Addington School’s new Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise telephone system is integrated with the Rainbow unified communications app to provide easy access communications channels between staff.
Addington School is a special school in Woodley, Reading, for up to 240 children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Addington School had an ageing Avaya telephone system that they had been supporting by finding spare parts on the internet. In addition to their reliance on outdated ISDN phone lines, the school was also in the process of completing a new sixth form building so they knew it was time to look for a modern replacement system.
As a result, the school was looking for:
- An on-site telephone system that could support internet-based voice services, known as SIP trunks
- Scalability should the school be expanded as planned
- Self-management to allow for changes to be made by the school’s IT team
- Futureproofing via software updates
Our communications consultant recommended the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise OXO Connect, which is our go-to on-site IP telephone system for schools. It fully supports SIP trunks which means the school benefits from free calls to UK landlines and mobiles. All their existing direct dial-in (DDIs) numbers were migrated to the new SIP service, which was supplied on FTTC internet connections. They can also use SIP call management software to easily divert incoming calls to mobiles if required.
The feature-rich OXO Connect system can accommodate up to 300 users and has all the functionality Addington required, including PC call control, automated attendant and an absence line, call forwarding, call pick-up, group ringing and voicemail (with the option to send voice messages to email accounts).
We also provided a day of administrator training, so the IT team could learn to add users and make changes without having to call an engineer.
We supplied them with 109-handsets, including 13 feature-rich models for reception and administration staff. Most handsets are wall-mounted and can be used in hands-free mode so staff can conduct conversations even if they are otherwise engaged with pupils. The handsets can be also be utilised as a pager system to broadcast messages to groups in an emergency.
The OXO Connect will benefit from regular software updates to ensure it meets the school’s needs going forward. Among the recent software updates has been the integration of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s unified communications app, Rainbow.
Rainbow offers schools an innovative cloud-based and collaborative workspace via mobile devices and PCs to support effective working while staff are on the move, off site or in school. The Rainbow collaboration services includes:
- Click-to-call, dial-by-name, answer and release
- End-user call history
- Telephony presence
- Contact list integration
- Presence and instant messaging
- One-to-one and group audio, video and screen-sharing
- Bubbles - group chats with up to 120 participants
- File transfer and 1GB storage per user
We encouraged Addington’s IT manager to trial Rainbow to see how it could benefit the school’s management team. From then on, video meetings, calls and messages between our communications consultant and the IT manager were all conducted over Rainbow. The plan is also to set up staff bubbles on Rainbow for quick chat response rather than relying on email. As a special school, Addington has a multi-disciplinary team for each pupil, so bubbles will be useful here too for video meetings and messages.
The solution, along with a new 28-access point RUCKUS Wi-Fi solution, was installed during the summer holidays to ensure it was up and running by the time the pupils started their academic year and to coincide with the completion of the new-build. The new Wi-Fi solution allows staff to use their mobile devices as phone system extensions wherever they are working on site.
A project manager led the entire deployment process, including training, to give the school a single point of contact throughout. The school’s aftercare is provided by a dedicated account manager who will keep in regular contact with the IT team backed up by swcomms’ support desk and customer service team.
Addington School now has a modern, future-proofed telephone system and Wi-Fi solution that can grow with the school and has the flexibility to accommodate staff’s communication needs wherever they are working while providing appropriate duty of care to their pupils.
“I don’t recommend updating your telephone system and Wi-Fi, at the same time as trying to get a new building up and running, all during a pandemic! If you are, I can’t imagine many companies facilitating us and hitting our deadlines as well as swcomms has. Their level of customer contact is excellent.”
Tom Gray, IT manager
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