Streamlining Device Management at Texas Tech University

Deploying iNEMSOFT’s Endpoint Manager to save time, lower costs and increase conversion accuracy


  • Challenge

    Based in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System is a $2.5 billion enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach with approximately 21,000 employees, more than 63,000 students, nearly 370,000 alumni and an endowment valued at $1.7 billion.

    The Communication Services department, part of the Texas Tech University System, supports Texas Tech Health Sciences centers throughout the state. An Avaya customer since 2010, Communication Services’ Avaya environment includes data centers in Lubbock and El Paso with two Avaya Aura® Communication Manager servers, six Enterprise Survivable Servers, 33 Local Survivable Gateways, 152 subnets and over 8,000 devices. 

    The Communications Services organization previously faced several challenges managing remote devices among its multiple campuses.  Upgrading devices from H.323 to SIP required the staff to generate logs manually for identifying and monitoring issues. Rolling out new devices could require sending technicians to a satellite campus such as Amarillo, a 5-hour round trip from Lubbock. And an estimated 20 percent of trouble tickets were related to unplanned logouts – even a brief power outage at a remote site could render many of its devices unregistered, with users needing assistance to log back into the network.

  • Solutions

    As the assistant managing director in the Communications Services organization, Richard Pickens supervises the installation and maintenance of the department’s Avaya Aura environment, as well as related telecom and IT partner applications, primarily supporting the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center campuses. Pickens and his team needed a device management solution to convert devices easily, manage multiple firmware and settings files, reduce manual intervention and simplify overall management.  They chose iNEMSOFT’s Endpoint Manager (EM), iNEMSOFT’s device management software optimized for Avaya Aura devices, addressing several important issues and requirements:

    • Reducing time and effort to migrate from H.323 to SIP and onboard newer devices
    • Implementing device administration and auto-provisioning with the appropriate settings for satellite campuses to reduce the need to dispatch technicians to remote locations
    • Increasing conversion accuracy with automatic error notification and error code reports, easily identifying and tracking phones by MAC or IP address
    • Upgrading groups of devices by subnets while managing provisioning based on the device series, model or firmware
    • Improving remote troubleshooting for faster and more efficient resolutions

    Reducing the need to send technicians to Abilene, Amarillo and other satellite campuses has been a significant benefit. Using its remote diagnostics, “What we like is not only identifying the problem, but the ease with which we can resolve it with iNEMSOFT’s Endpoint Manager,” says Pickens. Previously, technicians could travel to campuses as often as every two weeks to resolve log-in problems and other challenges. “Now all the issues can be solved without leaving their offices,” he adds, noting that the number of trouble tickets for login issues has dropped by 75 per cent.  

    The Communications Services team also takes advantage of iNEMSOFT’s EM’s ability to manage devices by subnet. Engineers can easily identify the number of H.323 or SIP devices and their firmware by location, even those that may be stored or used only periodically, simplifying the process of upgrading all the devices on a subnet, which are typically organized by building or by floor for larger sites.   

    Throughout the implementation, Pickens has been very impressed with the iNEMSOFT team, saying “Their response time is amazing.” While he’s found other partners not as willing to help once their solutions were installed, the iNEMSOFT team “is always there for us – jumping in to respond anytime a question comes up.” 

    Communication Services’ plan to migrate all 8000+ devices from H.323 to SIP is continuing on schedule, and the team expects to see more benefits with iNEMSOFT’s Endpoint Manager once the conversion is complete in late 2022. 

    “What we like is not only identifying the problem, but the ease with which we can resolve it with iNEMSOFT’s Endpoint Manager.” – Richard Pickens, Asst. Managing Director, Texas Tech University System

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