Solution: NWN Communications, an advanced, unified hosted collaboration system.
- Demanding roll-out of 268 handsets in 45 days
- Supports mission-critical goals
- Empowers a culture of excellence by fostering an exceptional learning environment
On-Premise Collaboration doesn’t fit for Anderson Union HSD
- Industry: K-12 Education
- Location: Anderson, CA
Client Snapshot: Anderson Union High School District was looking for the communications platform they wanted, not just the standard fare. They turned to NWN for a modern platform they could extend into the future.
Tony Baldwin, Director of Technology Services for the Anderson Union High School District (AUHSD), felt he had dodged a bullet.
He and his team had been unsatisfied with the responses they received from their recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for an IP telephony system for the Anderson, California district’s seven schools. The E-rate window was closing rapidly, but instead of accepting one of the lackluster proposals, Tony and team kept looking for what they really wanted—a modern communications platform they could extend into the future.
With just a few weeks left before they had to make a decision, the AUHSD technology team found the answer.
NWN’s solution was exactly what we wanted, and the costs were better too. I took it to the District Superintendent immediately, and we were able to include it in our E-rate funding application just in time.
Through Baldwin’s participation in the Association of California School Administrators, he turned to CALNET. This contract pre-qualified a handful of companies to provide hosted IP telephony solutions to California schools and government agencies. Baldwin reached out to NWN, one of the six contract holders, and received a comprehensive proposal just four days later.
Baldwin’s staff of two, Project Manager Joshua Carlson and Network Administrator Brian Moore, agreed the project had been defined completely, including the resources needed for implementation by a small staff already busy with the implementation of a complete network infrastructure build-out. Baldwin said, “NWN’s solution was exactly what we wanted, and the costs were better too. I took it to the District Superintendent immediately, and we were able to include it in our E-rate funding application just in time.”
With the administrative details in hand, Baldwin and staff turned their attention to execution. They had only 45 days until the start of school, by which time the NWN Communications solution would have to be implemented. Baldwin said, “It was a demanding schedule. As I laid out the schedule, there were long silences from NWN’s NPro services team. But, in the end, they hit every deadline.” The team implemented 268 handsets on a unified communications platform hosted and supported by NWN.
As the solution rolled out, Baldwin was pleased. He had implemented on-premise Cisco voice technology in the past, so he knew what benefits to expect from the analog to digital transition—in a phrase, more for less.
None of the normal teething problems that occur in an implementation like this have touched our end users; they are thrilled.
AUHSD stood to lower its cost of telephony by 34 percent with “…vast improvements in communications capabilities,” according to Baldwin. Not only was the new solution easy to use and easy to manage, it provided new functions that were particularly appealing to the AUHSD school board. Baldwin said, “The board wanted the safety of e911 tied into the campus communications system. We’ve already demonstrated that with our emergency dispatch team. In addition, the NWN support team has been superb. None of the normal teething problems that occur in an implementation like this have touched our end users; they are thrilled.”
Looking to the future, Baldwin envisions building on the NWN Communications platform. He said, “This project changes the foundation. We are already planning for instant messaging and video conferencing. We’ll save the time and cost of people in offices and classrooms traveling from school to school. It’s exciting to see the possibilities emerge.”
In conclusion, Baldwin summarized, “Many people think of dial tone as a commodity, but that’s wrong. Dial tone is an increasingly relevant app we can manage to increase classroom, business office, and boardroom productivity. We can use it to tie together video, data, and other collaboration tools. We’re barely scratching the surface today, but the potential is significant.”
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