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Look Students … No Wires… As University of Memphis Uses Avaya'sWireless Solution To Improve Communications Mobility


Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of communicationsnetworks and services for businesses, today said the University ofMemphis, which is seeking to become one of the nation's leadingresearch and technology transfer facilities, has upgraded itscommunications network to use the latest in wireless technologyfrom Avaya. Avaya's technology allows students and facultyuntethered freedom to move about the 1,160-acre campus — inclassrooms, the library, or in dorms — while using laptops,personal digital assistants (PDAs) or other devices to connect tothe Internet or the University's intranet.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider ofcommunications networks and services for businesses, today said theUniversity of Memphis, which is seeking to become one of thenation's leading research and technology transfer facilities, hasupgraded its communications network to use the latest in wirelesstechnology from Avaya. Avaya's technology allows students andfaculty untethered freedom to move about the 1,160-acre campus — inclassrooms, the library, or in dorms — while using laptops,personal digital assistants (PDAs) or other devices to connect tothe Internet or the University's intranet.

The implementation is part of the university's strategic plan toutilize leading-edge technology to attract and retain outstandingfaculty and students, and to offer the highest quality teaching andresearch services.

"Students in the 21st century expect a 21st century education,"said Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis."Investing in innovative uses of information technology, such aswireless, is absolutely critical for the University ofMemphis."

Doug Hurley, vice president for Information Technology and CIOat the university, added:

"Wireless is a key technology advantage for the universitybecause it overcomes the dual barriers of time and distance.Wireless enables just-in-time learning and encourages innovativeinteractions in ways never before possible," said Hurley.

As a leading U.S. metropolitan research university, the schoolis engaged with local and state government to provide high qualitylearning opportunities and to pursue the discovery anddissemination of new knowledge. Information technology isessential, university officials said, to successfully achievingthese goals.

"As a leader in wireless networks, we looked to Avaya to helpextend the boundaries of the classroom so that everyone can usePDAs and laptops and move outside of the traditional classroom andnot be limited to four walls," said Mark Reavis, director ofNetwork Services for the university.

The university, with more than 20,000 students, has deployedmore than 1,100 Avaya Wireless access points — one of the largestuniversity implementations of wireless in the mid south —throughout the campus. Students and faculty are able to takeadvantage of the Avaya Wireless AP-3 Wireless LAN (local areanetwork) solution. The solution's dual slotted architecturesupports a combination of the newer standard of 802.11a and theprevious standard of 802.11b, and 802.11g radio PC cards. The newerstandard's larger frequency allocation allows students to haveaccess to a broader range of data intensive applications such asdownloading several large web files while bridging into avideoconference call. The Avaya Wireless solution also allowssupport personnel to use IP (Internet Protocol) soft phones, acomputer that acts as a fully featured telephone, on theuniversity's network using an IP address.

Reavis said that technology use at the school is growingrapidly. Officials needed to ensure students and faculty had enoughbandwidth to do research and studies now and into the future. Hesaid higher bandwidth applications are needed to support the broadvariety of academic programs at the university — ranging fromarchitecture and fine arts to engineering and chemistry.

The university's degree programs, Reavis said, encouragestudents to use laptops so the freedom to move around in a lab orother locations and still have access to the intranet or Internetfrom anywhere is critical. Student demand for wireless is high asmany purchase Wi-Fi compliant wireless cards in the student center.With the cards, they can access the university's library system,on-line courses, electronic course materials, and participate invideo conferencing.

In addition to mobility for students, the university uses theAvaya Wireless LAN to link video cameras across campus to providesurveillance of public areas. This feature allows securityofficials to monitor activity no matter where they may be oncampus, even from inside their cars.

The Avaya Wireless Solution saved the university money, whileleaving campus facilities intact. The installation did not requirealtering of the university's historic buildings to install cablewiring and in turn provided easier access to various applicationsthroughout the campus with a wide reach range for users. WithAvaya's technology, each wireless access point can reach up to 300ft. in one indoor zone.

Reavis, who is also chair of the Voice Over Internet Protocol(VoIP) committee for the State of Tennessee network (TNII), saidwhen he looked at the market for wireless, Avaya won out overcompetitors because of its ability to offer robust security usingthe IEEE 802.1X standard along with the per-user, per-sessionencryption keys that protect the university's network resources."They had a good migration and strategic plan for the product andhow it could easily be upgraded."

University officials also liked Avaya's ability to provide acomplete one-stop shopping solution. Avaya teamed with MagowanCommunications, an Avaya BusinessPartner, to install the wirelessunits.

The university, which has been an Avaya customer since 1988,looked to Avaya again because of its outstanding track record ofsupport and service to the university. The university currently hastwo Avaya DEFINITY® Communications Servers and a video conferencingbridge that is IP-enabled. Avaya also provided 7,000 voice portsfor students and faculty throughout the campus and some 3,500 voicemailboxes, and Caller ID features for the phones in all the studentdormitories.

"We've come to expect and depend upon a high level of supportand service from Avaya," said Reavis, "and we're not disappointed.I highly recommend Avaya's products and services."

The University of Memphis prides itself in being a technologyleader. In addition to ubiquitous wireless services, students andfaculty have access to state-of-the art computing facilities,including more than 1,200 PC and Macintosh workstations in labsacross campus and 56 "smart" classrooms incorporating the latest ineLearning services. The university is one of a few institutionsthat offer a master's of science degree in electronic commerce,supply chain management, and an undergraduate honors program inglobalization.

Earlier today, the university announced it will open on Nov. 19,the FedEx Institute of Technology, which has a mission to be theepicentre for technological innovation in the Mid-South. Theinstitute is a joint collaboration between the university, FedEx,and other leading corporations that will conduct world classinterdisciplinary research and focus on preparing students foremployment in the rapidly changing world of the Internet andinformation technologies.

"Collaborating with the FedEx Institute at the University ofMemphis provides the opportunity for Avaya to join other leadingcorporations to build a research-centered organization that canforever change the Mid-South community," said Jim Phillips,chairman and executive director of the FedEx Institute. "The FedExInstitute is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practiceand graduate students who understand the role of technology inbusiness processes and strategy."

Avaya's Wireless LAN solutions support the institute, whichfeatures a cyber café and virtual reality chambermeeting/presentation space. Inside the institute will be 10research centers focusing on an array of studies ranging frommedical breakthroughs in cancer and alcoholism to cyber security.Avaya has a classroom named after the company in the institute inrecognition of its support for the institute's technologicalstudies.

The University of Memphis also is the designated I2 (Internet 2)giga-pop site for the state of Tennessee. As a designated site, theuniversity sponsors connections to the I2 network to serve otherresearch institutions, schools and hospitals across the state. Thegoal of I2 is to construct and operate a research network withgreater than 100 times the bandwidth typical of the currentInternet and to develop new types of applications andinfrastructure technologies. The speed offered by I2 allows highbandwidth applications such as high quality live and archival videoand teleconferencing.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks formore than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent ofthe FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is aworld leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP)telephony systems and communications software applications andservices.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications withbusiness applications — and distinguished by comprehensiveworldwide services — Avaya helps customers leverage existing andnew networks to achieve superior business results. For moreinformation visit the Avaya Web site:

For information about the University of Memphis:

For information about the FedEx Institute of Technology:

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