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Beaverton School District Case Study

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Case Studies

ShoreTel delivers the most comprehensive communication, safety, and collaboration feature set,  below budget and ahead of schedule

Replacing a 20-year-old Nortel phone system 

The previous Nortel phone system had served the district for nearly two decades and was failing at a very high rate. Parts were no longer available. To keep the system running, Beaverton was relying on finding retired Nortel equipment at other school districts. The need for a modern UC system was urgent.

Finding the right combination of features and innovation

Beaverton is the third-largest school district in Oregon and serves more than 40,700 students and families. In 2014 the community passed a $680 million bond that allocated a significant amount of money to modernize the district’s technology systems, including telephony.

After receiving the green light, the evaluation team crafted an RFP and list of criteria. The new system needed to integrate with existing collaboration systems, improve workflow, and save time, while addressing student safety.

From the beginning, the committee was interested in more than telephone features. “Reliability and redundancy were very important to us. We also wanted an intuitive interface, ease of use, and how this system would function in a collaborative environment. For example, how teacher voicemails could be accessed through other communication systems and how a phone system could impact and support student safety,” explains Steven Langford, chief information officer for the Beaverton School District.

ShoreTel engineering, integration, and safety features get high marks

During the RFP process, price was a consideration but the team was more focused on total cost of ownership. “For this system, you have to think about the investment you’re going to make up front, then the investment over time and how this investment positively impacts the way people work because that is also a return on investment. If we save people time and they are more productive, we’ve saved money,” explains Langford.

Once selected, the ShoreTel deployment proceeded smoothly and the new voicemail system got rave reviews. Previously, teachers went through a complicated process to log in and check voicemail. Now voicemail is fully integrated with email so teachers can easily retrieve voicemails at home, which has generated a lot of excitement.

“OF ALL OF THE BOND PROJECTS GOING ON RIGHT NOW, THE SHORETEL DEPLOYMENT HAS BEEN HELD UP AS ONE THAT IS UNDER BUDGET AND AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. AS A RESULT, WE’VE RECEIVED VERY FAVORABLE PRAISE FROM OUR SCHOOL BOARD AND OUR COMMUNITY.” 

Steven Langford, Chief Information Officer
Beaverton School District

The ShoreTel Mobility client for administrators is also a big hit. “We have more than 31 schools and around 100 mobility licenses. Central administrators, and folks like me, are out of the office often, so accessing messages from our cell phones has been fantastic. Having our office number displayed on our cell phones is a great value-add and enables us maintain that connection to the office and to our community,” says Langford.

The district expects E911 and the Emergency Notification System (ENS) to play a very big role in its safety portfolio. Plans include connecting E911 with a ENS and other communication systems across campuses. The safety committee is also looking at integrating E911 with door locks so, for example, if a school goes into a lockdown or a lockout situation, staff will not be required to physically secure the doors. The system will be programmed so teachers or staff can very quickly initiate a lockdown or lockout from any phone.

Being below budget and ahead of schedule earns ShoreTel top honors

As a public entity, school districts have a responsibility to be transparent and keep taxpayers informed.  “Of all of the bond projects going on right now, the ShoreTel implementation has been held up as on budget and the only one that is ahead of schedule. As a result, we’ve received very favorable praise from our school board and our community,” explains Langford.

The Beaverton School District wanted and deployed a telephony system that is part of a multifaceted communication system to support collaboration among staff, parents, and the community, and comprehensively address student safety. According to Langford, feedback from the staff about ShoreTel has been nothing but positive.

“We’ve been very happy with the ShoreTel product. In fact, this might be one of the smoothest technology implementations we’ve had to date. ShoreTel really hit the mark and there’s great flexibility to continue to evolve the system in the future to meet our needs,” concludes Langford. “It doesn’t get much better than that."

“WE’VE BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH OUR SHORETEL SOLUTION. IN FACT, THIS MIGHT BE ONE OF THE SMOOTHEST TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATIONS WE’VE HAD TO DATE. SHORETEL REALLY HIT THE MARK AND THERE’S GREAT FLEXIBILITY TO CONTINUE TO EVOLVE THE SYSTEM IN THE FUTURE TO MEET OUR NEEDS. IT DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THAT.”

 

CHALLENGE:

  • Deploy a modern telephony solution that could be part of a comprehensive system supporting collaboration, safety, and communications across 51 schools and six ancillary sites, including transportation, nutrition services, and special education.

SOLUTION:

  • An on-premises ShoreTel unified communications (UC) VoIP solution with more than 5,000 phones. ShoreTel Communicator E911, Emergency Notification System (ENS), and ShoreTel Mobility were also deployed.

BENEFITS:

  • Comprehensive safety features that integrate with other advanced emergency response applications
  • Considerably lower TCO
  • Higher productivity
  • Greater efficiency with ShoreTel Mobility