School districts today are often being asked to do more with less and improve employee productivity at the same time. Given the costs and inefficiencies of traditional time division multiplex (TDM) telephone systems, it should come as no surprise: more districts than ever are putting "IP telephony migration" and "unified communications" at the top of their list of strategies. The Columbia (MO) Public School District faced that challenge. By migrating to NEC Sphericall, it is saving $250,000 per year on Centrex line fees. And that is just the beginning.
"The number-one challenge for any school district is budget," says David Kessler, manager, Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) for the Columbia District. Kessler, whose specific responsibility is network infrastructure and operations, joined the district soon after 1998, and is well aware of the budget issues his organization faced thanks to the traditional telephone system it had in place at the time.
"It was an expensive, inflexible and high-maintenance TDM system," he says. With about 30 buildings in all, the Columbia Public School District was paying monthly fees for each Centrex line, a total of about $250,000 annually. The district also had limited control over its dialing schema which made for inefficiencies. Furthermore, the phone system was sometimes causing phone-tag frustrations and decision delays.
NEC Sphericall aligns well with the UNIVERGE®360 vision in which the role of the individual employee determines the best communication method and technology. Clearly teachers' communication needs are different from those of district administrators'. Thanks to NEC Sphericall's open architecture, employees can have efficient, effective access to the people and information they need, regardless of their role. NEC Sphericall is flexible enough to unify all of the district's communications.