CHICAGO, Ill, U.S.A., Nov. 1, 2006–Mitel, the trusted provider of IP communications solutions, today announced it has been selected by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to deliver the largest single K-12 communications deployment of its kind in the United States. Valued at U.S.$28 million, the installation has already begun and will continue over the next four years.

Funded in part by the federal E-Rate program, the resilient next-generation Mitel Networked Business Solution will enable the third largest school district in the U.S. to improve overall communications, reduce costs, gain operating efficiencies, increase school safety, and support new application deployment now and into the future.

“We chose Mitel to provide this new network because they offer a solution that allows us to reduce our operating costs and improve safety,” said Chicago Public Schools chief information officer, Robert W. Runcie. “This is in line with our overall mission to provide all our students with high-quality instruction, advanced academic programs and comprehensive student development in a safe and secure environment.”

Mitel designed a network to maximize cost effectiveness and utilize the CPS private and public data network, as well as re-configure the CPS Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The end result is a resilient and fault-tolerant network that will seamlessly connect 700 schools and administrative buildings. Additionally, CPS will also deploy the latest in IP applications such as Mitel Unified Communications, Mitel Emergency Response Solutions, and Mitel Enterprise Manager.

“We are delighted to be working with CPS to build what will be the largest and most advanced IP communications education network in the country,” said Don Smith, Mitel’s chief executive officer. “They are leading the way to ensure that every student, parent, teacher and employee in CPS has the ability to communicate with each other while increasing safety throughout the school district.”

Unifying Communications–Enhancing Parental Communication and Involvement

The new CPS solution will improve overall communications while specifically addressing parental communications. Through features such as multilingual auto-attendant, voice mail, text-to-speech, and fax mail, Mitel NuPoint Messenger” IP offers a myriad of options for CPS administrators and faculty to retrieve and manage messages, ensuring communication with students and parents is always responsive and timely.
To further enhance teacher / parent communications NuPoint Messenger IP provides advanced call processing and automated attendant features and ensures, for the first time, that every school in the district has access to voice mail. The auto attendant feature also advises callers of late breaking news such as school closures and special events.

Increasing School Safety–Protecting Our Children

With increased awareness regarding safety in public schools and other environments, public sector organizations are placing even more importance on handling emergency calls with efficiency. By selecting the Mitel Emergency Response Adviser for E-911, CPS is improving school safety by complying with Illinois state and city E-911 requirements. This system enables CPS to notify on-site emergency response personnel of an emergency regardless of their location and enables on-site and off-site emergency response personnel to pinpoint the exact location of an emergency call.

About Mitel Education Solutions

Mitel IP devices, platforms, features and applications are revolutionizing the way schools communicate and educate. Mitel’s integrated approach to communications is a powerful tool that is transforming the way school systems operate for the better. Mitel Education Solutions offer an intelligent migration path to IP adoption. When it comes to today’s most advanced and cost-effective IP communications solutions, Mitel definitely makes the grade.

About Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools is the third-largest school system in the United States and second-largest employer in Illinois, with 45,000 employees. It has more than 600 elementary and high schools and more than 437,000 students. The CPS Office of Technology Services manages initiatives for the district that leverage technology to improve teaching, learning and student achievement.

About Mitel

Mitel is a leading provider of integrated communications solutions and services for business customers. Mitel’s voice-centric IP-based communications solutions consist of a combination of telephony hardware and software that integrate voice, video and data communications with business applications and processes. These solutions enable our customers to realize significant cost benefits and to conduct their business more efficiently and effectively by enabling enhanced communications, information sharing and collaboration within a business and with customers, partners and suppliers. Mitel is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices, partners and resellers worldwide. For more information, visit www.mitel.com.

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