James Cook University
Faced with a multitude of legacy room-based video technology systems, a leading university has deployed Pexip to anchor its video strategy, optimize return on investment and meet its sustainability commitment.
About James Cook University
James Cook University (JCU) is a major university in regional Queensland, Australia. It has campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Thursday Island and Singapore. There are also scores of smaller sites with IT needs, including student accommodation and local hospitals where medicine and nursing students are doing placements. Marine biology and brain research are among JCU’s world-leading areas of speciality.
Pexip services in use
- Pexip Endpoint Subscription service
- Device registration
- Call Control with Pexip’s Control Center
- Need to enhance JCU’s video strategy to meet a wide variety of teaching, learning, corporate and community engagement needs.
- Need to phase out aging room-based video conferencing equipment that is no longer fit for purpose – in a sustainable way.
- Need to ensure best user experience possible given centrality of video to JCU’s business model.
- Integration with existing Cisco hardware
- Interoperability with Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams
- Pexip being used to help transition away from physical video conferencing and buy time to make a longer-term decision about longer term vision.
- Solution is compatible with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans; teachers and students using a variety of platforms on premises experience minimal disruption with the transition.
- There are further opportunities to improve video collaboration between JCU and partner organizations like Queensland Health.
JCU relies heavily on video conferencing as a teaching institution that services a wide geographic area. “If our video conference system failed, it would affect our business significantly. It'd be hard to put a dollar value on it, but there would be a major impact,” says Kevin Lane, Head of Digital Infrastructure Solutions and based at JCU’s Townsville campus.
Lane’s team is responsible for JCU’s network communications infrastructure. But old room-based video conferencing units, which included Tandberg as well as Cisco equipment – were aging to the point of being no longer vendor supported.
In 2021, the university was searching for a solution that satisfied changing user expectations where people wanted to access high-quality video on their own device.
Pexip’s advantage was its flexibility – accommodating different platforms being used on premises by teachers and students without causing disruption or forcing them to learn something new.
Particularly attractive was Pexip’s ability to “join together” Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans and other video conferencing solutions.
“Video conferencing is part of what we do – and Pexip has definitely given us that breathing room to make sure we can move into the future appropriately.”Kevin Lane, Head of Digital Infrastructure Solutions
JCU’s experience of working with Pexip has been positive. The Pexip Control Center has been particularly useful in helping Lane’s team keep abreast of technical issues as well as providing a view of video usage across the university at a glance.
Pexip has a role to play as about 120 video conferencing rooms are managed across the university in coming years.
For now, its main benefit is removing an element of risk within JCU’s IT environment and buying more time as it finalizes its long-term collaboration architecture.