It's a big day for several universities around the country, as Internet2 has completed the deployment of its SIP cloud voice services at its new offices in Emeryville, California. This provides some great opportunities for schools involved with Internet2 for their data and communications needs – opportunities the universities are already looking to take advantage of.
The SIP cloud voice service deployment at Internet2 brings a new addition to Internet2's NET+ portfolio, which includes both SIP trunking services from Level 3 Communications and a hosted PBX solution from Aastra, and all from the Internet2 network.
Several member universities have expressed interest in or plans for bringing the services to their own operations.
Tulane University's vice president of information technology, and chief technology officer, Charlie McMahon, hailed the move as coming at "an opportune time for Tulane," as it not only arrived at a time when its current PBX systems were approaching the end of their life cycle, but comes as a great way for the university to express its commitment to adopting cloud-based services.
Given that Tulane is also the institutional sponsor for the SIP services program as part of its research incubator programs, such a move makes even more sense.
But Tulane won't be alone in upgrading its systems with the new technology; Texas A&M and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, are set to get in on this, while Internet2 offices in Washington, D.C. and Ann Arbor in Michigan will also get the new services installed.
Those interested in joining the early round of installations should check Internet2's website as well as a pair of SIP Services webinars set to take place February 27 and March 7, as general availability for eligible campuses will kick off in spring of this year.
There will likely be several universities interested in getting in on the offer as early as possible, as there is a wide variety of benefits to be had from an SIP system. Internet2’s NET+ system alone, for example, not only offers the SIP trunking and hosted PBX services, but also a set of video services, middleware offerings and InCommon systems as well.
The variety of services provides a surfeit of potential opportunities for its users, and in turn can offer reduced long-term costs for its users as well as simpler administration, which can also reduce costs.
Some monitoring is still important, of course, but less of it will likely be required, freeing up IT staff to work elsewhere.
Internet2's new offerings will likely get a warm welcome from several universities interested in bringing the new service to their grounds. Cost savings, especially these days, are welcome just about anywhere they go, and universities will likely prove no exception.