Communication made Simple and Cheap for your School!

Many schools have expensive and aging telephone systems. But All Saints’ Academy have been one of the first to celebrate the efficiency that modern communication tools can bring!

All Saints' Academy opened a state-of-the art new building in September 2011. The Academy offers 900 places for students aged 11-16 and a 250-place sixth form with academic & vocational courses for 16-19 year olds.

All Saints’ Academy is situated on a large campus. Throughout the course of the day the staff move between different classrooms. A resource was needed to facilitate this constant movement of staff and this was where Lync 2013 was the obvious solution. Lync 2013 has the ability to fully integrate with Microsoft Exchange Calendar features. The status of the staff based on their Outlook calendar and the Instant messaging feature can simplify communication.

What does all this mean to the All Saints staff?

“This has proven to be a huge breakthrough in our ability to communicate with parents and carers. By turning every PC in the academy into a phone through the Lync software, it’s as if each teacher now has their own office. Calls can take place when and where a member of staff chooses and isn’t dependent on a few shared telephones being available. Another big benefit stem from the fact that you can have data on the screen while you speak. This is massively beneficial when talking to a parent about punctuality, attendance or behaviour since the teacher can give swift, accurate data based on what they
see on their data management system – SIMS in our case. The proof is always in the pudding: after a light touch launch, Lync Server is up and running under its own momentum”, Steve Powell, All Saints’ Academy.

 “A Lync Server 2013 On-Premise solution was ideal to improve the way in which staff worked together and would enhance the communications capabilities between staff and parents” Paul Morgan, Neptune. Teaching staff are now able to make calls from wherever they are working to students and parents utilising Lync client. Lync also enables teachers to continue their work from home using the schools existing infrastructure.

But that’s not all! Lync has numerous other benefits which have enabled All Saints’ Academy, and other institutions, to maximise their efficiency. For example:

  • If a call is not answered a voicemail can be recorded, and later listened to either on Lync or from a desk phone. There are also plans to enable remote user access via mobiles.
  • Minimal investment is required with Lync, as opposed to additional per-seat licensing needed for an equivalent Mitel soft phone deployment.
  • Using Lync Server 2013 allows for full integration with Microsoft Outlook and the desktop application suite to give an enhanced user experience.
  • The instant messaging in real time provides additional value of the Lync desktop client.
  • The cost of the Lync solution can be more cost effective from a hardware perspective, such as in the case of All Saints’ Academy.
  • The basic communication skills Lync 2013 relies on makes it very easy to use, allowing for money not to be wasted on training.

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