By 2009, however, CAU realized its aged and inflexible
telecommunications system had failed to keep pace with larger
technological changes. 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. At that
point, CAU’s new associate vice president and CIO Reggie
Brinson had been on the job less than a year. “We couldn’t see
all the calls that were coming in,” he recalls. “This was unacceptable.”
CAU then tasked him with finding an adequate solution
that would significantly reduce costs while providing improved
functionality and expanded capability.
The incident only served to underscore larger ongoing communications
challenges that needed to be addressed, including:
• The legacy PBX had reached the end of its life and would not
allow CAU to fully exploit the voice over IP capability of the
switch; an upgrade would have required investing in a new
server and software.
• CAU’s annual contract with its long-term service provider
was costly and about to expire, leading it to reconsider its
entire approach to communications systems and contracts.
• CAU wanted a flexible unified communications 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.
• Budget constraints, coupled with increased communications
demands, necessitated taking a smarter, longer-term
approach to technology.