A large School District in the Northeastern United States was relying on a legacy TDM-based phone system. The School District supports over 200,000 students with more than 18,000 staff members across more than 300 primary, elementary and high schools. The ageing communication system was being used in every location and was becoming increasingly costly and difficult to manage. The School District decided it was time to improve their capabilities while lowering operational costs, turning to ConvergeOne to help them modernize 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 potential for 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 schools were operating in older buildings. This would further complicate the upgrade process as the School District would need to obtain permits to make any changes to these buildings. Assuming permits were granted, strict modification guidelines for construction work would result in significantly higher labour 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 School District did not have the required space or budget to install IDF closets to extend connectivity to all areas of the buildings. Reducing deployment time was also extremely important to the customer, as they wanted to ensure minimal disruption to classroom learning and extra-curricular activities.

Modern LAN Innovation

Due to the restrictive nature of the upgrade, ConvergeOne was confident in recommending Modern LAN design principles and the NVT Phybridge PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) solution to the customer. The PoLRE switch, with patented SmartPathPoE™ technology, transforms existing point-to-point voice infrastructures into robust and secure power-packed IP platforms; capable of supporting IP phones up to 1,200ft (365m) away – that’s 4Xs the reach of standard PoE switches. The customer immediately recognized the value of the solution. However, given the complexity, risk, costs, and disruption associated with ripping-and-replacing the existing infrastructure, the School District was sceptical that PoLRE would work in their environment. ConvergeOne assisted the customer in organizing a no-obligation proof of concept to test the solution.

The customer tested the PoLRE solution in several of their buildings with great success; the customer was astonished at the simplicity of installation and the robustness of the solution. Thanks to the ConvergeOne team, the School District 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 – ConvergeOne helped the customer establish a secure and robust PoE backbone for their new communication platform using their existing and reliable voice infrastructure. PoLRE’s patented SmartPathPoE™ technology allowed the customer to maintain a separate and secure point-to-point IP network for voice, ensuring zero disruption to the core network and enhancing cybersecurity.

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 $3 million and accelerate the deployment time by over 80%.

Principle #4: Modernize to IP using IoTG environmentally responsible framework – The existing and reliable wiring across all locations was reused and transformed to support the new IP communication system; significantly reducing the project’s e-waste. The solution will prevent approximately 8.4 million feet of cable from entering a landfill, equivalent to 85,000 pounds or 42 US tons. The long reach capabilities will also eliminate the need to install new intermediate wiring closets, reduce resource requirements and reduce ongoing energy consumption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) is an association of businesses that measures and recognizes environmentally responsible IP modernizations. The School District received the highest rating, 5-stars, for their exceptional transformation.

ConvergeOne used Modern LAN design principles to achieve the customer’s IP objectives; helping the School District establish a secure and robust IP backbone for their enhanced communication solution. The School District now plans to quickly and easily deploy over 10,000 new IP phones across all locations thanks to the PoLRE’s repeatable, predictable and scalable deployment methodology.

A Better Return on Investment

ConvergeOne 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. The School District was able to satisfy all the necessary infrastructure requirements without compromise, thanks to the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the solution. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative technology, ConvergeOne helped the customer:

  • Reduce infrastructure costs by over $3 million and reallocate the savings to more IP applications; improving the customer’s ROI
  • Eliminate financial and technical risk while avoiding disruption to staff and students
  • Reduce the project’s impact on the environment; avoiding over 42 tons of e-waste
  • Accelerate the deployment by over 80%
  • Build a secure and robust PoE platform for the enhanced IP communications solution
  • Find a no-compromise solution that satisfied all the customer’s requirements

Change the Conversation; Improve the Outcome

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

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