Unified Communications Consultant for a UK University

The Project

A UK University engaged 4C Strategies to act as its independent Unified Communications consultant and to undertake a review of the current arrangements for data network, wireless network and telephony across the University.

The University had a network core that was no longer supported by the manufacturer and had reached end of life. There had been a number of recent network outages, which appeared to be due to aged equipment failing. It was concluded that continuing to run the existing equipment presented a significant operational risk to the University.

Whilst the University had excellent high-speed links between its main campus sites, the links followed single, non-resilient routes between the main sites. This also presented a significant operational risk in the event of a link failure.

The existing telephony system was generally reliable and appeared, by and large, to meet the day-to-day needs of the University. A significant percentage of the handsets, however, had reached end of life and were no longer supported by the manufacturer.

The most significant issue identified during the review was ongoing problems with the coverage and the performance of the wireless network. It was also noted that a significant percentage of the current wireless access points had now reached end of life and were no longer supported by the manufacturer.

How 4C’s Unified Communications Consultants Helped the University

4C Strategies was able to assist the University by undertaking a detailed review of the existing arrangements for data network, wireless network and telephony across the institution. This allowed 4C Strategies to ascertain the best possible solution, in each instance, to meet the University’s requirements.


The overall outcome of the 4C Strategies project is that we have been able to successfully advise the University on how it can vastly improve the day-to-day working of its data network, wireless network and telephony across all of its campus sites.

The key benefits arising from the outlined approach will be the following:

  • The recommended replacement core network will eliminate operational risk to the University, lasting for a minimum of a 5-year term.
  • 4C Strategies recommended that the most suitable and cost-effective way for the University to proceed was to rent a point to point private circuit to provide a diverse network route, which would provide network resilience in the event of the failure of one of the main intercampus links.
  • The new wireless network will provide a solid foundation for day-to-day teaching and learning, and present additional opportunities for flexible / mobile working, and other services hosted over the wireless network.
  • The recommended telephony solution will allow the University to run a single platform for telephony and unified communications functionality such as instant messaging and collaboration, which could enable improvements in mobile and flexible working, internal communication, productivity and the overall teaching and learning experience.

The Unified Communications consultants at 4C Strategies had extensive knowledge of the wide range of issues that they would need to address in order to achieve our ambitious transformation plan. 4C Strategies engaged with all stakeholders; provided clear advice and support and maintained complete integrity throughout the complex negotiations.


Unified Communications Consultant for a UK University

Ulster University
Donna O'Kane

“Dave very quickly gained a solid understanding of our requirements, some of which are unique due to history and geography in Northern Ireland. He brought an unsurpassed level of market and technical knowledge relating to unified communications and demonstrated a unique ability to balance any business or technical challenges that arose as the project progressed. Dave worked as a genuine member of our team forming strong working relationships with, and most importantly gaining the trust of, all of our stakeholders, ranging from telecommunications staff, through senior academics, to our board directors.”

Cambridgeshire County Council
Sue Grace, Director Corporate and Customer Services

"4C became a valuable member of our project team by producing high quality documentation, helping us to understand the UK marketplace and playing a full and proactive role in the evaluation. The 4C procurement ‘tool-set’ fully captured our requirements and allowed the suppliers to clearly articulate their proposals at all stages of the Competitive Dialogue. If you have a need for an independent ICT consultancy we would have no hesitation in recommending 4C Strategies."

University of Oxford
Stuart Lee, Deputy Chief Information Officer
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
Steve Mattern, Associate Director of IM&T

“The project to replace the telephone systems in our three hospitals was always going to be a major challenge for the Trust. We retained 4C to help us to develop our strategy, go out to procurement and transition to the new solution in one coordinated step at all three sites.

West London Mental Health Trust
Trevor Nelms, Director of Business Technology

"4C Strategies has assisted in a range of complex ICT projects, from inception through to deployment, and demonstrate a rare ability to bring together technical expertise with business acumen and tight project management skills"

University of Edinburgh
Tony Weir, Director of IT Infrastructure

"We chose 4C as a strategic partner to help the University manage a large-scale project to modernise the University’s telephony service.  This project involved full upgrade to the University’s VoIP infrastructure and migrating over 5,000 analogue extensions to the new system.  4C where chosen for their expert skills in telephony, the quality of their strategic advice and their ability to manage a business-critical project, all of which have proved invaluable in assisting the University to deliver a successful project."

University of Westminster
Thierry Delaitre, Head of FST Technical Services Department

"4C has played a key role in defining and delivering this important Mobile Learning project for the Faculty of Science and Technology. Their technical skills, relationship with the wider University, sector knowledge and project & change management skills have significantly contributed to the success of this project and its transition to Business As Usual"