable."

CAU turned to Siemens Enterprise Communications for a flexible UC system that could easily manage the university's extensive network and volume of phones and integrate faxes, SMS, and voice messaging communications, especially with fluctuating call volumes during the registration period. CAU chose to deploy Siemens Enterprise Communications' OpenScape Voice Application and OpenScape Contact Center running on the OpenScape UC Server. Black Box Network Services were chosen to advise the University and implement the solution.

"We needed to know that we had partners that are in the boat with us, partners that are dedicated to providing extraordinary solutions and customer service," added Brinson. "Siemens and Black Box really stepped up to the plate."

The solution will deliver new capabilities for faculty and staff with integrated IP phone, voice messaging, and SMS communications anywhere on campus and an expanded call center feature set to more efficiently handle inbound communications from students and parents. Also, since the OpenScape solution uses open standards, CAU envisions integrating their communications system with their new Microsoft Live@edu student email system and SharePoint collaboration platform for faculty and staff.

Additionally, the solution is expected to deliver a 50 percent reduction in ongoing support costs. CAU was locked into a costly contract with a company whose solution would not provide the full capabilities CAU demanded and was near its end-of-life. By switching to Siemens Enterprise Communications OpenScape solution and Black Box consulting services, CAU eliminated expenses related to forced, "Band-Aid" type fixes and add-ons.

"Siemens Enterprise Communications and Black Box offered an innovative and forward-looking solution and service set to take our University forward," said Dr. Carlton Brown, President of CAU. "Even more, this partnership — literally launched the same week as the University's new strategic plan — becomes a very real, pivotal component of CAU's overall advancement strategy. One of our strategic priorities is to increase institutional capacity and fortify our infrastructure. The new Siemens/Black Box platform squarely meets that objective. We haven't just leveled our telecommunications playing field. We have raised our position on it."

"CAU needed a solution that would deliver improved communication capabilities and lower costs now and into the future," said Mike Davis, Vice President of Southeast Sales for Siemens Enterprise Communications. "The OpenScape solution provides immediate impact with its array of UC capabilities. Plus, as an open, standards-based solution, it offers the flexibility and scalability the university needs to be ready for future growth."

Additional Resources

Clark Atlanta University Business Brief

OpenScape Voice Application

OpenScape Contact Center

OpenScape UC Server

Siemens Enterprise Communications on Twitter

Siemens Enterprise Communications on LinkedIn

About Siemens Enterprise Communications

Siemens Enterprise Communications is a premier provider of end-to-end enterprise communications, including voice, network infrastructure and security solutions that use open, standards-based unified communications and business applications for a seamless collaboration experience. This award-winning "Open Communications" approach enables organizations to improve productivity and reduce costs through easy-to-deploy solutions that work within existing IT environments, delivering operational efficiencies. It is the foundation for the company's OpenPath® commitment that enables customers to mitigate risk and cost-effectively adopt unified communications. Jointly owned by The Gores Group and Siemens AG, Siemens Enterprise Communications includes Cycos and Enterasys Networks. For more information about Siemens Enterprise Communications or Enterasys please visit or

Note: Siemens Enterprise Communications & Co K.G. is a trademark licensee of Siemens AG. HiPath, OpenOffice, OpenScape and OpenStage, are registered trademarks of Siemens Enterprise Communications & Co K.G. or its affiliates. All other company, brand, product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

This release contains forward-looking statements based on beliefs of Siemens' management. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "forecast," "expect," "intend," "plan," "should," and "project" are used to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the actual results to be materially different, including, among others, changes in general economic and business conditions, changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance of new products or services and changes in business strategy. Actual results may vary materially from those projected here. Siemens does not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Siemens Enterprise Communications