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Fashion school proves fertile training ground for the Smart i

Fashion school proves fertile training ground for the Smart i
Photo courtesy of Dennis Fletcher

Q: Could you explain your business and how that drives your technology adoption?
A: We’re a college that supports more than 7,500 students. It’s a very dynamic environment and we pride ourselves on being leaders in the education industry we serve. It’s important that technology supports that.
We’ve taken the integration of the IBM i platform and added functionality that better serves our students, staff and faculty. One of those was integrating the IBM-3Com IP telephony solution with Lotus* Sametime* Connect and adding to that a Java* application for a click-to-call tool, which is now on our Web site for prospective students to use. We expect to roll out click-to-call in many other places to better service our entire student population.

Q: What is click-to-call?
A: Click-to-call is a really nice feature. I like it better than click-to-chat. If you’re filling out a form and you’re confused about what you need to do, you can click on a little icon that says, “Would you like to talk to an advisor?” It will then dial directly through to an advisor who will come on the phone and say, “How may I help you?” You might then explain that you don’t understand what a particular line on the form means and the advisor will help you work through it. You’re talking to an actual person. You’re not locked into one of those click-to-chat, canned-response systems, which sometimes give you answers that have nothing to do with your questions. Click-to-call offers much better customer service.

Q: It seems like the school has covered all of the IBM bases. Are you finished? 
No. We take our existing IBM technology foundation and build on it. That allows us to use our existing skill set and the hardware and software that we’re already familiar with. That was the case with our IP telephony solution and now with Smart i.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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