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The University of Texas at El Paso Takes the “Glory Road” to IP Telephony with Avaya and NACR


06-Sep-2006 - Basking Ridge, N.J. – The recent movie “Glory Road” tells the true story of Texas Western College and how its basketball team broke racial barriers in college athletics, winning the 1966 NCAA tournament. Solid determination, practice and patience paved the team’s road to success.

Dialing forward 40 years, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) – formerly Texas Western – exhibits many of those same qualities when adopting IP telephony. Steadily advancing from a circuit-based environment to the new technology over the past two years with help from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a global leader in business communications applications, systems and services, and NACR, an Avaya National BusinessPartner, UTEP’s migration story has a little twist.

Harnessed with a 20-year old Siemens Rolm system and boasting a brand new data network, UTEP wanted to retain the older switches as long as possible to help reduce further impact to the budget. It made sense to start moving voice onto the new data network and use open-standards solutions that would easily allow adoption of new technologies through the future. The new communications solution would have to interoperate with the existing infrastructure as the older system was phased out building by building at the university’s pace.

NACR with the support of Avaya engineered a blended solution in which Avaya Communication Manager running on Avaya Media Servers “front-ended” the Siemens Rolm switches. Through the three-phase migration, the older system supports analog ports for existing phones, faxes and modems, while up to 6,000 new Avaya IP phones are implemented in increments.

“Together Avaya and NACR provided the flexibility to move to IP without losing value of existing assets,” said Kenneth Pierce, Executive Director of Information Technology at UTEP. “Through our extensive testing on a range of vendors, they were the only company that could meet our requirements. Implementation has gone so smoothly that users haven’t really noticed.”

UTEP also implemented a new Avaya Modular Messaging solution - a powerful IP- and standards-based voice and fax messaging platform that allows students, faculty and staff to access messages from a wide array of access devices including telephones, fax machines, or PC graphical user interfaces. All of UTEP’s new communications solutions support accessibility for people with disabilities – an important requirement for the university – plus multiple languages in automated communications applications.

Working in tandem with Avaya, NACR was responsible for sales, an IP readiness assessment, project management and software updates. Avaya Global Services will provide post-installation IP support and services, including remote monitoring and maintenance.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications – and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services – Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya website:

About the University of Texas at El Paso
A major research university committed to the ideals of access and excellence, UTEP is a leader among Hispanic-serving institutions. Uniquely positioned in the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border, UTEP ranks among the top three UT System academic institutions in research spending – about $36 million a year – and is the only doctoral research university in the nation with a student body that is a majority Mexican American. UTEP is a major economic force in the Paso del Norte region, paying more than $100 million in annual salaries, contributing $228 million to the personal income of local residents and doing nearly $350 million in local business.

About NACR
NACR is a certified Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner, Three-Star Service Provider, and five-time Avaya BusinessPartner of the Year. Headquartered in Eagan, MN, the company was launched in 1993 with only five employees. Today, NACR has about 400 employees and 55 locations across the country dedicated to designing, implementing, and servicing the full Avaya product line. For more information, call 1-888-321-NACR (6227) or visit the NACR Web site at


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