Making calls with NocTel since June 2016
Education faces many hurdles in today’s world and ensuring good education for its students should be chief among them, but often districts are at the mercy of budgets. As the institutions that foster generation after generation of students; parents, community, and the students themselves have expectations of quality. Everyone carries these expectations, but the degree to which each aspect can be accomplished depends on the available budget.
For Jefferson County Education Service District, a county named for Oregon’s second tallest peak which looms on its western skyline, the question of a communication system had to meet two requirements: it needed to be cost-effective such that the budget for the system would not raise eyebrows on needing to justify the expense, and it needed to provide more than the rudimentary features. In achieving these requirements, Jefferson County ESD hoped to find future budgets with more funds available to support highly needed programs and infrastructure through savings made on service expenses rather than budgetary planning potentially becoming a tug of war among stakeholders and community.
Cost-effective and usable among Jefferson ESD’s requirements were implicitly followed by the necessity that a potential communication system be flexible enough to deploy across multiple physical locations in a consistent, pain-free manner. Flexibility of the system in deployment and ease of maintenance benefit Jefferson County ESD’s technology personnel allowing those resources to be focused on other projects. For Jefferson County ESD, these requirements were almost matter of fact due to operating and maintaining two separate systems from three providers among its school districts.
IT Director David Hicks personally cites, “The multiple school districts we serve were on a combination of legacy analog and VoIP platforms. As part of reviewing the current structure of our phone services we were seeking a unified VoIP platform which would provide quality service for our districts. In recognition of the continual budgetary pressures in education, we were also looking for ways to reduce costs while not sacrificing service.” Clearly the situation and requirements were well-defined, but how well would these requirements be satisfied by a potential service provider?