A large American Midwestern University, with over 16,000 students and 2,500 faculty, was relying on a legacy Centrex communication system in many of its buildings. The aging system was extremely costly and difficult to maintain. When the Centrex system was no longer being supported, the University turned to Meridian IT to help modernize the entire campus to IP phones.

Many challenges were uncovered during an assessment of the customer’s environment. The legacy phone system was supported with a CAT3 infrastructure and the customer was extremely concerned with the potentially high costs, long deployment times, and the environmental impact of ripping and replacing the existing infrastructure to support the new IP platform. In addition, many buildings on the 200+ acre campus were well over 50 years old and considered historical landmarks. This would further complicate the upgrade process as the University would need to obtain permits to make any changes to these buildings. Assuming permits were granted, strict modification guidelines for construction work on these buildings would result in significantly higher labor costs and extended timelines.

The customer was also challenged with long reach requirements to provide Power over Ethernet (PoE) connections to the new IP phones exactly where they were needed. The customer did not have the required space or budget to install intermediate repeaters or server closets to extend connectivity to all areas of the buildings.

Power over Ethernet Innovation

Due to the restrictive nature of the upgrade, Meridian IT was confident in recommending Modern LAN design principles and the NVT Phybridge PoLRE PoE switch to the customer. The PoLRE switch transforms existing point-to-point voice infrastructures into robust and secure power-packed IP platforms; capable of supporting new IP phones up to 1,200ft away – that’s 4Xs the reach of standard PoE switches. The customer immediately related to the value proposition. However, given the complexity, risk, costs, and disruption associated with ripping and replacing the existing infrastructure, the University was skeptical that PoLRE would work in their environment. Meridian IT assisted the customer and organized a no-obligation proof of concept to test Modern LAN design and the PoLRE switch in their live environment.

The University tested the PoLRE solution in several of its buildings with great success; the customer was astonished at the simplicity of installation and the robustness of the solution. Thanks to the Meridian IT team, the University had found the modernization path that best fit their needs; leveraging Modern LAN principles 2, 3, and 4 to achieve incredible results.

Principle #2: Create a secure and robust local area network – Meridian IT helped the University establish a secure and robust PoE backbone for their new communication platform using their existing and reliable voice infrastructure. PoLRE allowed the customer to maintain a secure point-to-point IP network for voice, ensuring zero disruption to the core network.

Principle #3: Use new long-reach PoE innovations to maximize ROI – by leveraging the existing CAT3 voice infrastructure, the PoLRE solution allowed the customer to reduce infrastructure costs by over $8 million and accelerate the deployment time by 90%.

Principle #4: Modernize to IP using an environmentally responsible framework – by avoiding the traditional rip-and-replace upgrade model, the University prevented over 12 tons of e-waste from their digital transformation. The University also avoided installing over 100 IDF closets thanks to PoLRE’s long reach capabilities; reducing the organization’s ongoing energy consumption. The University has received the highest rating, 5-stars, for its exceptional transformation.

Meridian IT used Modern LAN design principles to support the customer’s modernization objectives. The University was able to establish a new comprehensive IP communication solution; deploying over 4,000 new IP phones throughout the entire campus.

“The customer was obviously very satisfied with the accelerated deployment. Modern LAN design and the PoLRE solution allowed Meridian IT to modernize an entire building in one day, compared to the initial forecast of 20 days”, said David Morefield, Central NA Regional Sales Manager. “Now multiply that by 100 buildings and you can imagine the time and cost savings”.

A Better Return on Investment

Meridian IT took a proactive approach to find new and better ways to support their customer’s IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner; creating better outcomes for them and their customer. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative technology, Meridian IT helped the customer:

  • Reduce infrastructure costs by over $2.8 million and reallocate the savings to more IP applications; improving the customer’s ROI
  • Eliminate risk and disruption
  • Reduce the project’s impact on the environment; avoiding over 12 tons of e-waste
  • Accelerate the deployment by 90%
  • Build a secure and robust PoE platform for the enhanced IP communications solution

Change the Conversation; Improve the Outcome

Meridian IT and NVT Phybridge have partnered to help more customers replicate the success of this project. We are committed to helping organizations accelerate their IP modernization, reduce infrastructure costs and eliminate risk and complexity; resulting in a better ROI for Meridian IT customers. Ask your Meridian IT representative about the program and the many benefits available to support your successful IP modernization project.

If you have an upcoming IP/IoT modernization project, we would love to help! Click below to book a one-on-one meeting with one of our Digital Transformation Consultants.

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