Thursday, September 10, 2009

District phone system update

The Camas School District has recently converted its phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). While there have been more technical issues than anticipated, the transition is nearly complete.

The following is a simple list of tangible benefits that we will receive from the new phone system.

  • It is estimated the District will save more than $100,000 each year under the new VoIP system due to the following: support costs for contracts and service are estimated to decrease by $68,000 per year, beginning immediately; by not using the previous system, the district will now be able to cancel unused telecom lines, resulting in a savings of approximately of $28,200 annually; under VoIP, the new long distance provider is expected to save another $10,800 annually.
  • Implemented with the VoIP is a new voicemail system which is expected to save the technology department approximately 100 hours in maintenance each year.
  • The new voicemail system can be managed in-house by district technology staff which results in faster service and less downtime creating accounts for people.
  • While phone systems are generally reliable, under the old system there was a single point of failure with the land telephone lines. The new design has multiple service providers and other redundancies built in to minimize failure and keep phone service running in an emergency.
  • Under the former system, emergency responders (911) did not receive the specific address of the site to visit. This will be corrected with the new system.
  • Counselors, special education staff, and other employees who work at multiple sites will no longer have to track and manage multiple phone numbers and voicemail boxes. Their phone number will travel with them, making access to messages and phone calls easier.
  • Exciting new features including managing voice messages via computer workstations, recording phone calls, and sending faxes directly from a computer are available for high call volume users such as office staff and principals.

Once training is complete and technical issues have been resolved, the district staff members will enjoy a robust phone and voicemail system. We thank you for your patience as we bring this project to completion.