The migration of schools to voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems has been a long time coming. Legacy phone systems have been a money sink for long enough that school districts across California are leaving these sunk costs for technologies that will start saving them money. To further contribute to this, the FCC recently changed the E-rate funding system. While schools used to get discounts on their phone and voice systems, discounts on telecommunications technologies are now getting phased out. In lieu of depending on these telecom companies, it’s making more sense from a budget perspective to have your own premise-based VoIP setup. These changes fall in line with modified requirements for emergency notifications, for which VoIP is the ideal technology.
As school administrators generally aren’t also telecom experts, outside parties (like us) are generally called in. Is it easier to have a different company do every different task you need or to have one group of experts take care of everything? We would obviously argue the latter. Some companies out there are fantastic at installing and running VoIP, but not at networking. Others are networking savants with very little in terms of VoIP skills. Why does it matter?
Best of Both Worlds
Well, in a perfect world, your VoIP would flow seamlessly with the rest of your in-house technology. The best way to create that environment is to plan so that they can be easily joined together. When you have two independent groups doing this work, you’ll end up with extra unnecessary equipment and inefficient or incomplete cross-functionality. You’ll also need to call two different groups for technical support, and possibly both for one problem if you aren’t sure which company’s equipment is causing the fault. Our expertise in both areas and our fully compatible equipment are part of what set us apart from other IT companies.
So what’s the big deal about VoIP in the first place? Most employees at a school are on the move at least part of the day. It’s an active environment where there are good odds that you won’t be at your desk at any given moment. Having the ability to forward calls from your office to wherever you are–from a desktop to a cell phone to a workstation application–is a powerful, powerful tool. By that same token, call routing can be modified and customized for particularly busy times of the day or specific situations, such as if there’s an emergency and you have a separate plan in place for who should be fielding calls from concerned parents.
Speaking in a Unified Voice
To further help your productivity, VoIP brings unified messaging, which means your voicemails can be sent to your email instead of sitting at your desk until the next time you’re there. There are so many interesting ways that VoIP can optimize recorded voice–you can record phone calls and conferences, and then email them to people who need to listen to them. That could be crucial for mitigating liability if any particular conversations need to be referred to.
On top of all that, these systems are scalable and analytical. You can review call statistics and add or remove users with ease. The best part, though, may be the help and technical service we provide. Telecom companies don’t have the best reputation when it comes to customer service, to put it mildly. We are VoIP experts who know the technology backwards and forwards. Any issues you have can be solved promptly. And, if the solution uncovers some weakness with your IT network or some other non-phone-related system, we can fix that along with it. That’s part of the extraordinary benefit of working with a partner with a wide range of expertise.
Installing Generation-Lasting Technologies
Having an expert on your side throughout this process makes it go more smoothly. We have folks that are actively working with schools to do this exact thing, and they have basically seen it all before. With all of the different industries we do VoIP and networking services for, it’s hard to surprise us anymore. Having an expert on hand allows for potential mistakes to be prevented instead of reacted to. It also makes sure that the system integration is going as smoothly and is as expandable as possible. You want a system that works great now, and you need one that will still be working for you in fifteen years. That’s the type of technology that we outfit our clients with.
The more often in your day that you need to think about your tools, the more obvious it becomes that they need replacing. Phone systems that were great when they were first installed are now hindering your ability to communicate effectively with parents, administrators, and each other. Reach out to DiamondIT and we’ll give you an expert view on how to modernize your school.