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Case Study

Nottingham High School

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Nottingham High School enjoys significant savings and improved customer and user experience with a Mitel MiVoice for Business Unified Communications solution from the Incom-CNS Group

  • Improved call handling
  • Increased collaboration
  • Unified Communications
  • Mobility and web conferencing
  • Simple system administration
  • System resilience and security
  • Significant savings
  • Scalability for future growth
  • Mitel Software Assurance

Challenge

Nottingham High School is an independent day school encompassing Infant to Sixth Form education. Founded in 1513, the school has an enviable national reputation and provides children from a wide variety of social backgrounds the maximum opportunity to strive for the highest standards. Nottingham High School had a Siemens Unify HiPath 3800 telephone system which, due to its age, was no longer fully supported by the manufacturer. A comprehensive review of the school’s annual running costs concluded that a new telephone system was required, with increased functionality and the capacity to allow for further expansion to meet the school’s current and future communications requirements. The Incom-CNS Group was invited to conduct a wide-ranging site survey which allowed the team to understand the current system limitations and specific areas where the school drastically needed to improve their communications infrastructure. The Incom-CNS team provided scenario-based demonstrations to allow the Director of Finance and Operations, and the wider Nottingham High School team, to understand and sample the potential of a new communications solution.

Solution

Incom-CNS recommended a Mitel MiVoice for Business Unified Communications (UC) platform which would meet the needs of teachers, students, support staff and parents. This cost-effective, solution with MiCollab, an integrated suite of unified communication and collaboration tools, enabled the IT team to deploy certain components onsite and others, such as web conferencing, as a Cloud service, when required.

A great fit for education

Nottingham High School has been at its main site since 1885 and has two additional sites – the preparatory school at Lovell House (across the road) and the Games site, located 3-4 miles away. The school is a dynamic environment, where most teachers do not have a desk with their own phone, and support staff are frequently away from their desks. The Mitel solution offers full mobility, giving the team access to the same ‘in-office’ communications experience from anywhere; with a single identity, phone number, voice mailbox and extension. This seamless communications experience is particularly useful for the Physical Education, maintenance, administration and IT teams, who regularly operate across the whole school estate. Reception staff use screen-based consoles which display caller information for incoming, queuing calls. They benefit from real-time access to all users’ availability and can drag-and-drop calls to available users or departments with ease. This visibility and ease of use has significantly improved call handling, especially during the three busiest periods of the day – before school, lunchtime and after school.

Easy to use and up to date

Mitel provides exceptional ease of system administration through a standard Web browser interface, allowing the Nottingham High School IT team to be self-sufficient and keep the cost of adds, moves and changes to a minimum. Mitel typically issues software updates every 12 to 18 months and offers its customers free software upgrades for the life of their system. This represents a major advantage over other systems, where some manufacturers discontinue products after around five years, leaving the customer with no choice but to replace their system to remain supported. With Mitel, the investment lasts indefinitely. The Mitel platform offers 99.99999 percent availability, for exceptional operational continuity.

Deployment

The Incom-CNS team managed and implemented the communication project in two phases, with new structured cabling installed during week one and the Mitel system deployed in week two. Once the handsets had been installed and programmed, Incom-CNS carried out training for all users before the ‘go-live’ date. On completion of the installation, the lines were transferred from the old Siemens system to the new Mitel solution outside office hours, to ensure no disruption to the school day. The Mitel system was fully live, and staff were up and running on day one, with Incom-CNS engineers on-hand to provide additional support as required.

Benefits

Benefits of the new solution include substantial savings across infrastructure, system maintenance, broadband connectivity and mobile communications. Staff collaboration has dramatically improved, as mobility allows team members to communicate from anywhere across the school estate and view other users’ availability. If a user is unavailable, unified messaging delivers voicemail messages direct to a user’s email inbox, enabling staff to respond faster to teachers, students, support staff and parents. The Mitel solution delivers simplified call handling, ensuring that important calls are never missed, and an advanced tool-set makes everyday communications faster and more efficient. Simple system administration allows new users to be added quickly, without creating an additional burden on the IT team and, as the system is intuitive to use, training can be undertaken in minutes.

Stuart Ramsey, Director of Finance
and Operations, Nottingham High School.

Through consolidating supplies and adding a flexible contract, immediate savings of 42% were made. Further savings included 40% on maintenance, 30% through restructuring the data and broadband services and 35% on mobile communications.

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