The lingering effect of the pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on schools to “do more with less” — while at the same time supporting and engaging teachers, administrators, and other staff. And that is why a growing number of schools – both public and private – are adopting a VoIP (a.k.a. cloud-based) phone system.
Below we highlight 7 key questions to help Superintendents, IT Directors, School Board Members, and other key stakeholders evaluate and choose the best VoIP solution for schools:
1. Will it deliver significant cost savings?
The best VoIP solution for schools delivers significant and ongoing cost savings. While each school (and school board) is unique, generally the savings should be at least 15-20 percent a year vs. a conventional landline phone system. However, in many cases, the savings are considerably higher due to drastically lower capital expenses and zero maintenance costs.
2. Is the VoIP solution for schools future-proofed?
The best VoIP solution for schools is a future-proofed investment. What does this mean? It means that the system is continuously being updated and upgraded by the vendor, and therefore does not need to be replaced every 5-7 years — which is a major expense that can easily run into 6-figures.
3. Does it support remote working and mobility?
A recent article published by Education Week points out that even as we shift into the post-pandemic world, remote and hybrid working in the educational sector is here to stay. The best VoIP solution for schools will offer easy-to-use mobile apps that allow staff to stay connected and collaborate, regardless of whether they are at school or working from a home office.
4. Does it offer video conferencing?
A core part of the remote working puzzle is video conferencing. The best VoIP solution for schools offers this functionality, but with a key detail: participants can join video conferences simply by clicking a link vs. downloading and installing an app. This is extremely important! Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before some participants run into problems. For example, they may not have the necessary permissions to download an app, or they may need to configure their firewall settings — which is a technical task that many cannot do. Additionally, downloading an app could lead to a malware infection. Keep in mind that schools have now become the leading target for ransomware.
5. Does the VoIP solution for schools offer SMS alerts?
The best VoIP solution for schools supports SMS alerts, so that staff can communicate via text message. There are many practical applications of this functionality, including (but not limited to):
- Keeping parents, teachers, administrative staff, and students updated during emergencies.
- Reminding parents of upcoming interviews/appointments.
- Promoting school events and fundraising drives.
- Enhancing safety and keeping things organized during field trips.
- Improving internal communication (e.g. informing staff members about a changing room assignment, etc.).
6. Is it safe and secure?
It goes without saying — but a reminder does not hurt! — that schools must safeguard data security, and ensure that sensitive and confidential information does not fall into the wrong hands. The best VoIP solution for schools is protected by robust cybersecurity strategies including:
- The system runs on private and highly secure LAN data networks, which are protected by end-to-end encryption mechanisms — including Transport Layer Security/TLS, Secure RTP for transmitting media, robust password protection for managed routers, and secure web-based dashboard access.
- 24/7 monitoring to proactively detect unusual or suspicious activity.
- A comprehensive Telecommunications Fraud Management System that conforms to STIR/SHAKEN standards.
- Another thing to expect is an expert team that continuously installs and configures security patches and updates.
7. Is the VoIP solution for schools supported by local experts?
You can solve many VoIP-related issues remotely. However, there may be scenarios where on-site assistance is necessary or desired. The best VoIP solution for schools is supported by local experts. These experts can be there in a matter of hours to solve problems and provide guidance.
Discover Why We Offer the Best VoIP Solution for Schools!
At Carolina Digital Phone, we proudly offer the best VoIP solution for schools — just ask the many school districts and private academies throughout North Carolina and the Southeast who trust and recommend us such as Bertie County Schools, Graham County Schools, Moore County Schools, Yadkin County Schools, Tandem Friends Schools, Noble Academy, and several others.