Student - March 27, 2008

Rinkel not without problems

Despite Rinkel project leader Ron Lukassen’s assertion in Resource 24 that everything is going smoothly, not everyone is so impressed with Wageningen UR’s transfer to internet phoning. ‘Would someone who can phone Ron Lukassen let him know that there are problems?’ writes Bastiaan Meerburg in a letter to Resource this week.

Reason enough to try phoning some Wageningen UR employees. First call was to Hans Schepers, a researcher at A&F, always happy to give his opinion. ‘No, Hans can’t be reached,’ says the telephonist. ‘He hasn’t got a number anymore. Oh, you’re calling about Rinkel? You can mail him.’ ‘No, I can’t call you,’ Schepers mails back within minutes. ‘You can call me.’

Schepers is not the only one who can’t be reached since the change to IP phoning. Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture in Bleiswijk was incommunicado for a week. The promised mobile phones have still not arrived, and the old landline phones are still on people’s desks awaiting collection. It was not possible to call outside Wageningen UR with them. At Entomology it’s reception that has no phone. At the Laboratories of Microbiology and of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science, the emergency phones are not working. That’s the phone you need if there’s a fire or an accident in the lab.

‘You reported last week that there were about fifty problems,’ says Anton Korteweg of Physical Chemistry. ‘As far as I can tell there were that many people in the chemistry building alone with problems. The fax wasn’t working, the secretaries’ phones aren’t working, and calls can’t be put through.’

Ron Lukassen, who is in charge of the changeover, still maintains that things ‘have gone OK by and large’. ‘Most problems are due to administrative faults. Technically things have gone smoothly. Our problem now is that lots of numbers were not applied for correctly.’ According to Simon Vink, spokesman for the Executive Board, many problems have been caused by the new technology that Wageningen UR is using. ‘Integrating landlines and mobile phones is a new situation. It is causing unexpected problems, which we will try to sort out as quickly as possible.’

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