Oxnard Union High School District

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Oxnard Union High School District

SIP Trunking and survivability with Microsoft Lync and AudioCodes

Challenges

As the school district embarked on their migration to Microsoft Lync, the district technical staff faced some unique education-specific challenges.

“First and most importantly is the need to maintain the physical safety of students and staff”, said Puneet Sharma, Director of IT Services, Oxnard Union High School District. “The need for communications system survivability and ready-access to E-911 services at each of the district facilities was paramount.”

A second challenge was integration with the school’s existing Bell and Paging system, an important centralized communications system used for building administration for daily announcements and classroom change coordination. “A technical hurdle was that the interfaces to the Bell and Paging systems use legacy analog telephone circuits”, said Sharma.

And finally, the district recognized the opportunity to significantly reduce costs with a centralized Lync implementation utilizing SIP trunking, consolidating DID numbers for administration and staff. “The costs of separate local telephone access lines to each facility and the per-call costs could be dramatically reduced with centralized SIP Trunking”, said Sharma.

Solution

During 2011, the Oxnard Union High School District embarked on their migration to Microsoft Lync, utilizing a district-wide 10 Gigabit Metro Ethernet network supporting data, voice and video. The network topology was based on a hub-and spoke architecture, tying the eight different school facilities to the district data center.

Oxnard Union High School District Diagram

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When the time came to deal with the special challenges of voice-enabling Lync, the district turned to AudioCodes for Lync-certified reliable voice network elements, including:

  • AudioCodes Mediant 1000B Survivable Branch Appliances (SBAs) at select school facilities with a combination of FXS and FXO ports to enable survivability, access to E-911 and an interface to the Bell and Paging systems. “The modular AudioCodes Mediant 1000B Survivable Branch Appliance was an excellent fit for the district, solving our survivability needs and enabling integration with the legacy Bell and Paging systems”, said Puneet Sharma, Director of IT Services, Oxnard Union High School District.
  • AudioCodes Mediant 1000B Enterprise Session Border Controllers (E-SBCs) - hosted in the central school district data center, the E-SBCs terminated a total of 100 sessions of SIP Trunking from a national provider, providing interoperability and security with the district Lync implementation. “We chose to deploy two Mediant 1000B E-SBCs in a dual/load-balanced configuration, facilitating Enterprise-class resilience”, said Sharma.

Results

The district completed their migration to Microsoft Lync and, as a result, saved close to $140,000 a year in telecommunications costs, while shifting resources and focus to education across physical boundaries. Using voice, conferencing and collaboration features, educators and staff now hold virtual staff meetings and enable distance learning.

The needs of survivability, E-911 and integration with the Bell and Paging systems have been addressed, allowing students and staff to learn in a safe and well-coordinated environment.

As an added bonus, the district has used Microsoft Lync federation features to improve communication with many district suppliers – both during the transition period and the on-going expansion of Microsoft Lync in the district.

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