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Calgary Public Library Turns a New Page with Cisco IP Communications


North America’s sixth largest municipal library system improves customer service while reducing costs

CALGARY - November 16, 2005 - Canada’s second largest public library system is improving customer service, reducing costs and positioning itself for future growth by adopting Cisco ® Internet Protocol (IP) Communications. The Calgary Public Library recently moved to an integrated voice, video and data network from Cisco Systems ® to link its 18 libraries across the city.

The end-to-end Cisco network was installed by NexInnovations, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, and features wireless connectivity at all libraries. It supports 350 Cisco IP phones, 20 wireless Cisco IP phones, 350 Cisco Unity TM voicemail seats and Cisco IP Interactive Voice Response (IP IVR). The IP-based communications systems also allows the library to take advantage of the Alberta SuperNet -- a broadband network connecting facilities in 429 communities across the province - to connect the libraries and drive further savings.

“The Cisco IP Communications system will make a big difference to how we can service our customers,” says Scott Stanley, information technology manager at the Calgary Public Library. “Something as simple as transferring calls between branches is a real bonus. Instead of telling our customers to hang up and call another number, we can now simply transfer them to the correct branch or department.”

According to the Library, the Cisco IP Communications system is enabling a series of new services including online directories, four-digit dialing and branch-to-branch call transfer. Wireless IP phones will soon allow library staff to answer customer calls while performing their ongoing activities, a feature that will improve employee productivity and increase customer service. The integrated network is also lowering its total cost of ownership by eliminating redundant infrastructure, centralizing administration and simplifying maintenance.

“By migrating to a single, fully integrated, highly-secure communications infrastructure the Calgary Public Library is emerging as a ’best practice’ for municipal library systems across North America,” says Michel Houde, vice-president, national public sector at Cisco Systems Canada. “This is a great example of how municipal organizations across Alberta can take full advantage of Alberta SuperNet to save taxpayers money, enable new services and improve their organizational efficiency.”

Wendy Lucas, Senior VP, Sales and Integrated Solutions, NexInnovations, explains the motivation behind the migration: “The Cisco IP Communications solution was attractive to the Library because it is fully redundant, standards-based and XML (extensible mark-up language) compliant. The system will be able to integrate with the new integrated library inventory tracking and customer database system, Dynix Horizon. This will help enable the library to develop an innovative self-service application that will be available from the browser of the Cisco IP phones.”
Managing Growth, Reducing Costs

Over the past several years, the Calgary library system has grown exponentially, making it the second largest public library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America. The legacy phone systems, which included a 20-year-old private branch exchange in the central office and a mix of Centrex systems located in branch offices, was cumbersome to manage.

The Library was looking for a system that would help them control costs, provide the best service levels possible and future proof their communications. “We had to make a change, but we wanted to make a wise choice. One that would allow us to grow, leverage new applications and increase productivity while saving on costs,” said Stanley.

According to Stanley, the system’s performance and reliability are excellent. The Library’s staff now is comfortable with the user-friendly system, is self-sufficient in terms of management and can resolve issues quickly and easily.
About the Calgary Library

With over 31 million customer interactions each year, the Calgary Public Library is one of the largest library systems in North America. It is also one of the most efficient, circulating materials for 22 percent less cost than the next most efficient major library system. Founded in 1911, the Calgary Public Library now features 18 branches serving over 900,000 Calgarians. Visit
About Cisco IP Communications

Cisco IP Communications is a comprehensive system of enterprise-class solutions including IP telephony, unified communications, rich media communications, including audio, web and videoconferencing, IP video broadcasting and customer contact solutions that take advantage of customers’ existing Cisco IP infrastructure to deliver new converged applications. More information about Cisco IP Communications is available at:
About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, this year celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership and corporate social responsibility. Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc., has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales and service. In addition, Cisco has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Information on Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

About NexInnovations Inc.

For over 25 years, NexInnovations has been providing technology consulting, infrastructure, deployment and support expertise to organizations across Canada. More than 3,000 business and government organizations, both local and national, rely on NexInnovations to help them plan, supply, integrate and support their IT systems from small custom orders to large complex projects. With approximately 1,200 employees in 30 office locations nationwide, NexInnovations ranks as one of Canada’s largest privately held information technology companies. For more information about NexInnovations, please visit


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