For most of their existence, PBX phone systems have been reserved for large organizations due to the high cost of ownership and maintenance. Today, this blockade is a thing of the past, all thanks to the cloud. Through a Unified Communications (UC) platforms hosted in the cloud, users employ their service provider’s infrastructure, which reduces costs significantly and at the same time lifts the barrier for more types of organizations to adopt the technology.
One institution that stands to benefit immensely from UC solutions like VoipNow is the education sector. For some time now, educational institutions have been pushing Internet access in the classroom, and nearly every U.S. student will soon be connected to high-speed Internet, if a goal set in place by President Obama is reached. So, how does VoipNow fit in this equation?
For starters, IP telephony utilizes Internet accessibility to make phone calls less expensive. It reduces costs not only in monthly charges, but also in maintenance fees. Schools can save big thanks to VoipNow’s built-in charging engine that enables administrators to customize the settings based on various criteria (least cost routing, best route, time intervals, fixed prices etc.).
Schools have the liberty to build their own charging plans, prepaid or postpaid, which ultimately cuts costs considerably, and allows for easy management of the system. We’re not talking theoretically. Dutch high-school Spinoza Lyceum and Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria are both reaping this benefit of VoipNow, plus our highly discounted licensing for academic institutions.
Moreover, the hosted way means an institution no longer needs to invest in infrastructure, or additional IT talent, or even maintenance. Furthermore, with a pay-as-you-grow license you no longer need to make a major upfront investment. What this means for the company / organization / institution is that it only has to keep tabs on its usage – because it will only pay for the resources used.
Building a bridge between teachers, parents, and students
As far as teachers are concerned, a hosted PBX system offers plenty of opportunities to improve tutoring. It helps parents, administrators, and students collaborate more effectively. This leads to increased satisfaction for all parties.
As far as teachers are concerned, a hosted UC platform offers plenty of opportunities to improve tutoring. It helps parents, administrators, and students collaborate more effectively. This leads to increased satisfaction for all parties.
Here are a few key features in VoipNow that build a consistent communication flow, which is so vital in education environments.
- Call Cascading saves a busy day. If a teacher or school administrator is not able to take calls, this features ensures that any incoming call eventually gets picked up by someone in the office.
- Call Forwarding allows the staff to be reached even when out of office. Incoming calls are automatically forwarded to any other phone, including mobiles.
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response) permits the creation of auto-attendant voice menus that enable callers to reach a particular person within the shortest amount of time.
- Voicemail allows callers to leave important messages for the staff. Messages are automatically dispatched by email and the staff can check them over the phone or in the web management interface.
Moreover, a UC platform such as VoipNow enables remote students to continue to participate in the classroom. Instructors can rely on the use of audio conferencing to connect with geographically disparate students or with other teachers several continents away to collaborate on future projects.
Saved by the bell
Advanced UC systems are effective in emergencies because they encompass a broadcast system that can deliver messages district wide. VoipNow’s intercom feature is helpful in emergency situations. For instance, in case of an alert or an important message, the principal can call several or all available extensions in the system at the same time. The principal’s message will be played on all the extensions even if there’s no one to answer the call. Pretty smart, right?
Implementing an advanced UC platform in schools has a hidden advantage too. It familiarizes students with the technology before they enter the workforce. As UC gains widespread adoption, many of the students will end up using these technologies in their future careers. Familiarizing tutees with the technology now will ensure that the next generation of workers is prepared to use and troubleshoot it.