The University of Dundee is a public research university in Scotland that provides teaching, education and training opportunities to over 18,000 students. It is supported in this by more than 3,000 academic and professional services staff.
Over the past 50 years, the university has pioneered innovations as diverse as flat screen technology and keyhole surgery, brought the Victoria & Albert Museum of Design to Dundee and worked with partners to help drive the city’s regeneration.
When the country and Scottish universities were placed under lockdown at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the University of Dundee had to move quickly to ensure its staff and students could continue working and learning. The education institution’s IT team already had ambitious plans to ensure staff could work as flexibly as possible, however, it was clear that timescales needed to accelerate as academic and professional services staff would be working from home for the foreseeable future.
“In the early days of lockdown, staff were using whatever headsets they had to hand, and it wasn’t ideal,” says Jonathan Monk, director of IT at University of Dundee. “We wanted everyone to have access to the same high-quality remote working experience.”
With employees depending on Microsoft Teams for video conferencing and collaboration, the university needed a Microsoft-certified headset or speakerphone solution.
Over a period of three weeks, approximately 900 Jabra Evolve headsets were rolled out to staff. Uptake has been strong, with most staff adopting Jabra as their primary headset of choice, followed by more recent investment in Jabra’s Evolve2 series of professional headsets.
The Jabra Evolve range provides flexibility in the workplace and homeworking environments, with benefits including plug-and-play. The headsets are fully compatible with Microsoft Teams and software updates can be rolled out for staff to download through the Jabra Connect managed software centre.
Starting in 2021, the university has been able to offer tailored remote working packages to staff.
“We wanted robust, high-quality solutions that were built to last by a recognised brand,” says Monk. “Many of our support staff are locked into video calls for much of the working day, so comfort and mobility were essential. The Jabra Evolve and Speak ranges impressed us from day one.”
Following the success of the partnership, Dundee IT is committed to working even more closely with Jabra in future to continue to achieve its goals.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.