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WA college looks to save money with new telecom system

One of the fundamental life skills that students learn while attending a university is that good communication can bring them a long way in the "real" world. Similarly, schools must be prepared to efficiently provide its student body, faculty and staff with an adequate means of corresponding with each other.

The third largest higher education institution in Washington state was unsatisfied with its communications infrastructure and recently arrived on a solution to upgrade its entire system, according to a press release. After weighing its options, Bellevue College, which is recognized as the Northwest Center of Excellence in Technology in the Evergreen State, chose to implement a Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solution to the campus.

Once it's put into place, the school of 38,000 students will have improved voice and messaging systems, which should allow for effortless communication for management and maintenance, the release stated.

"At Bellevue College, we make our technology choices based on our organizational goals. For today's higher education environment, this means aligning IT with fundamental changes to how colleges operate, including new funding models, global competition for new students and increased mobility of students and staff," vice president of Information Resources at Bellevue College Russ Beard said in a statement.

Additionally, the school said that it looked into hosted contact centers that it believes could draw in new students by adding a telecommunications solution that featured instant messaging and chat capabilities similar to those used everyday by prospective undergraduates.

Bellevue hopes that the soon-to-be implemented solutions will save money, and enhance the registration and financial aid process.

Schools of any size, in addition to businesses, nonprofits and other municipalities, that want to improve their telecommunications systems should speak with an expert consultant that can review the technology they currently have in place, and recommend new ones based on their specific needs and budget.