How This University went Remote Over a Weekend Mid Pandemic 

uni of akron

Akron is both the name of the fifth largest city in Ohio and a public research university within it. Primarily STEM-focused, this university is primarily involved in industries such as polymers, advanced materials, and engineering. Ordinarily, it’s home to about 20,000 undergraduate students, all of whom rely on an IT help desk peopled by 50 technicians. With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, the university faced the challenge of taking this team remote. 

University of Akron Campus

The Challenge

  • IT help desk with 50 employees suddenly forced to work remote 
  • Statewide lockdown in response to COVID-19 crisis 
  • Avaya system not optimized for cloud collaboration or remote work 
  • No contact center to take remote tickets 

The Solution

  • Five9 cloud contact center capable of taking remote tickets 
  • Microsoft Teams collaboration solution 

The Story  five9-logo1

In 2020, the spread of COVID-19 rocked businesses and institutions all over the country. The education world faced a particularly difficult challenge when institutions had to rapidly transition to online learning and operations. The University of Akron was no exception. Not only did it need its student body to go remote, it also needed its IT help desk to be able to run optimally while its technicians were sheltering in place. 

At the onset, this looked like it would be easier said than done. Akron’s IT department utilized an Avaya contact center system prior to the pandemic. While this system was perfectly serviceable pre-COVID, its on-premise limitations didn’t serve the need for remote work. Akron needed a new, cloud-based contact center solution that could help its IT desk take remote tickets, but the crisis seemed like it would make acquiring the equipment and deploying the solution significantly more difficult. 

This was before University of Akron realized that a Five9 contact center could be deployed in just a couple of days. 

Where the initial timeline had projected the contact center wouldn’t be done until summer, Continuant and Five9 set it up over a weekend. 


Continuant, Akron’s vendor that had been hired to support Akron’s Avaya system in January of 2019, was able to work with Five9 to get this cloud-based contact center solution deployed. Where the initial timeline had projected the contact center wouldn’t be done until summer, Continuant and Five9 set it up over a weekend. Now with a 100% cloud-based contact center, Akron’s IT desk could easily manage remote tickets even with all their technicians working from home. 

This is just the beginning of a communications transformation at Akron. To further boost the university’s collaboration capabilities, Continuant will be installing a new Microsoft Teams solution in place of the Avaya system. With its advanced video conferencing and voice functionality, Teams will help facilitate communication and collaboration for both students and faculty alike. 

Through all this process, Continuant and Five9 have proven capable of moving quickly under pressure and deploying the perfect solution. The University of Akron can now rely on its solutions and the partners that set it up to help it save money, access more resources, and move forward with the support it needs. 

Learn more about our Five9 Contact Centers

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