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Convergence Lab Hosts Firsts Business Client



Convergence Lab Hosts Firsts Business Client

June 6, 2003 - Symon Communications, Inc., has become the first commercial client of CCCCD's new technology Convergence Lab at Preston Ridge Campus. Symon Communications, based in Plano, is a global leader in call center technology and will use the lab as a training platform for customers of its proprietary communications software.

Symon's corporate customers, representing such diverse employers as Allmedia Financial, Austin Independent School District, Southern Company and Verizon Wireless, met recently in the lab for their first class, "Symon Enterprise Server." Symon has other classes that will soon make use of the lab.

Physical infrastructure of the Convergence Lab was reconfigured to better serve the needs of Symon Communications. According to telecommunications Professor Bob Wright, hardware configurations were modified, memory was up-scaled, and LAN switches were reprogrammed, all of this before the class began in May.

The instructor of the class, Thamer Hammadi, said that the transition to this new training location went "very smoothly" for his company. "We had no problems. The setup was quick and easy, and the people here were very helpful." Hammadi has been teaching Symon classes for three years.

Ann Beheler, dean of engineering technology, said that the lab can be a valuable resource for local businesses as well as students. "When businesses use the lab, our students will assist with setup, testing, and troubleshooting. Businesses benefit from having an state of the art affordable venue to use, and our students benefit from the interaction with the businesses."

Prior to coming to CCCCD, Symon Communications was teaching classes at various labs and off-site locations in Richardson, Texas. Moving to CCCCD will bring them closer to their new corporate headquarters on Interstate 75 in Plano.

Rod Tate, manager of field support at Symon, said that his company was also looking for the most up-to-date technology that they could find. They found that, and more, at CCCCD.

"It's been great," said Tate. "Bob Wright and all of his colleagues have always been there to help. If we say we want this, this, and that, that's exactly what they deliver. They've been very helpful, very open-minded. If we're looking for something unusual, they do what they can to find it."

Future clients have already requested other lab configurations for their particular beta-testing or training scenarios, and CCCCD's Engineering Technology department is committed to flexible and responsive approaches in preparing the space just for them.

The Convergence Lab officially opened its doors in November. Since then, engineering and technology students have used the lab primarily to complete real-world case studies that will prepare them for tomorrow's hi-tech workforce. The lab has always been envisioned as having a dual purpose, serving internal and external customers, so the Symon class is a milestone in extending services to area businesses.