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nexVortex in Education – A Managed SIP Trunking Case Study

Chuck Harris

Telecommunication services don’t have to take a back seat when budget constraints come to call

Educational Think tank Manhattan Institute reports that America’s per-pupil spending on kindergarten through grade 12 education has nearly tripled in the last 50 years, and the country spends more money per student than any other major developed nation.

But we are a nation made of states, and nearly 47% of school funding comes from states. In many cases, this funding has not kept up with rising costs or enrollment. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 12 states have actually reduced funding by 7% or more. For many schools, it comes down to finding the most efficient ways to spend static funding for a growing student population.

Public education bears the brunt, but even private institutions — including colleges and universities — struggle to cope with the rising costs associated with new technology. For example, enhanced telephone emergency services (E911) implementation is a legal requirement. Cloud-based VoIP communications systems could save them money, but the FCC has stringent requirements that mandate schools meet Enhanced 911 obligations. E911 systems automatically provide emergency service personnel with a 911 caller’s call back number and, in most cases, location information.

Preserving safety, ensuring quality, and reducing cost

Additional funding for telecom upgrades may be beyond the scope for many educational organizations, but the efficiency gained by adopting new technology often offsets the costs. The Williston Northampton School discovered this first-hand when it set out to upgrade the coeducational college preparatory school’s telecommunication services.

The campus had several key challenges:

  1. It wanted to save money by transitioning from PRIs to SIP, but without a sacrifice in quality.
  2. The sprawling 125-acre campus presented unique requirements for E911 services. There are 22 buildings with 1,000 DIDs.
  3. The school planned to retain its existing Avaya PBX to ensure ongoing operations would not be disrupted.

Assembling the right solution

nexVortex was asked how it would approach a solution that could handle E911,  be ready to scale for efficiency and cost, but not negatively impact ongoing operations. Managed SIP trunking (mSIP) was the answer.

mSIP is a managed voice service delivered with a premise-based session border controller. It connects to the network using SIP but has the option of connecting to the PBX using either SIP or PRI.

Williston could keep its premise connection as PRI and avoid paying for native SIP licensing on the PBX, all while taking advantage of nexVortex Managed SIP Trunking to connect the campus to the public network.

In addition, nexVortex mSIP pricing is configured to easily add capacity as needed which means customers do not have to buy bulk capacity like they do for PRIs. The Williston school was able to reduce the number of equivalent channels to just what their calling capacity required which allowed them to move off PRI trunks and confidently replace them with mSIP Trunks.

Safety above all

Quality and savings through scalability were important points to the Williston Northampton School, but not as valuable as safety and the challenge of providing E911 across 22 buildings and 1,000 DIDs.

The nexVortex team proposed a solution that gave the school the freedom to group DIDs into multiple E911 zones on campus. These zones could then be associated with specific geographic locations and addresses. The DID grouping and E911 zones are easily administered by a private portal provided with the mSIP service. There are significant savings with this approach, and it makes for much easier E911 management along with deeper assurance of FCC compliance and campus safety.

Mission accomplished

Cost savings was a key objective for the Williston Northampton School. They found it with the nexVortex mSIP solution, which offers scalability but not at the cost of disrupting internal PBX operations. Further cost reductions were achieved by avoiding the need for native SIP licenses on their PBX, because the nexVortex mSIP solution allows for a PRI handoff to the PBX.

Porting the 1,000 DIDs also offered an unexpected benefit: nexVortex found dead DIDs which were no longer in use and reported them to the school, helping clean up record keeping.

mSIP was an ideal solution for The Williston Northampton School, offering cost savings, unique functionality, and efficiency. Best of all, it’s scalable and offers the level of confidence that an educational institution with a 178-year-old reputation for excellence demands.

To read about more details on this case study – download it here.

Are you struggling to satisfy the demands technology places on your antiquated phone system while juggling tightening budgets? Learn how nexVortex can help.

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