Queensbury Academy

Queensbury Academy upgraded their existing Microsoft 365 licences to include a Microsoft Teams phone system, supported by SIP trunks from Gamma.

Queensbury Academy in Dunstable, Bedfordshire is an 11 to 18 mixed, secondary school and sixth form with academy status. It was established in 1972 and is part of the Anthem Schools Trust.

 

Queensbury contacted swcomms after they viewed our webinar recording on Microsoft Teams for schools. They were already using Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) and Teams but wanted to know if they could extend their licensing to incorporate a phone solution. The school’s existing provider and other resellers were giving them mixed messages about the licences they required. Our communications consultant and Microsoft presales specialist held two meetings with the school’s IT manager before quoting them for a 54-user Microsoft Teams Phone System which they then demonstrated to the senior management team. Having been selected, swcomms’ Microsoft-accredited engineers connected the school’s Teams users to a virtual environment hosted in Queensbury Academy’s Azure service, which also connects to Microsoft 365.

 

Using our Enterprise Microsoft Teams Direct Routing service, the school’s existing telephone numbers were ported to our trusted connectivity partner Gamma using six concurrent SIP channels. By using SIP, the school no longer have to pay for their outgoing calls care of inclusive call bundles comprising 5,000 UK landline minutes and 2,000 UK mobile minutes per SIP trunk channel per month to drive down this ongoing cost. SIP also future-proofed the school against the impending ISDN switch-off as all telephone systems that use these ageing copper voice connections will need to be upgraded or replaced before 2025. By migrating to the Teams solution and SIP, Queensbury is well ahead of this deadline.

 

Just like a traditional, on-site school phone system, calls to the main number are answered by an automated attendant and a routing choice is offered to the caller, so they can quickly speak to who they want to without interrupting the work of busy receptionists. Calls to other direct dial-in (DDI) numbers are routed to the appropriate staff members and common area phones. If the user is busy, the call goes to voicemail with a sound file delivered via email. These files are also transcribed in the email so they can be read without having to open the sound file.

 

Staff can use the dial pad within the Teams Phone System app to make and receive calls on whichever device they are using. If a call comes in, all devices will ring simultaneously and staff choose which one they want to use. They can move between devices during a call using the park facility, and they can transfer to and conference in other members of staff with ease. We also delivered Yealink T55a Teams-certified handsets, with colour touchscreens and Jabra headsets to use with the handsets and PC-softphones where required. Meanwhile, where making/receiving a call is not required, staff can use the one-to-one and group video, chat, screen-sharing and presence functions within Teams, plus email to securely communicate and collaborate with one another while also offering remote learning options too.

We also delivered Yealink T55a Teams-certified handsets, with colour touchscreens and Jabra headsets to use with the handsets and PC-softphones where required.

As part of the project delivery process, we provided training for the staff, so everyone would know how to use the new Teams phone systems app and all its call functionality. The IT manager also received an overview of the management portal so he could carry out daily moves and changes.

 

This solution has combined the power of Microsoft, as the leader in the global desktop market, with the UK’s top SIP provider Gamma, and our own VoIP implementation and support expertise to provide Queensbury with a replacement phone system that integrates with their IT applications. Latterly, Oxford Spires Academy who are also part of the Anthem Schools Trust has also signed up to a Microsoft Teams Phone System from swcomms.

 

Having looked at various options and pricing models we were very pleased to choose swcomms to bring our phone system into the 21st century and incorporate the whole system into our Microsoft 365 Teams. This now gives us a future proofed and reliable system, which also gives us great flexibility, whether at school or at home, with great availability control, as well as on the move. Highly recommended solution with a proficient and friendly support package at a cost that is extremely competitive that fits perfectly within our tight budgets.”
George Loczy, IT manager
 

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