University for the Creative Arts

Unified communications

for streamlined operations


The Background

The Surrey and Kent Institute of Art & Design amalgamated in 2005. Three years later it was granted university title and became known as University for the Creative Arts (UCA). With an outstanding combined heritage spanning almost 150 years, this alliance covers five sites in the South East – including Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. UCA is one of the UK’s leading centres of specialist art and design education, boasting more than 7,000 students enrolled on more than 90 different courses.

The Challenge

After the alliance of the two institutions, it became clear to UCA that it wanted a telephony system which would join all five campuses with the minimum of expenditure – as well as save on call costs in the long term. Part of the mission statement at UCA is a commitment to improving the environmental impact of the organisation, and to serve as an example of best practice for sustainability across the sector. With staff often travelling between sites, large campus areas and disjointed communications, it was vital that the implemented solution also reduced the institution’s carbon emissions.

The Solution

After meeting with UCA and designing a system based on its specific needs, Daisy proposed the installation of Mitel 3300 controllers at three sites, and two 3300 Gateways at the remaining two. The idea was to roll out full IP over the course of a few years to spread the total cost of ownership. A migration roadmap was written by a pre-sales specialist in the presence of the UCA IT team and the full IP migration was achieved in less than 18 months. A teleworker solution was deployed to allow mobile and remote working, and via IP, hotdesking became possible over all sites. Video conferencing, both at a desktop and boardroom level, was introduced as was a speak-at-ease calling system. With the combined solution of Synapse and the presence of the 24/7 network operations centre team both at a desktop and boardroom level, was introduced as was a speak-at-ease calling system.

The Result

Using the fully-integrated Mitel IP system has made it easier for UCA to keep in contact with staff and students. The system makes hot-desking possible, and with speak-at-ease it means that wherever a member of staff is located across the five sites, they are contactable with one number. It has also significantly lowered costs – by around 20% – as all inter-site calls are now free.


About Ebi Higson

Ebi Higson is a Marketing Communications Manager at Daisy Group.