Is hosted telephony a better solution for schools?

Posted by Ben Spector on 21-Nov-2013 13:29:25

Earlier this year, 2,000 schools across London started enjoying the benefits of hosted telephony, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), thanks to the efforts of the London Grid for Learning. It is estimated that the adoption of VoIP will save the schools around £100 million every year, as well as enabling them to use new e-learning technologies such as interactive whiteboards, instructional podcasts and more. If you are reviewing the telephone system for your school, you might be wondering if VoIP could be a good solution for you.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is, quite simply, voice delivered across an internet connection. You may already be familiar with systems such as Skype, which enable users to make voice or video calls via the web, which is one use of the VOIP technology.

For the end user, the result is no different to a normal telephone system. They can have a desk phone with buttons to transfer calls and put callers on hold or activate voicemails. The call quality for both caller and recipient is just the same, if not better, than with traditional telephony solutions. The real difference comes in the functionality, cost saving and endless scalability of the VoIP solution, which can be the tipping point in many peoples decision making around this process. Discover the many benefits of VoIP on our website.

What are the advantages for VoIP in schools?

There are many reasons educational institutions should be considering VoIP over a traditional phone system. Here are just a few of them:

  • Cheaper calls: Calls to other VoIP phones are usually free, and calls to landlines and mobiles are heavily discounted. See the breakdown on our call pricing page.
  • Reduced monthly costs: By using data connections for communication, schools can save on the normal associated costs of line rental and subscriptions for their telephone service.
  • Reduced maintenance costs: All VoIP services are hosted externally, so the only equipment for the school to purchase and maintain are the VoIP phones themselves.
  • Lines in every classroom: Having a phone in every classroom is economically unfeasible for most schools using traditional services. However, with VoIP, if the room has access to the school’s internet connection, the teacher can have their own phone in the room, improving communications and security.
  • Allocated numbers for each teacher: If your school has teachers who move around the building, they can take their own VoIP extension with them and be contactable on the same number, no matter where in the school they are. With the addition of wireless handsets they can also be contacted anywhere on campus, even out on the sports field.
  • Homeworking but still connected: Teachers or other support staff who wish to work from home can simply take their VoIP phone home with them and plug it in, and instantly be back on the network, ready to take direct dial calls as well as transfer calls to and from their phone.

Future proof your school's communications

One critical reason to consider internet telephony in schools is the future proofing ability of the system. In a school which is already cabled for internet connectivity, every classroom will have the ability to adopt the latest learning technologies for students, from tablets to podcasts and even shared learning with other schools.

Talk to us to find out more about how VoIP can work in your school, and get a free quotation to see how much cash your school could save compared with your current set up. If you aren’t sure whether VoIP will work for you, we also offer a free trial to all prospective customers to help them discover the true benefits of this system for themselves. Sign up today on our VoIP page.

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