Installation Review: Power Protection Key Component In Education Deployment
By Gennifer Biggs, Business Solutions magazine.
When IT solutions provider Integra Telecom responded to and won a $385,000 RFP from Prior Lake – Savage Area School District outside Minneapolis, it expected to be handling a massive Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) installation project. The district needed to replace an antiquated NEC telephone communications system that stretched throughout 11 schools, and Integra proposed they do so by swapping out the existing system and installing 13,000 Mitel VoIP connections that leverage the district's new HP LAN/WAN. To win that RFP, Integra drew from its vast experience in telecom. The VAR not only offers VoIP and other IT solutions to customers, it also owns and operates a fiber-optic network and an Internet and data network.
In the case of Prior Lake – Savage Area School District, it was Integra's ability to build — from the ground up — an expansive new VoIP system that won the day. "The school district's communications backbone was at end of life," explains Kenneth Owen, senior manager of sales for Integra.
"We realized that the district's network needed its power management upgraded in order to support the new communications system." While the district had a hodgepodge of UPSs in place, there was no standardization, and much of the power protection equipment was at end of life. Because the UPS upgrade and networking project went hand in hand with the VoIP undertaking, Integra recommended the additional investment in power protection. Integra then faced the challenge of explaining the value of a standard fleet of UPS since the suggested UPS deployment would cost $50,000. "After our due diligence on the data network, they realized they needed to update their UPS structure, but getting them to standardize was a little more difficult sell," adds Owen.
Owen says Integra had its proofs in place when it came to UPS because the VAR has long standardized its deployments on Minuteman UPS; in fact, it's a required part of any project the VAR completes.
While the final ROI on this deployment remains to be seen, Integra has already earned high marks from the school district.