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Oxfam Australia and Cisco Build Unified Communications Network


Oxfam Australia, one of the world’s leading non-government organizations for human relief services, is embracing the Cisco® Unified Communications system to help it enable a “One Agency, One Network” information strategy. Designed and deployed by Cisco Gold Partner Commander Communications, the network will provide a platform for best-in-class communication, collaboration and equity in access to information throughout Oxfam’s national, state and field offices.

Andrew Hewett, executive director of Oxfam Australia, said: “The work we are doing with Cisco will help to improve communications between staff, volunteers and stakeholders and will in turn support our vision to create a fair world where people control their own lives, their basic rights are achieved, and the environment is sustained.”

The Cisco Unified Communications system includes Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and was donated to Oxfam through Cisco’s ANZ Civic Council. The Oxfam project, a year in the making, builds on the well-established global relationship between Cisco and Oxfam International. Cisco will provide unified communications applications and handsets to Oxfam for use throughout its Australian capital city and field offices, including its newly opened headquarters office in Melbourne and the Oxfam donor services centre. Cisco’s Civic Council was established in 2005 to direct and oversee Cisco Australia and New Zealand’s corporate social responsibility strategy.

Tony Wright, Cisco ANZ Civic Council chair and head of Cisco marketing ANZ, said: “Cisco is proud to work closely with Oxfam, and use technology to help them meet their needs. This is about more than simply writing a cheque. The human network is about connecting information systems to people when the people need the information, including in the field, where it can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Oxfam’s response to emergency situations will benefit from the real-time sharing of information through the voice, video and Web conferencing available with Cisco Unified Communications. Oxfam’s Learning and Development Unit will also now be able to record online meetings and training sessions and share them with other stakeholders through online portals. The improved collaboration will also reduce the need to travel, which will in turn reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The network is being deployed by Cisco Gold Partner, Commander Communications, over a centralised network to provide world-class call processing, voicemail, integrated voice and web conferencing to Oxfam’s 200 head office staff as well as state and field offices.

Adrian Coote, managing director of Commander, said: “Commander worked closely with Cisco to design a premium IP solution for Oxfam that will reduce network costs and improve overall productivity. The Cisco Unified Communications solution perfectly fits Oxfam’s application needs.”

The project is being deployed over an IP-based network based on a Cisco 2851 Integrated Services Router at Oxfam’s head office. Cisco 2821 and 2801 Integrated Services Routers are also being deployed at its offices in its capital city offices.

The Oxfam head office will also contain 200 Cisco IP Phones, Cisco Unified Communications Manager 5.0 to provide call processing capabilities; Cisco Unity voicemail for unified messaging (e-mail, voice, and fax messages sent to one inbox); Cisco MeetingPlace Express, an integrated voice and Web conferencing solution; and Cisco Unified Contact Centre Express 4.5 for e-mail management, Web chat and multi-channel capabilities.

The new system will be operational in time for the opening of Oxfam’s new head office in Carlton, Victoria, on 1 June 2007. It will be opened by the Premier of Victoria, the Right Hon. Steve Bracks.


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