Dialling up the benefits at EBS


Dialling up the benefits at EBS
The Challenge
The European Business School, EBS
(Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht
iGr) has modernised its entire
telecommunications infrastructure to
support its move to become a Business
It demanded a solution based on Voice
over IP (VoIP), that would reduce costs
and reduce the complexity of the systems.
The new solution also had to improve
communications across the administration
departments, support future business
models – such as e-learning and offer
greater flexibility for remote sites.
With the Avaya Aura® communications
solution, EBS was able to replace a total
of seven different isolated systems with one
single powerful communications platform
In a knowledge economy, education is key. EBS equips students to be the business leaders of tomorrow.
offering a range of options for expansion.
The solution is scalable, can be managed
Dialling up the benefits
at EBS
• Single, uniform numbering plan covering
EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht i.Gr wants to
from one central location and has enabled
cost savings of around 50 percent.
all sites
• Costs halved for maintenance and service
• More user friendly for administrators and
• Future-proof infrastructure
• Integration with other vendors and
solutions possible
become the leading business University in Germany.
To achieve this aim, it will need not only excellent courses
and research, but also the best available technical
infrastructure. With this in mind, the privately owned
University modernised its entire telecommunications
system with the help of Avaya.
Overcrowded lecture theatres, stressed
years ago, our study locations were like
lecturers, a lack of learning facilities –
small islands in terms of communication,”
the sort of difficulties experienced by
explains Ralf Peter Knoche, Chief
students at other universities are simply
Information Officer at EBS. “The various
unheard of at the European Business
departments were controlled by seven
School. Within the different faculties of
different telephone systems from four
EBS, students work intensely in small
different vendors. Some of them were
groups, learning and investigating the
leased, some were owned by the
latest research under the close supervision
University.” For EBS that entailed
of their tutors, preparing for their final
massive administrative costs since every
exams. The Business School is listed
modification needed a specialist external
among the top 15 universities in Germany
engineer, or an employee of the University
for research. The partners affiliated with
to travel to the given location and manage
the Law School include well-known law
the systems.
firms: The Federal Court of Justice and
The German Association of Judges.
And since the different systems were not
Around 1,200 students are currently on
connected directly to each other, even
the way to earning their qualifications
calls between departments were fully
to become the managers of tomorrow.
chargeable. “In addition, there was no
single numbering plan for telephone
To ensure that everything runs smoothly
extensions. Each location had its own
in research and teaching, the University
main number,” explains Knoche. It was
needs an efficient administration and
difficult for EBS to present a uniform face
structure to cope with future requirements.
as a University of excellence. Attempts to
The communications infrastructure is
transfer a call from one department to
equally important. “Until just a couple of
another would simply fail. There was not
With this solution, we have
created a sound basis that
will fulfil all the current
we are prepared for the
requirements and ensure
— Ralf Peter Knoche, CIO,
EBS Universität für
Wirtschaft und Recht i. Gr.
The modern architecture is a reflection of EBS’ desire to look to the future.
A sense of history: the spirit of traditional Anglo-Saxon colleges is also manifest at the EBS.
even a single email system. “The
EBS’ Ralf Peter Knoche. So at an early
University board wanted to change this
stage in the process, the University
situation,” says Knoche. So, the first step
involved Beratung & Services who are
was taken in 2008 when all sites were
experts in this field.
The ability to participate in
seminars and lectures
wherever students are
based is a decisive
linked together and a central data centre
was created. In the mean time, EBS
“The key objective of this project was to
continued to expand considerably –
ensure that the changeover was seamless
increasing their student numbers by over
for the employees, while offering
50 percent in three years – adding to the
significant benefits to the University,”
or professional
growing administration functions.
explains Peter Walther from Beratung &
development at EBS. Avaya
“Basically, we were bursting at the
Services, who consulted on the project
seams,” recalls CIO Ralf Peter Knoche.
from the outset. “That meant we had to
enables us to provide these
An early call for help
immediate needs of the University and
those of the future.” The project managers
at EBS were already aware of Avaya and
Only one solution was realistic for the
the telecommunications specialists were
outdated telecommunications
all ears for the University’s new plans.
infrastructure: a powerful system based on
“We realised immediately that the people
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offering
we were talking to had the skills and
almost unlimited scalability and a wide-
knowledge in all areas of modern
range of functionalities. “Implementing
communications,” says Walther, “from
that sort of major project demands a great
both the sales and technology side.”
pursuing future education
— Ralf Peter Knoche, CIO,
have a very accurate picture of both the
argument in favour of
EBS Universität für
Wirtschaft und Recht i. Gr.
deal of experience and knowledge” says
The openness of the Avaya
Roland Willnow, Account Manager at
The system administration is centralised
platform is unique. It allows
Avaya, remembers, “Customers who plan
in Wiesbaden, and on-site visits by
their projects quite as meticulously as we
technicians to other offices are the
saw at EBS are few and far between. Our
exception, rather than the norm. In
first task was to carefully evaluate every
addition, EBS now has the opportunity
single measure over the entire duration of
to integrate its users’ mobile devices
the project. We did not receive the
seamlessly. Ralf Knoche proudly holds his
go-ahead for implementation until it was
smartphone in the air, “Whether I’m at
obvious that we could fulfil all of the
home, at my desk or travelling overseas,
required criteria”.
