Brigidine College Gives ShoreTel Unified Communications an "A" Grade

    Brigidine College St Ives in Sydney is no different than most organizations today: information and communications technology (ICT) is the foundation that this Catholic girls secondary school operates. It is used across all facets of college life, including teaching and learning.

    The school prides itself on providing a holistic education for girls, and technology is an intrinsic component of that approach. A number of years ago, Brigidine implemented the Bridge to Learning technology program for its students, which is entirely focused on learning outcomes and is a key differentiator for Brigidine as an Australian education provider.

    Just over two years ago Brigidine faced a serious business continuity risk when its current telephony system’s software platform approached end of support. Since upgrading the software required a complete hardware refresh, the school needed to replace the entire system. Plus, Brigidine recently moved to a highly virtualized Microsoft Hyper-V server environment across the college, and the telephony software couldn’t be upgraded on those new virtualized servers.

    However, this gave Brigidine the opportunity to address the limitations the college faced with the existing phone system. The main criteria was to find a solution that would provide the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO), flexibility and modularity needed to support Brigidine’s communications and collaboration requirements over a lifespan of ten years or more.

    Brigidine’s Bridge to Learning program has many parallels with the ways in which organizations deploy technology to empower their users in a traditional business environment. However, the school found there were important differences between the needs of its students and teaching staff. Brigidine needed a system that was based on people, not hardware. The school wanted to assign teachers their own extension, but not necessarily their own physical phone.

    After careful considerations of phone systems, Brigidine chose a ShoreTel Unified Communications solution and implemented the system during the middle of its 2013 academic year.

    While reception, executive and administrative staff now has a phone on their desks, teacher staff rooms have a number of handsets assigned to a group of users. Each staff room handset is configured with the individual extensions for that assigned group of teachers. If a teacher is not available to take a call, rather than another user answering and taking a message, the call simply goes to a teacher’s voicemail, which can be picked up later and played back via an email inbox.

    Brigidine also implemented ShoreTel Mobility, which gives administrative, IT support and executive staff flexible access from their mobile devices to the telephony system after hours, on the school’s WiFi network and from home. It’s very effective at helping to maintain contact around the campus, especially since the school has a number of mobile blackspots.

    Brigidine’s IT Manager Greg Boyd sums it up simply: “with ShoreTel, our teachers never miss a call.”

    To learn more about how Brigidine College St Ives benefited from ShoreTel's Unified Communications, read the case study

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