In 2013, Prince George’s County Public Schools had a problem with their phones. Well, actually they had many problems with their phones:
- Every incoming call had to be transferred by the school’s front office.
- Many schools didn’t have caller ID.
- Nearly half the schools in the district had no voicemail.
- An adventurous squirrel or a bit of rain would routinely knock out a school’s phone service for a day.
- Because the phone system was so patchwork and the invoicing system so antiquated, each month the district’s Telephone Services team received eight boxes of bills.
PGCPS leaders knew it was time to bid on and deploy a new universal phone system to ensure every user had access to the features they needed. After sorting through their response options, PGCPS decided to deploy ENA SmartVoice, ENA’s cloud-based voice over IP solution.
5 Happy Years Later…
Robin Evans, PGCPS Supervisor of Telephone Services and Data Wiring, is pleased at how well the deployment and integration of the new VoIP system has gone in her district. “Everybody loves it,” she said. “We have about 15,000 devices out there. We wanted everyone to be able to do their jobs seamlessly, even during our migration to VoIP, and ENA has accomplished that.”
Not only did ENA help the district upgrade their whole phone system on a timetable that accommodated their needs, the end result was a system that empowered everyone by granting them access to tools and features they didn’t have before. Even better, the district’s communication system is now robust, reliable, secure, and virtually weather and animal-proof.
Peace of Mind
Evans also enjoys the extra layer of security and peace of mind ENA SmartVoice has added. “In the past, we couldn’t identify from which extension a 911 call was placed,” said Evans. “Now, we can immediately see where calls are coming from, saving police officers and emergency personnel critical time and money. The number of prank and hang up calls placed by students has drastically reduced since we deployed our VoIP system.”
Having multiple phone lines available and the ability to track the use of those lines has been extremely beneficial. “At the beginning of the school year, our transportation department was receiving approximately 1,500 calls a day,” said Evans. “We had some complaints about long hold times, so I pulled a live report to get more insight about why this was occurring. The data showed that we had 257 lines that were available during this time period, so the problem wasn’t a lack of access: it was a lack of manpower. We were quickly able to remedy the issue by bringing in more operators.”
The end result is a VoIP that works so well it has become the envy of neighboring districts. “We’ve got the surrounding districts looking to us and asking us for recommendations,” said Evans. “It is without hesitation that I tell them, ‘What have you been waiting for?’”