St Edmund's Catholic School is a co-educational secondary school in Portsmouth.
The school had been using an ageing Aastra phone system, but it was beginning to fail. In particular, its enhanced voicemail service no longer worked, which left the school with very basic functionality.
The school was also struggling with call capacity, which meant concurrent calls were limited, especially if calls were forwarded to an external number when staff were working off site. The school risked parents and other callers being met by an engaged tone or staff unable to make outgoing calls.
The Aastra used ISDN voice services that are being phased out by Openreach. The school knew it needed to act before the withdrawal deadline of 2025, but they also wanted to drive down call costs, as ISDN lines incur a charge for every external call made.
swcomms deployed an on-premise Alcatel-Lucent OXO Connect phone system to replace the Aastra. It is a tried and tested model used by many of our school customers as it is very reliable and offers excellent call quality and enhanced flexibility through a range of features.
Admin staff can use the new handsets to make paging announcements to handsets located throughout the school in the event of an emergency, such as a lockdown, fire alarms, etc.
The school benefits from an automated attendant facility to relieve the pressure on reception staff in the mornings. It greets every call with a welcome message before offering the caller a choice of options to put them in touch with the right person straightaway.
One option gives parents the opportunity to leave a message about their child’s absence, which are sent as sound files attached to emails for easy retrieval to update registers and SIMS.
Remote working was accommodated with Alcatel-Lucent’s Rainbow app that can be used on PCs and mobile devices, so they do not need to forward calls from their desk phones and therefore tie up call capacity.
“We had been limping on with our ageing phone system for some time, and contacted several companies for quotes. swcomms provided a clear competitive quote and from the moment we placed the order with them they have been superb.
“From the onset, the service from our project manager Lesley, our engineer Matt was brilliant and the roll-out was painless and a success despite tight deadlines. Our trainer Irene was great. She was enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable.
“I have no hesitation in recommending swcomms.”
Ian White, network manager
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