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Red Rose Technologies supports John Wallis Academy's move to cloud communications.

One of the few positive outcomes of this pandemic experience is the opportunity to rethink the tools we use to communicate and what could be possible if all the separate siloed pieces of technology worked together in an integrated and holistic way. Ask yourself just how many apps you’ve been using? Probably one for video meetings, another for messaging and at least one specialist education app.

One app for everything

Advances in technology are ushering in a revolution against centuries-old protocols. For education institutions today, communication isn’t simply about a phone system. For some, the priority is to be able to connect an entire school across multiple dispersed locations, helping to create a cohesive campus. For others, it’s about simplifying the communications experience with an all-in-one communications solution – calling, messaging, audio and video conferencing, screen-sharing, task management, presence and more, with all files and communications kept in one secure place that can be accessed anywhere, anytime, using any device all through a single app.

Unified communications in the cloud

Cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a secure and compliant way for schools to integrate multiple communications methods through a single cloud provider. From just one interface, it’s simple to coordinate with colleagues and instantaneously communicate with the whole school as well as parents and staff. A UCaaS system enables easy collaboration with faculty via calls, private or group chats, or in the same virtual room via an app or browser. Events run more smoothly thanks to file sharing and management tools that make it easy to create, assign, and manage any task. Teachers and admin staff can monitor everything through built-in analytics and tailored dashboards to track things like equipment spending and inventory or use built-in reports to track budgets. UCaaS also allows for the creation of individualised learning programmes and provides for changing needs as well as making life easier for IT admins.

John Wallis Academy

Based in Ashford, Kent, The John Wallis Church of England Academy is a mixed school, from nursery to sixth form, where the legacy desk-phone system had run its course. With multiple buildings located on the Ashford site, the new communications system needed to help create a virtual campus as well as simplify all the different technologies that were being used.

The Academy was assisted in its search for a communication technology partner by Red Rose Technologies, which understood its requirements, did the research, and provided options, working closely with all parties to make sure the project met the functionality, budget and performance needs of the Academy. Red Rose’s role benefitted John Wallis Academy as the supplier marketplace is busy and overcrowded. It takes time and effort to root out the noise and non-applicable suppliers, which the school does not have. Red Rose Technologies believed that Avaya was one of the standout vendors due to its demonstrated history of supporting the education community and the fact that when the school needed service and support, they could deal directly with the technology vendor, meaning only one number to call for support 24/7/365.

Matthew Connolly, Data & Systems Manager at John Wallis Academy said: “We decided to go for a UCaaS solution after our own initial research indicated that our existing system was struggling to meet the demands of the Academy. After reviewing several options, Avaya were by far the best provider, delivering a simple, self-administered platform that incorporates the latest communication technologies. We can now manage our users, call queues, groups, and hardware allocation from a single website. Not only are we saving time using features such as automatic voice mail transcription and the ability to access anyone, anywhere, through the excellent softphone application allowing staff to connect to each other the way they want on the device they want, but we are actually saving money against our previous solution.”

Creating better communications experiences matters more than ever, so visit Avaya to learn how unified, cloud-based digital communication technologies can benefit your school.

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