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Cooke Center Case Study

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Non-profit education provider, Cooke Center for Learning and Development, needed to unify communications across four campuses and preferred a solution that didn’t require IT management, maintenance or a large investment. Mitel Connect HYBRID offered the perfect mix of reliability and simplicity. 

Cooke Center

Organization

Cooke Center for Learning and Development is a non-sectarian, non-profit private provider of special education services in New York City offering a school for students ages 5 through 21, and consulting and training services. The Cooke Center serves students at four locations with approximately 250 employees.

Situation

Cooke Center was unhappy with Verizon phones and phone lines. The organization had continual problems with Verizon reliability and could no longer tolerate the disruption. Five years ago, Cooke Center’s Lisanne Norman was sold on the quality of the Mitel IP PBX Premises solution.

Cooke Center had heard glowing recommendations about the Mitel solution from other technology professionals in the education industry. Mitel was lauded for ease of configuration, which was welcome news when dealing with a difficult system.

Five years later, Cooke Center wanted to deploy new phones at two of their locations. They chose Mitel Connect HYBRID (composed of both onsite and cloud deployments), which allows organizations like Cooke Center to add new sites via the cloud while leveraging the existing initial investment in on-premises equipment.

Cooke Center wanted to scale its existing Mitel system and upgrade its user experience by transitioning to a Mitel Connect ONSITE environment, as well as add cloud-based productivity applications like voicemail-totext and Internet faxing. They also wanted to add new locations without taking on any new capital expenses. They deployed the Mitel Connect HYBRID Apps and HYBRID Sites solution, a perfect choice for Cooke Center.

“After reviewing our options with other vendors, we decided to migrate to Mitel Connect ONSITE from our existing Mitel on-premises phone system because we could continue to benefit from our initial investment,” said Norman. “Not having to install new hardware or another vendor for phone lines is a big plus.” 

Solution

Cooke Center educates children with special needs, so reliable communications are critical. Parents often need to inform school staff about medical care for their children, and many students have long commutes, so it’s very important that the telephony system is absolutely reliable under all circumstances.

“The ability to redirect calls when cloud services are not available is especially critical due to the nature of our student population. For example, if all of the phone lines went down at our grammar school, we’d be able to redirect those calls through our administrative office where the Mitel Connect ONSITE system is located. Another advantage to deploying Mitel Connect ONSITE is that if our Internet goes down, we can configure calls to come through to staff cell phones, and that’s reassuring. Plus, all communications between Mitel Connect CLOUD and ONSITE users are secure,” explained Norman.

“All the systems support each other and Mitel Connect HYBRID gives us a clear idea of how to plan for future growth.”

Lisanne Norman, Director of Technology Cooke Center for Learning and Development

The log also indicates who made the call. The school is also exploring adding Mitel E911 Notification, which sends notifications and enables responders to pinpoint the exact location of the event.

Mitel Connect allows administrators to assign and pay for features on an as-needed basis. Some Cooke Center users have access to Connect’s mobility features, which lets them place, receive and manage business calls on their cell phones. The staff also appreciates the convenience of Connect HYBRID Scribe, an application that transcribes voicemail messages and sends the text as an email.

Results

“With both Mitel Connect ONSITE and CLOUD solutions, I can see which approach works best for Cooke Center,” said Norman. “All the systems support each other and Mitel Connect HYBRID gives us a clear idea of how to plan for future growth.”

It was also affordable for a budget-conscious school. Since Cooke Center already transitioned from a Mitel on-premises system to Mitel Connect ONSITE, it can leverage its on-existing investment, while offering the ability to add new CLOUD locations without additional capital expense.

“We haven’t had any problems or issues,” said Norman. “Mitel Connect Hybrid is flexible and configurable for the needs of our organization. Additional applications are available as needed. It’s a solution that can grow with us. Based on our positive experience with Mitel Connect HYBRID, we’re planning to eventually move to Mitel Connect CLOUD.”

Mitel Connect HYBRID is flexible and configurable for the needs of our organization. Additional applications are available as needed. It’s a solution that can grow with us. 

Lisanne Norman, Director of Technology Cooke Center for Learning and Development

Situation:

  • Seeking to update an aging and unreliable Verizon system
  • Needed to improve communications capabilities with parents and faculty
  • After implementing a premises-based system, the organization needed to add new sites and chose a hybrid model

SOLUTION:

A Mitel Connect HYBRID system with UC service levels including collaboration, conferencing, mobile applications, HYBRID Fax, HYBRID Scribe and IP phones.

BENEFITS:

  • Seamless integration with an existing onpremises solution
  • Advanced functionality and robust features
  • No upfront investment in equipment
  • Budget-friendly monthly subscription
  • No need for IT resources to handle maintenance

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