I am always reachable on the same
us to decide whether to use
Avaya solutions, develop
our own or integrate thirdparty products.
— Ralf Peter Knoche, CIO,
EBS Universität für
number, and that won’t change even if
Wirtschaft und Recht i. Gr.
Thoroughly convinced
I change my phone provider. As a result,
Avaya’s solution has released us from
the dependency on any one mobile phone
It was a step that definitely paid
provider.” The ‘One Number’ concept
dividends for EBS. “We were thoroughly
means that not only can users dispense
convinced by both the technology and the
with fax and mobile phone numbers on
implementation by Avaya, says Knoche.
their business cards, they don’t need to
“The project ran brilliantly, there is simply
worry about setting up call diversion any
no other word to describe it. Peter Walther
more either! When a call arrives, both
described the time frame as “a sprint
the desk phone and mobile phone ring
rather than an amble.” Avaya produced a
simultaneously. It does not matter which
communications solution for EBS that was
device is used to pick up the call. “I can
based on Avaya Aura, the company’s
specify which phone I want to use at any
flagship product. “In this solution, we
time, even when I’m away,” explains Knoche
have created a sound basis that meets all
of the current requirements and that is
well-equipped to face the future,”
Easier for everyone
explains the CIO, Ralf Knoche. “In
summary, we have achieved significant
Unified Communications, with personal
cost reductions, we are getting more for
voicemail, faxing from the desktop and
our money, and we have a highly flexible
click-to-call integration of telephony
services with PCs, has been realised for all
employees at EBS. Users who want to use
In terms of telephony costs alone, Knoche
additional services are able to do so, “but
puts the savings at around 50 percent
most users are just happy with their
“That means that in contrast to other
compared with the old system. And another
telephony,” explains Kevin Mück, from the
suppliers whom we had previously
50 percent saving has been made on
consultants Beratung & Services. He is
encountered, there was no danger of
maintenance and servicing. A standardised
responsible for ensuring that the
being sold something that could not
dial plan with a single main number allows
switchover to the new solution is trouble-
subsequently be realised.”
the University to present a single face to
free. “The IT department at EBS sees the
prospective students and partners. The
University’s employees as customers it
When it came to ensuring that they had
VoIP links allow new sites and new
wants to keep happy,” says Mück. “We
found the right provider for a complete
extensions to be added quickly, and new
conducted in-depth interviews before
university-wide solution, the project
services can be activated across the system
starting the conversion phase, to identify
management took an unusual course.
quickly and efficiently.
the users’ individual requirements.“
This allowed many potential pitfalls to be
example, Avaya Aura offers numerous
identified and avoided well in advance.
capabilities for Video Conferencing and
“For example, we insisted that there were
e-learning – teaching through a live video
• Avaya Aura® Solutions for Midsize Enterprise
still fax machines in the specialist areas,
stream on the Internet. “Professional
• Avaya One-X® Communicator
even though, in principle, every user can
development represents a large part of our
• C3000 Unified Messaging (voice mail/fax +
fax directly from their desk,” Mück
core business,” says CIO Ralf Knoche.
explains. “If we had got rid of all the fax
“The ability to participate in seminars and
• One-X® Mobile
machines, the resistance to change would
lectures – wherever students are based –
• 9600 series IP Deskphones
have been much greater.” Mück believes
is a decisive argument in favour of
that guiding employees through the
pursuing future education or professional
transition and introducing them cautiously
development at EBS. Avaya equips us to
to new possibilities is key to the success of
provide these services.”
“click-to-call”, Outlook integration)
this sort of project. Ralf Knoche is also
convinced that good preparation is
In addition, Avaya offers the ability to
essential: “good planning takes up 90
methods for integrate solutions from other
percent of the project schedule. Correcting
vendors. “The openness of the Avaya
design faults that emerge when the
platform is unique,” says Ralf Knoche.
implementation is already deployed can
“It allows us to decide whether to use
entail costs 100 times more expensive than
Avaya solutions, develop our own or
during the planning phase.”
integrate third-party products. No other
vendor can give us that freedom.”
The benefits to EBS are not limited to
lower costs and greater usability. The
solution will also play a major role in the
future business of the University. For
Founded in 1971 as the European Business School, EBS is a pioneer among German business schools and has one of the most reputable business
departments in the country. The EBS Law School which was established in June 2010 is Germany’s second private law faculty. Alongside its
undergraduate programme EBS offers a comprehensive range of Executive Masters courses, aimed primarily at people with work experience who wish
to prepare intensively for upper management positions in companies that operate around the world. For more information please visit www.ebs.edu.
About Avaya
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications
solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, data solutions
and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more
information please visit www.avaya.com/emea.
© 2011 Avaya Inc., Avaya Deutschland GmbH and Avaya GmbH & Co. KG. All rights reserved.
Avaya and the Avaya logo are registered trademarks of Avaya Inc., Avaya Deutschland GmbH and Avaya
GmbH & Co. KG. in the USA and in other countries. All trademarks identified by ®, ™ or SM are registered marks,
trademarks and service marks, respectively, of Avaya Inc., Avaya Deutschland GmbH and Avaya GmbH & Co. KG.
All ofther trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Avaya may also have trademark rights in other
terms used herein. References to Avaya include Nortel Enterprise, which was acquired on 18 December 2009.
UC4702UK · 10/11 · SIGNUM communication · Subject to change · Printed in Germany on 100 % chlorine-free paper.