WA school district speed dials Structured for phone system upgrade
With a growing population of approximately 5000 students, faculty and administrators, upgrading Tukwila School District’s phone system meant improving nearly every facet of operations. ESL (English as a Second Language) students required recurring calls to interpreters, and as teachers switched classroom and office locations throughout the day, phone extensions were expected to follow. But the district’s 20 year-old technology was outdated and malfunctioning. Poor call quality, limited conferencing capabilities, and clunky and tedious call transfers and extension forwarding that required regular IT department maintenance were just some of the daily frustrations that dispirited frequent users.
The district knew it needed to upgrade and once a budget was approved, administrators hoped to fast track a new phone system and have it installed and operational before summer’s end.
Tukwila calls on Structured
“In the 2016-2017 school year our department was tasked with upgrading our legacy phone system,” Jesse Crowther, Technology Specialist at Tukwila School District, explained. “We reached out to the team at Structured and together we quickly negotiated a contract.”
After an initial meeting and demo with Structured, the district saw tremendous value in a ShoreTel phone system, especially the IP480g product line. The ShoreTel IP480g provides 8 line appearances with a functional, back-lit display, expanded call history and user directory with visual voicemail capabilities. An integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch allows a network drop to be shared with a desktop PC, making the phones practical for all its users — from the IT department to the classroom. Additionally, Structured helped Tukwila secure a K-12 product bundle that included extra features such as instant messenger, remote phone and softphone technology.
Once an agreement was reached, procurement had to be swift in order to adhere to the district’s strict timeline. Since Structured and ShoreTel were already both approved vendors by the King County Directors’ Association (KCDA) — a “cooperative purchasing group owned by Washington’s public school districts that saves money for members by ordering in volume and supporting their purchasing and distribution requirements” — Tukwila School District was able to procure over 450 phones quickly and efficiently without the tiresome and tedious process of requesting and reviewing bids.
Strength in numbers
The hardware delivered within a week; however, due to unforeseen staffing issues the district’s technicians had limited availability for installation and testing. Meanwhile the district’s timeline was shrinking. With gear in hand, Structured had four weeks left to install, test and implement a new phone system before school bells would ring in late August. “Structured stepped up to the plate,” Crowther said.
Joining forces with a local technician from Tukwila School District, Structured dispatched two unified communication engineers. Together the team worked efficiently and proactively to avoid setbacks that would delay launch or later cause issues. Ultimately, Structured installed a new working ShoreTel phone system to Tukwila School District — one week ahead of schedule.
“Structured delivered ahead of schedule for less then we had budgeted,” Crowther said. “We highly recommend Structured to any organization or company looking for a technology solutions provider.”
On-site end-user training for all faculty and administration was also included, and since the launch date user feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The administration and faculty have a phone system that works, one that simplifies daily use for all users and minimizes IT department labor. The district saved money and time by purchasing on the KCDA contract and Structured delivered a successful installation far ahead of schedule.
Structured and ShoreTel call that a win.