University teams up with IBM

Standing (L-R): Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance), Memorial University; Wilf Bussey, director of computing and communications, Memorial University, Sitting (L-R): Chris Chabassol, client manager, IBM; Dr. Axel Meisen, president, Memorial University; and Dan Fortin, president, IBM Canada.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and IBM Canada Ltd. announced a five-year strategic relationship to update and streamline the university's technology systems and to install a campus-wide voice-over-IP (VoIP) system.

“IBM's relationship with Memorial University has continued to evolve over the past few years,” said John Kutcy, education industry executive, IBM Americas. “By simplifying and updating the university's information technology systems, and by installing a campus-wide VoIP system, we'll help Memorial operate more efficiently and effectively. We also look forward to working closely with Memorial in targeted areas of research, where we believe our joint interests and strengths can result in some exciting accomplishments for both organizations.”

“Memorial is expanding its teaching and research activities, which require state-of-the-art infrastructure,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial University. ”It is invaluable partnerships such as this one with IBM Canada, which will provide our students and faculty with the tools to become evermore effective and innovative.”

“We came to the decision to partner with IBM Canada after an exhaustive evaluation process which began in the fall of 2004. Both parties worked very hard to reach what we feel is a mutually beneficial agreement,” added Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance) at Memorial University. “We fully expect that IBM will work with local partners in St. John's to provide top-quality service.”

The new VoIP system uses the Internet network to make telephone calls, and other forms of communications such as fax and e-mail, through digital transmissions. The agreement also expands existing research collaborations between IBM and Memorial in the areas of Deep Computing Visualization and Life Sciences.

IBM will be assisting Memorial in an information technology upgrade that will include a consulting project to help develop better ways to deliver technology services and processes to Memorial's staff and students. This technology improvement is expected to include the addition of xSeries servers, virtualization servers, and a new storage system, including hardware and software. This new technology will help reduce maintenance costs, increase speed and ensure greater efficiency of technology resources.

As part of the agreement, IBM will also implement a Cisco-based campus-wide IP Telephony solution to provide high-quality voice services and support rich-media applications. In addition to providing greater organizational independence and efficiencies, the Cisco/IBM solution will support Memorial's evolving teaching and research. It will provide improved communication services to all stakeholders - students, faculty, staff and the community.