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Educational Institutions Discover the Power of Unified Communications

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As summer winds to an end, kids across the nation are heading Back to School.

Every day across the United States, educational institutions struggle with the same basic challenges of shrinking budgets and increased workload. Many of these schools have antiquated phone systems, which make it very difficult for staff, teachers, students, and parents to communicate. These school districts are doing piece-meal repairs and replacements. They are frustrated, wondering how they can resolve these problems.

Fortunately, ShoreTel provides a brilliantly simple solution for educational institutions. Our IP telephony system with fully integrated unified communications (UC) provides the cost-efficiency, rich feature set, reliability, and simplicity needed by the education industry to function, serve, and succeed. Some of the benefits education customers say they have benefited most from implement ShoreTel include:

  1. Cost savings – ShoreTel offers the lower cost of ownership. ShoreTel offers cost savings up front and in our total cost of ownership. Schools that usually project a five-year ROI are reporting seeing a cost savings in just a few years.
  2. Improved Communications – Examples include ShoreTel enables teachers and staffs to now receive voice mail messages in their in-boxes. Parents get their messages returned. Office staff is freed up to work on more strategic projects.
  3. Distributed architecture - ShoreTel's single solution can be managed centrally, even in the case of multiple buildings and campuses spread across a regional area, helping educational communities stay connected.

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Students and teachers can focus on high-productivity communication functionality to perform better, while boosting the school’s reputation for quality and achievement. Self-service options help callers get accurate answers and find the right people fast. Nobody has time or patience to deal with frustrating call mazes. And comprehensive features to let users choose voice, video, or data messaging technologies, so they have the flexibility to keep up with the latest trends—which can be important to younger student populations.

As summer began, we shared the story of Kaukauna Area School District, a district that rejected the complexity of Cisco for the Brilliant Simplicity of ShoreTel. And they’re just one of thousands of ShoreTel education customers that depend on ShoreTel for their unified communication needs, including institutions like:

Dougherty County School System, located in Albany, GA, needed to improve communications and cut costs for their 3,500 licenses. They implemented ShoreTel in 39 locations and have seen benefits including savings $150,000 a year, improved communication for everyone, improved productivity for IT staff, and allows for continued growth within the district.

Elgin Community College, located in Elgin IL, had a twenty-year-old Avaya PBX-based telephone system which was too unreliable and insufficient to support the college’s growth. They needed a solution that was reliable, easy to use and provided unified communications for their 17,000 students and more than 1,000 faculty and staff. They chose ShoreTel and have benefited in countless ways including N+1 redundancy, improved productivity from workgroups, cost saving, and increased reporting.

 “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” - Benjamin Franklin

We wish you all students, teachers and administrators the best for this new school year.