University of South Alabama Chooses Simple Migration Path to IP-Based Unified Communications with Siemens Open Communications Solution

Leveraging Its Legacy Communications Infrastructure, One of Alabama's Fastest Growing Universities Charts an Open Communications Future for Greater Collaboration and Productivity

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 10 / - Siemens Communications announced today that the University of South Alabama selected authorized Siemens HiPath® reseller, Black Box Network Services (NASDAQ:BBOX), to deploy an IP-based unified communications solution. The new open communications infrastructure offers the university's faculty, students and staff the benefits of unified communications, such as increased collaboration, productivity and acceleration of operational processes. The solution also enables the university to use its existing infrastructure, while enhancing it with optimized VoIP capability.

More than 14,000 students attend the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, where nearly 6,000 faculty and staff serve them. The university comprises 10 schools and colleges, including the metropolitan area's premier medical center where 250,000 patients were treated last year. Communications are critical to the efficient and effective operation of the entire campus. Amid a $75 million campus expansion, the university decided to evaluate advances in communications technologies and how those might improve its staff operations while enhancing the teaching and learning experiences for faculty and students - ultimately a competitive advantage in attracting both to the university.

The University of South Alabama chose Black Box from approximately 15 vendors that responded, including a hosted VoIP provider. With Siemens' technology, Black Box can deliver the advanced, IP-based open communications the university is looking for, including such capabilities as fixed-mobile convenience, centralized management, a standards-based IT-oriented architecture, plus the potential for rich, multimedia-enabled end-user communications experiences. "The key difference is that the Siemens system can easily mesh with our legacy communications infrastructure, which still has a lot of life left in it," said David Blough, Associate Vice President for University Computer Services, University of South Alabama. "Siemens and Black Box offer us the ability to manage our VoIP migration at our own pace."

With the Siemens HiPath solution, however, the university is hardly dipping its toes timidly into IP waters. Working closely with Siemens and Black Box Network Services, it determined the best fit for its needs was a two-node HiPath 4000 Real-Time IP System with 15,000 ports for system redundancy and business continuity, especially vital to the medical center's needs. In addition, it will deploy 74 HiPath remote IP access points with meet-me-conferencing and a mixture of 9,000 Siemens optiPoint® IP and digital telephones, including the optiPoint WL2 professional wireless models. Also part of the solution is the HiPath 4000 Manager, to allow the university to manage its entire network from a single site.

Blough explained that the consultative, team-oriented approach by Black Box and Siemens also sets them apart. "They really are acting as one vendor - actually, more as our partner - in this endeavor," he said. "With their help, we learned how open communications could be our foundation for the future, building on our existing infrastructure, with all kinds of possibilities for IP-based applications and integration with our processes. In the end, we foresee greater collaboration, productivity and efficiency among our faculty, students and staff."

According to Steve Anderson, Vice President of Operations and Sales, Black Box Network Services, Siemens' portfolio of products and solutions was an important factor in Black Box winning the bid. "With the Siemens HiPath portfolio of open communications solutions, we could respond to the university's requirements not just in the short-term but for the long-term as well," he said. "We prefer this approach for our clients and they do as well."

"As the Siemens open communications architecture is deployed, the University of South Alabama will be able to enjoy the collaborative, productivity and efficiency benefits of second-generation, IP-based communications, while still using its legacy infrastructure," said Rick Fitzgerald, Vice President, Large to Medium Enterprise Partners, Siemens Communications, Inc. "With Black Box's expert integration assistance, the university is charting a course for its future that holds endless possibilities for enriching the communications experience for all of its communities and constituents."

About Siemens

Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) is one of the largest global electronics and engineering companies with reported worldwide sales of $107.4 billion in 2006. Founded 160 years ago, the company is a leader in the areas of Medical, Power, Automation and Control, Transportation, Information and Communications, Lighting, Building Technologies, Water Technologies and Services and Home Appliances. With its U.S. corporate headquarters in New York City, Siemens in the USA has sales of $21.4 billion and employs approximately 70,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Eleven of Siemens' worldwide businesses are based in the United States. With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 480,000 people in 190 countries. For more information on Siemens in the United States:

About Siemens Communications, Inc.

Siemens Communications, Inc. is an affiliate of Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG, one of the world's leading vendors of Open Communications solutions for enterprises of all sizes, enabling business processes to be more productive, faster and more secure - with any device, network or information technology infrastructure. Siemens Communications Inc., and Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG are wholly owned subsidiaries of Siemens AG with about 15,000 employees globally and headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. For more info, visit

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Jacob Rice of Siemens Communications, Inc.

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