K-12 Educational institutions face special challenges in today’s economic environment with regards to technology, and in particular, telecommunications.
With so many districts being fiscally challenged, there is no budget for capital expenditures. We find that many of the networks are “scotch-taped” together, contain a “hodge-podge” of mixed and matched equipment, and/or have systems that are unsupportable, manufacturer discontinued, and end of life. They are often problematic, and unpredictable.
Having years of experience in supporting schools, we fully understand the complex requirements of the K-12 environment. Hosted but better, can support these unique needs as follows:
- Expense- Hosted but better can provide an all-inclusive solution, supplying state of the art system equipment, carrier services for voice and data, system installation, maintenance/service, and ongoing upgrades to keep equipment current and feature rich.
- Reliability and Redundancy- Schools must maintain communications without interruption; it is a safety requirement for students above all else. Our systems are fully redundant, resilient, and recoverable post disaster. This is especially important in California’s “Earthquake” environment, and with regards to events such as school “lock downs”.
- Collaboration Friendly- In today’s environment, many schools are keeping students “local” to a specific classroom, while teachers travel the school landscape and go to the students. Teachers often conduct prep periods in “Collaboration Rooms” or a common staff facility. With our solutions, we can provide standard, line powered analog phones for the classrooms, and “traveling” DID extensions for teachers on feature rich system phones; also known as “Hot-desking”. Each instructor could have their own phone number and extension off of the system, and could sign into any phone on the system with their personal settings, giving them their “own phone” on any system device at any location.
- Over-loaded IT Department Personnel- With budget constraints, districts must keep personnel levels to a minimum, resulting in overloaded and overburdened IT people. Because Hosted but better provides full support and maintenance of supplied systems, the telecommunications load is lightened, and IT personnel have more time to address data and network items.
- Both hosted, and on-site systems present limitations for this environment. Following are some of the pros and cons with each program:
- Hosted equipment, while offering predictable monthly costs, does not fully eliminate capital expenditures; phones, routers, and infrastructure costs must be paid on the front-end of a hosted implementation. On-site solutions require a significant capital expenditure to facilitate.
- Hosted solutions are not redundant or resilient; if the internet is down, communications are down.
- Hosted solutions do not support analog devices for classrooms; VOIP phones can go down; analog does not
- On site equipment requires a large time commitment from IT personnel to manage and maintain.