Case Study: A Comprehensive Voice Communications Refresh for a High-Achievement School District

Maumee City Schools is the K-12 public school district for Maumee, Ohio. The district includes seven buildings that house five different schools, three elementary, one middle, and one high school.

Recognized as a high-achieving district, Maumee City Schools faculty and staff support around 2,300 students. These students consistently score above state and national averages on standardized tests. 

Challenge: Replacing a legacy Phone system 

Maumee City Schools felt trapped by legacy phone systems that were cumbersome to manage and had become increasingly obsolete. Vendor support was required simply to make routine changes to the system.

The existing system also required school secretaries to operate a manual switchboard. Lacking an auto-attendant, secretaries were forced to scramble to field hundreds of incoming calls. These busy secretaries were also charged with making notes by hand, as employees lacked voicemail boxes.

To make matters worse, different schools were employing incompatible phone systems. This incompatibility meant employees couldn’t place direct calls between schools. Even internal calls had to be routed through secretaries.

School leadership wanted to find a solution capable of improving productivity and enhancing communication between employees across the district. The right communications system would need to keep administration and updates simple, allowing the school’s IT team to easily manage the system without waiting for vendor assistance.

Ideally, school leaders hoped to source a system that could take switchboard operations off the plate of school secretaries, letting them focus on their core responsibilities. Ease of use would be essential to simplify employee training and encourage immediate adoption of the new system. 

Related: 5 Ways VoIP Can Help Education Organizations

Solution: BCS Implements MiVoice Connect for a More Unified School District

The Maumee City Schools evaluated multiple options, including several industry-leading names.  Based on extensive consulting with Business Communication Specialists, school leadership eventually identified MiVoice Connect as a cost-effective solution that would fulfill all key operational requirements. 

This single system would allow administration, faculty, and support staff to communicate seamlessly with each other, students, and parents. Softphones make it easy for faculty and staff to communicate from anywhere, answering calls as if they were in the office. Employees can even dial each other directly from a fully searchable school directory. 

This comprehensive communications solution includes an accessible, user-friendly UI backed by the highly reliable Google Cloud. Behind the scenes, the administrator user interface offers single-click functionality that makes it easy to route calls, manage system configuration, and change extensions.  A built-in dashboard provides real-time visual feedback on call volumes and quality, allowing issues to be spotted and resolved quickly.

The Maumee School MiVoice implementation was also configured with special safety functions for the school environment. If the system is used to call 911, the central office and other key staff are immediately notified.

Unlike the old phone system, this MiVoice Connect VoIP solution can be periodically upgraded and improved to the newest software version avoiding future needs to rip and replace.

Results: Enhanced Communication, Streamlined Administration

A 364-extension MiVoice Connect implementation was fully operational, with training complete, just four days after its initial installation. Maumee City Schools can now communicate across all of its buildings more effectively, its secretaries can focus on school administration, and its employees have more flexible calling options than ever before.

Auto attendants help direct incoming call traffic to the intended recipient, handling over 500 calls in a typical 24 hour period.  Now, secretaries can focus on their work without constantly attending to the switchboard. Integrated voicemail means callers can leave messages directly without requiring secretaries to handwrite and deliver notes. When secretaries do route an incoming call manually, they can use the MiVoice Connect desktop client to see if teachers are busy or on an existing call before making the transfer. Secretaries can even transfer calls using a simple “drag-and-drop.”

IT staff are able to make system changes and install updates quickly and easily—with no disruption to school operations.  The system’s intuitive adaptability proved essential during the rapid transition to a new learning model in the face of COVID. Rather than wait weeks for a vendor support call, school IT was able to quickly and easily set up a hotline, reroute extensions as needed, and change auto-attendant options. Connect also dramatically simplified the switch to remote learning, with school staff able to answer their work extension as usual from home. 

“I always look like a genius doing this stuff,” said the districts Technology Director, “people put a ticket in and say this ‘this phone needs to have this person’s name on it’...within five minutes they get a response back that it’s been done.”

The BCS-implemented MiVoice implementation has proven successful across all major school district requirements, and leadership plans to stay invested in this solution for the long term. They are currently working to further enhance their deployment through integration with PA systems at all seven buildings, leading Maumee School Districts school technology director to say: “BCS looks for lifetime customers. I will not go anywhere else. As long as they’re in business, I will always go to them for what I need, because they were honest, from the beginning. And everything else that I’ve dealt with, from then till now has been amazing."

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