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Group Manager
Jisc’s Telephony Purchasing Service incorporates two significant benefits: A faster one stage process for running competitions using the service - due to a key change in the way that Dynamic Purchasing systems (DPS), the procurement mechanism under which the Telephony Purchasing Service operates - is implemented. A wider member base - in addition to HE, FE and Research, the Telephony Purchasing Service also enables Local Authority and schools' members to purchase telephony services and equipment from OJEU compliant suppliers that have resilient 1Gbits connectivity to Janet.  Jisc members who have connectivity to the Janet network can take advantage of the significant cost reductions associated with retiring ISDN lines and using Janet connectivity to route their telephone calls.  The DPS rules were changed in 2015; one of the biggest changes is the removal of the Simplified Notice process and the associated two week timeframe. This means that Jisc members can start the procurement process, and depending on the equipment/service being purchased, a procurement can be completed in less than four weeks. For how long does the service run? The service was set up initially to run for 2 years, from 4 Jan 2016 to 3 Jan 2018, with options to extend if required. The service has been extended to run until 3 Jan 2020. How to purchase telephony products and services Depending on your requirements, there 3 ways to procure: 1) Larger/complex purchases: if you have complex requirements e.g. requiring connectivity, etc. you should issue an Invitation to Tender (ITT) outlining your requirements and invite suppliers to respond. Jisc has created an ITT template which customers can chose to use. It can be adapted to suit your own requirements. 2) Smaller purchases: those wishing to make smaller purchases e.g. handsets or mobile phones can do so by requesting simple quotes. Jisc has created a simplified ITT template which customers can chose to use for obtaining quotes. 3) Quick quote: if you provide us with a description of your requirements, we can obtain quotes quickly from the suppliers participating in the Telephony Purchasing Service. This method doesn't provide any of the protection provided when using the buyers' ITT templates at 1 and 2 above. In order to be accepted onto the Telephony Purchasing Service, each supplier satisfied a list of elements listed in the Prequalification Questionaire for the service. The list of elements can be found at this link. For all purchasing methods, it’s important that you let us know whether you’ve made a purchase and if so, which supplier you’ve chosen.  That way we can notify suppliers of the outcome – feedback is always useful and ensures that they’ll respond promptly to future requests for quotes/tenders. We’ll also need to know the value of the purchase/contract to ensure OJEU compliance – we need to report the values to them. We have a few invitations to tender (ITT) for the Telephony Purchasing Service (TPS) that can be shared with our members. Requirements' examples include the purchasing of a phone system along with SIP connectivity. Another example is for purchasing SIP connectivity only. These are available on request - email to Case studies New telephony system for Easton and Otley merged college Leeds College of Building Pembrokeshire College In the last 2 years over 45 Jisc members have purchased in excess of £4m worth of telephony services and equipment through the Telephony Purchasing Service, we estimate that so far they've saved in excess of £1m. For more information on the Telephony Purchasing Service, please email

Toll free numbers

20 July 2016 at 4:36pm

A few years ago we were an early adopter to using the Janet telephone purchasing framework and have successfully migrated over to SIP trunks and along with this deployed Skype for Business as our Telephone system. This has brought with it both impressive cost savings over our old ISDN circuits and a great increases in the functionality of out unified communications systems. One of the areas that Skype stands out is its Conferencing tools that provide IM, voice, video and content sharing with a very user friendly set up. 

However we have a lot of people wanting to dial in from around the globe and many of these from developing countries were people both do not have access to technology and are often not in the position to place long distance calls due to the cost. So we would like to offer them toll free numbers to dial in to where we would pick up the costs for conferencing where possible. 

When looking in to this it can cost upwards of £500-£1,000 to enable a toll free number for each country people may dial in from, and then a monthly rent on top of this, plus the actually call costs. And for an Institute such as ourselves where we only have 400 staff (no students) the cost of setting this up is prohibitive. Companies such as BT and others do offer a service of toll free numbers at a reduced cost but only in to their own voice conferencing solutions which is not what we want to do after just centralising all our communication in to one. 

So could Janet purchase toll free number and then resell them on to organisations so as to split the cost. So for example if the janet uk toll free number was "0800 123123" and my voice conferencing number is "01483232323", and janet would assign me a "institute" extension. External callers would call 0800123123, then type in the extension and the call would be forwarded to us. We would pay a monthly cost for the service and then all call charges associated with our extension. 

Collaboration is a central part of our work out in developing countries but we are currently blocked from being able to provide streamline collaboration tool due to the high costs, we would like to work with other small/medium size institutes to pool resources, is this something Janet would be intrested in looking in to? 


Thanks for this suggestion Aaron. We would be interested in hearing from any other members who also have this challenge, with a view to seeing if we could help out if there is sufficient demand. If others out there have a similar interest, please drop an email to


Phyllis Callinan

telephony services manager