Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Hebrew University of Jerusalem

HD Quality IP Phones with Multilingual Support for a FreeSwitch IP-PBX

Background

Founded in 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the second oldest university in Israel. With over 23,000 students, the university is spread over five campuses, three in Jerusalem, one in the city of Rehovot and the Veterinary school in Beit-Dagan.

Challenges

A few years ago, the University decided to construct a new building to house the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering on the Edmond J. Safra Campus in Jerusalem. This building is expected to be populated at the beginning of 2012. Moving the department to its new premises led the University’s IT team to consider modernizing its communications infrastructure and connecting the department to its new IPbased PBX, based on an open-source solution from FreeSWITCH.

One critical element of the new communications setup was the end-user devices to be deployed, namely IP phones. The University required devices that provided SIP protocol support and would be fully interoperable with the FreeSWITCH IP-PBX. In addition to supporting the standard features for basic enterprise telephony, the phones needed full multi-language support in their user-interface and they had to offer very high voice quality and call security.

Solution

The University evaluated a number of IP Phone models to check their suitability for its needs. Among those tested were products from AudioCodes, Polycom and a number of other vendors, from which only the offerings from AudioCodes and Polycom were shortlisted. After issuing a tender, the University selected AudioCodes as its preferred vendor after the company demonstrated its ability to support all of the required features at a significantly lower price than the competition.

The AudioCodes product selected by Hebrew University was the 320HD IP Phone, a member of AudioCodes 300HD series of High Definition IP phones. The 300HD Series of IP Phones provides full SIP support and can integrate with a wide range of IP-PBXs, softswitches and other SIP-based application servers. The phones offer HD voice quality and a range of essential business phone features, including menu and menu navigation, voicemail, volume control, call transfer, mute, hold, redial, headset and full duplex speakerphone.

The AudioCodes 320HD IP Phone selected by the University is a 4-line, mid-range enterprise IP phone supporting up to 2 concurrent calls per line. It includes a large multi-language graphic LCD display including Hebrew language support as required by the University. It also has 12 programmable speed-dial keys.

Results

The Hebrew University began deployment of the AudioCodes 320HD IP Phones in mid-2011. The initial deployment of 30 units was successfully carried out within the Engineering Department even before it had moved to its new premises. AudioCodes solution met all of the University’s requirements resulting in a number of important benefits:

  • Capital expenditure savings - thanks to a low price per unit
  • Hassle-free communications - with full interoperability with existing IP-PBX
  • Ease of use – intuitive user interface with multi-language support
  • Enhanced user experience – support for High Definition VoIP

Explaining the University’s choice of AudioCodes as its supplier of IP Phones, Yehavi Bourvine, CTO, said, "From time to time, the Hebrew University evaluates equipment to be used with its open-source FreeSWITCH phone exchange. Among our selected manufacturers, AudioCodes is used for IP phones, media gateway (PRI to the PSTN world) and Analog adapters (MP-124). The main advantage of AudioCodes is its quick response time in supplying fixes and corrections. Furthermore, new features requested by the University have been added within weeks."