When you think of the education system, administration isn’t the first thing that probably comes to mind. The students, the curriculum, and extra-curricular activities are likely some of the things that you may think of first.
While it may not seem like it at first, a school system is a business of sorts, so the tools administrators use to keep things functioning smoothly are important. VoIP solutions for schools facilitate communication between the people that keep our educational systems functioning. Here’s why VoIP platforms remain the best phone systems for schools today and what they can do for our country’s educational systems.
Why VoIP is the Best Phone System for Schools
Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, uses the cloud to transmit audio signals from point to point. While VoIP solutions for schools have some of the same functionality as traditional phone service, they are more efficient, versatile, and low cost. You can use the internet to transmit faxes, host conference calls, forward calls from one location to another, use voicemail, route calls, have an auto attendant, and so much more, for a fraction of the cost of traditional publicly switched telephone networks (PSTN). You don’t need an expensive PBX or a separate voice network. If your school has broadband internet, you can use VoIP.
Here are some of the benefits of VoIP solutions for schools:
- VoIP platforms allow teachers and school administrators to communicate on the same phone system, even if they’re working remotely. This has been important during the COVID-19 pandemic. With VoIP, you can keep everyone connected efficiently no matter where they are. This can increase collaboration and provide more immediate connectivity between providers, administrators, and parents.
- Speaking of parents, VoIP provides faster and better call routing and handling. Parents can communicate with teachers who are on the road or otherwise mobile. Teachers have a way to respond to parents quickly. More productivity is the result of this innovation, as well as better customer service for parents and less frustration for school staff.
- During emergencies, VoIP allows instant communication between students, parents, teachers, and administrators. VoIP can allow an enhanced 911 service that allows first responders to pinpoint your location. This is particularly important in a large campus setting.
- But by far, perhaps the most dramatic benefit of VoIP phone systems for schools is this: Administrators are tasked with doing more with less, and the “less” with VoIP means less cost. With VoIP, there are no more equipment costs on an aging PBX system. Administrators can save even further by bundling voice, data, and video services into a single service provider. There are no more monthly line fees or taxes, and systems will also not need specialized technical expertise to manage their phone service.
The cost savings will be substantial for systems, but they won’t sacrifice any features from their current PTSN service. Here are some VoIP features of the best phone systems for schools.
Features of VoIP Phone Systems for Schools
VoIP solutions for schools have all of the benefits of land lines without the exorbitant costs of traditional solutions. These benefits include more than just crystal-clear phone calling, but also faxing, conferencing, and sophisticated call management tools that don’t require advanced technical skills to use. Here are some of the sample tools found in most VoIP phone systems for schools.
- Cloud faxing sends scanned documents, whether digital or paper, through your computer and over the internet. Online faxing is much less time consuming than manually sending paper through a machine. Instead, you can securely send documents from anywhere you have an internet connection. This could include very large file transfers or high-resolution photos, which we all know leave something to be desired when sent via traditional faxing.
You can also fax by group delivery to many different people, whether they are parents, teachers, students, or administrators. Electronic signatures can securely be captured online and you can even use this feature from your mobile device.
- Video and teleconferencing have been much-needed features during the COVID-19 crisis. VoIP allows you to do both, affordably and easily — all participants need is the internet for crisp connections that facilitate collaboration and communication. Teleconferencing or conference bridging can be conducted over a VoIP phone or your computer, and it’s still an efficient way to communicate with a large group. Of course, video conferencing has been a lifesaver when we are all stuck at home. One thing we’ve learned during COVID-19 is that communication still happens when using these tools with the added benefit of eliminating travel and commute times.
- Call routing is a sophisticated capability for VoIP solutions for schools, within the expensive hardware needed to make use of these features over the PTSN. Your cloud VoIP provider has the software to handle all of the features you need to route calls. For example, we’ve all heard the auto attendants where you can hear a menu of extensions when calling for customer service. These tools are great for allowing the caller to self-select the service they need.You can use the call forwarding feature to route calls to a teacher or administrator at home or on a mobile device. You can also set up a voicemail system that sends an email to the recipient. Clicking on the email allows you to hear the voicemail. Call routing features eliminate a lot of stress from school secretaries as they try to figure out who is available to take a call. It also eliminates the upfront costs of ordering hardware, wiring, and the labor of installing and maintaining traditional phone systems.
- Automated call routing allows schools to send calls based on time of day, facility circumstances, or other criteria. These systems are easy to program but can handle if/then conditions that make for a very smart way to handle callers. You can even open overflow queues to handle an influx of calls, or, they can be of use when someone is on hold too long. You can even set up a group mailbox where calls can be checked by several people.
These are just a few of the features you’ll find in VoIP, the best phone systems for schools trying to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Infinite Connect offers VoIP as part of our unified communication platform for businesses, non-profits, and any organizations interested in the next generation communication tools for working smarter. Contact us for a demo to see how we can save your school time and budget.