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One of the nation’s first completely online universities, Columbia Southern University (CSU) was developed to meet the demand for alternatives to the traditional university experience. Its degree programs are offered completely online, giving students the flexibility to fit their educational pursuits around career and family commitments.

At CSU, associate, bachelor, master, doctoral and certificate programs are available in a variety of fields including fire science, criminal justice, business management and administration, information technology, human resource management and occupational safety and health. CSU is headquartered in Orange Beach, Ala.

Challenge. Pam Dickinson, technical support supervisor for the university, specified a system that would improve customer service with efficient handling of the university’s 20,000 weekly incoming calls and 10,000 weekly outgoing calls. She also needed an IP contact center solution with IP phones for 200 agents in 19 ACD groups.

To allow her to better manage the system, she specified a management system ability that would provide on-site or remote management, including management of auto attendant.  She also wanted to improve the overall user experience with unified messaging.  She needed a system that would support the university’s fast growth, including the ongoing addition of new employees. Plus, it had to save costs.

Solution. CSU’s IT team turned to Southeastern Telephone of Birmingham, Ala., an Authorized Toshiba Dealer. Curtis Cantrell, CEO of Southeastern Telephone, recommended Toshiba’s Strata CIX IP business communication system.

Dickinson already was sold on Toshiba as the university had used Toshiba telecom systems since 2004. This installation was a migration from its older Toshiba DK424i system.

Installed by Southeastern Telephone, Columbia Southern University has a Toshiba VoIP business telephone system that includes Strata CIX1200 IP business telephone system with 400 ports and two remote fiber cabinets; network eManager on-site/remote management tool; Strata Media Application Server; Strata ACD IP contact center solution with more than 200 agents using the Strata Call Manager application in 13 ACD groups; TASKE contact center reporting solution; Toshiba Unified Messaging; and
275 Toshiba IP telephones and 150 digital telephones.