Albion Academy Case Study

The Albion Academy is a school of 750 students based in Salford, Manchester and is part of a wider group of schools known as the Salford Academy Trust. The trust was formed to facilitate continued improvements in standards of attainment and achievement for children and their families in Salford.

Albion Academy’s challenge

Albion Academy identified the need to review their existing telephone system which had been in place for 10 years. With the desire to become independent from the local council, they embarked upon looking for a new telephone system. Key to the project would be the need for their new supplier to provide and manage a smooth migration from the schools existing outsourced, hosted telephone system to an in house telephone system, capable of supporting growth, innovation and the future inclusion of other schools.

Key components of the solution they required included having a greater control of the telephone system, enabling them to make any changes or updates in-house without relying on or paying for these to be done by a third party.

Secondly they needed a system in place which could scale to incorporate other schools in the Trust and achieve economies of scale where possible. And finally there was a need for the installation of new handsets in all classrooms so that teaching staff could use them for ICT, admin and classroom support.

The Solution and Technology

With the need for support from a supplier who could demonstrate specialist experience in this field, the Academy really took the time to evaluate the market. They spoke to six or seven different suppliers, each offering and demonstrating different solutions. These suppliers were identified through forums, case studies and existing suppliers to the Academy.

The final solution was a Unify Openscape Business system to be implemented by Everything Voice, which neatly fitted into their existing server architecture. This meant that without expensive proprietary hardware, the proposition was very competitively priced against other solutions. New internet connectivity and SIP trunks were also provided by Everything Voice, offering a full-service solution which presented a cost effective and reliable alternative to ISDN.

Everything Voice implemented the new system in parallel with the existing telephone system to allow time for testing and configuration before the system went live and continues to provide post installation support, although the Academy IT team has access to the system management to make routine moves and changes.

Key Benefits of Everything Voice’s solution

  • No proprietary telephone system hardware was necessary. The whole system integrates neatly into the schools existing server infrastructure making it low cost to supply and support and simple to maintain.
  • From the initial 120 users, the system will scale easily to incorporate outlying areas and users in other schools within the Trust, where additional features can be added as and when required.
  • All system management can be performed by the schools own IT team, reducing costs, improving user experience and minimising timeframes for changes to be completed.
  • New internet connectivity and SIP trunks provided a reduced cost alternative to ISDN and helped improve system performance overall.
  • Staff from different teams across the school are now well connected enabling the Academy to provide a much more efficient and productive environment for the children to learn within.

Testimonial

“Everything Voice worked with us to choose the right options and were keen only to sell us what we needed. Unify’s Openscape Business platform was competitively priced against other solutions and its flexibility allowed us to tailor the solution to what we specifically needed. We can now implement and manage changes immediately without having to outsource these and wait for a third party to carry them out.

Teaching staff can contact any other area of the school from their classroom, allowing us to focus on providing the highest standard of teaching and safety across the site. Furthermore, as Openscape Business offers an integrated communications platform, staff are now able to keep in touch at anytime, from anywhere.”

Andy White, ICT & Systems Manager – Albion Academy & Salford Academy Trust