See also:CIO Profile: Greenwich University's Alan Broadaway on student demandsCIO Profile: Greenwich Uni's Alan Broadaway on public sector politics\nMuch of what Alan Broadaway had to do when he arrived as\u00a0head of ICT\u00a0for\u00a0the University of Greenwich was around streamlining the college\u2019s systems. It was a process of ticking off the most obvious challenges first.\nWhen he came in (in 2006), his first project was to rationalise the server portfolio with virtualisation. The college invested \u00a32m in switching from a lot of small separate units to blade servers and a storage area network.\nThe research branches of the university rely heavily on bandwidth-hungry applications, like computer modelling and the existing infrastructure was causing them to\u00a0vie with each other for\u00a0scarce resources.\n\u201cBefore, people would get just so much disk space and no more, but now we can give people all the disk space they need to do their job,\u201d he says.\nOne of the biggest projects on Broad\u00adaway\u2019s roster was a refresh and upgrade of the university\u2019s telephony system. The existing Philips comms network is still robust but as the college has grown, peak periods of activity such as when applicants\u2019 A-level results come out in August result in thousands of calls coming in every hour. The system was not up to the job.\n\u201cI did some calculations and went back to the physics and looked at the signs and said: it just can\u2019t cope anymore,\u201d he says.\nAfter putting the job out to a Europe-wide tender, Broadaway worked with Siemens to provide an IP voice and data network. One of the \u00adattractions is the ability to streamline all communications onto the desktop and do away with phone handsets.\nData routing is Cisco-basedacross the three campuses and Broadaway chose Thus as the telecoms service provider. The project is a seven-figure investment for the college.\nNot only should it make telephony more robust, even during usage spikes, but it should open up opportunities for savings too. The IP network will also allow Broadaway\u2019s successor to consider next-generation \u00adin-\u00adcollege communications.\n\nSingle visionThe university is also piloting unified communications\u00ad which will allow staff to take calls wherever they are on any of the campuses. They and the students will be able to take advantage of the e-learning opportunities that come with videoconferencing and \u00adinstant messaging when the system is rolled out.\nBroadaway claims Greenwich will be a leader in UK universities on this.\nThe design phase started in mid-2010 and the project is already rolling out. Broadaway expects a six-to-nine month roll-out and that the new integrated network will be up and running by September 2011, in time for the next academic year.\nAnother million-pound project concentrates on optimising college equipment. Audiovisual resources are essential in education, but maintaining equipment and even keeping track of its whereabouts is a big problem.\nBroadaway was working with audiovisual equipment specialist Impact Marcom and control systems supplier AMX to link up the college\u2019s classrooms.\n\u201cAll new equipment is linked together over the university\u2019s network and so from a single connected workstation, which doesn\u2019t have to be on site, we can monitor all the data projectors and classroom equipment. Before, when equipment was left on, lamps would burn out. Now we can turn things off remotely and there is proactive changing of lamps,\u201d he explains.\nThe next stage of the year-old project, Broadaway adds, was to implement a timetabling application so that when a lecturer comes in at the start of their day, the teaching facilities are up and ready for them.\nAnother monitoring project involves Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tagging all the books in the Greenwich campus library. RFID tagging projects have been experimented with in a variety of environments with mixed results, but this implementation is in a closed distribution loop and provides immediate benefits.\nStudents no longer have to check books in and out at the counter and librarians know at once whether a book is available. Broad\u00adaway says the reaction from the students has been instant approval, and was considering extending the scheme to other assets.