7 Reasons Why Your School District Should Move Telecommunications to the Cloud
Apprehensive about making the jump to a hosted service provider? You're not alone. Many school districts around the country have concerns with eliminating their on-premise PBX that they're so used to. Researching into both sides of the matter is definitely the right place to start though as there are actually considerable benefits for taking the leap.
#1 Emergency Services
Student safety is the highest priority for any school district, particularly in this day and age. When something bad happens, key personnel need to be informed as soon as possible so that they can do everything they can to respond to and monitor the situation.
How does this relate to hosted phone systems? Well, Internet based phone systems have sophisticated enough technology to register outbound communication better than older phone systems do. If someone within your district makes a call to an emergency service, your network can be pre-configured to send an email or text immediately to your superintendent notifying that a call has been made and the exact location of that call. Get your paging system hooked up on the network too, and within seconds, your phones can be relaying information out to everyone in the district that there is a situation.
#2 Better reliability
Let’s face it. You’ve got a lot on your plate and don’t think about your phones 16 hours a day. If there’s a minor issue, you’ll take care of it when it climbs up the priority list. If your phones go down completely, you’ve now got a million and one things to do. Besides trouble shooting the underlying cause, you need to find a way to get a hold of various vendors and contractors, and start scheduling time for them to come out and help fix the problem.
Put simply, school districts don’t specialize in maintaining phone systems; they specialize in maintaining and managing an educational environment for its students’ learning. A phone company couldn’t run your school district any better than your district could run a phone company. By switching to hosted, you’re putting your phone system in the care of a group of people dedicated entirely to ensuring maximum reliability and quality of service.
On-premise systems can cost an arm and a leg. A PBX often requires a substantial amount of capital to purchase and install, and then there’s those recurring maintenance costs regardless of if you seem to need them or not. Complicated systems can also usually mean that your district needs to hire an outside contractor to do any work on it. All of this equates to more and more of your already limited funds going out the window. Utilizing a hosted system can cut costs often times by more than 50%, allowing you to use your money more directly on your students’ educational experience.
#4 Reduce your workload
IT departments in this day and age are overworked more than ever; computer issues alone are enough to keep you busy. Maintaining your own on-premise phone systems on top of everything else can often be complicated, time consuming, and require contractors to perform the simplest of tasks like moving extensions. While this is a very necessary part of making your sure your district functions to a high standard, a hosted system can eliminate what is often tedious troubleshooting and allow more time for you to work on projects you’re excited about.
#5 Connect all your facilities easily
Most school districts in the world have more than one building to separate students into appropriate age groups. Often enough, these buildings can be separated from one another by a relatively long distance. In cases like this, a hosted solution for your phones is a no brainer.
In the worst case scenario, you’ll need more than 1 PBX if you’re choosing to keep an on-premise system. That doubles the cost of an already expensive system. Running service lines out to each building is the next option which can cause both quality and reliability issues. A hosted system solves both of these issues and ensures a level of consistency and reliability to all district personnel with the added benefit of easier call transferring and call routing options.
There’s a lot going within a school district. Teachers and administrative staff absolutely need to be flexible in case there’s a last minute classroom change or someone is changing offices or anything else that can happen during the day to pull you in a different direction. Save yourself the headache of trying to figure out what that means with your phones by using a hosted provider. IP phones can be configured on your network to maintain their extension ID and automatically register location changes when plugged in somewhere new.
#7 Seamless Updates
With your phone system in the cloud, hosted service providers are able to roll out updates and upgrades at the click of a button to resolve outstanding issues or introduce new features. This allows your school to be as flexible and versatile as you need it to be. The same cannot be said unfortunately for an on-premise system. Updates and upgrades can mean purchasing new hardware and hiring someone to come out and install new software manually. Save yourself the trouble.
NocTel Communications is a hosted VoIP provider dedicated to solving the many problems that face educational institutions today. Known for providing the highest quality service at a fraction of the price of its competitors, NocTel is completely disrupting the telecommunications industry.