Unified Communications for Schools: Get the Tools You Need


E-Rate and Windstream provide eligible schools with funding and tools to upgrade communications equipment and services

Effective communication is essential to the success of any school or district. Administrators and teachers have tried countless communication tools to make announcements, provide updates and share news with staff, students and parents. And of course, communication is a fundamental building block for helping students grasp new educational concepts.

Traditionally, paper-based communications, combined with outdated phone systems, have been the primary means of communication for many school districts. These cumbersome and archaic set-ups make it difficult for administrators and teachers to be productive and efficient, as they quickly become bogged down while trying to wade through what’s relevant.

Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a growing technology solution that, when implemented for school districts, can improve both outbound and inbound communications to increase security, boost productivity and reduce costs. This fully managed, cloud-based advanced solution provides the features, applications, and functionality of advanced UC, mobile and desktop collaboration and messaging.

Consider this real-world application:
A school district was in desperate need of an upgraded communications solution, as they’d been using an aging Avaya on-premise system in its district office. Upgrades to the current system were cost-prohibitive and preventing the district from making improvements or changes to solve their communication challenges. With the outdated system causing inefficient communication between school locations, parents and the community, they were presented with massive risk in terms of student and staff safety. In addition, the total operating cost of keeping the system in place without upgrades was massive, simply due to the high cost of repair and maintenance of outdated technology.

Using the government funding assistance provided through the E-Rate program, the school was able to afford the Windstream-designed MPLS cloud solution hosted in its Phoenix and Houston data centers. Windstream’s Dynamic IP provided an alternative to the existing PSTN system and the aging equipment was upgraded to new, state-of-the-art Avaya technology.

With Windstream’s UCaaS solution, schools will receive the tools and resources necessary to build an IP-based communication system with telephony, paging, voicemail and broadcast messaging for staff and parental notifications. Using the district’s existing data network, Windstream can design a custom IP-based solution that provides innovative and advanced services for the most efficient district-wide communication, security, productivity, and as an added bonus, overall cost savings on technology expenses.

Is your school in need of an effective, efficient and affordable UC solution? For more information on how Windstream can help your school or district, contact a trusted Windstream advisor.

P.S. If you haven’t taken this E-Rate survey, check it out! Let us know what you know!