Avaya and Carousel Keep Families Connected at World's Largest Ronald McDonald House® in Chicago

17 Jul 2012
BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC®-CNI) recently celebrated a significant milestone — the official opening of the world's largest Ronald McDonald House, located at 211 E. Grand Avenue in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. To enhance the care and support delivered to families of sick children, RMHC-CNI partnered with Avaya to bring Avaya IP Office - the company's unified communications solution for small and mid-size companies – into the new Ronald McDonald House® near Lurie Children's.
Avaya IP Office provides RMHC-CNI with a state-of-the-art communications solution that ensures families and House staff can easily stay in touch within the House and with local hospitals. Installation and other services were delivered by Platinum-certified Avaya Connect Channel Partner Carousel Industries, with fulfillment support delivered by Westcon Group, Inc.
Avaya IP Office will help the charity deliver on its "families first" mission through an array of features, ranging from enhanced mobility and multi-party conferencing to integration with top-tier guest services. Advanced mobility applications enable staff members to remain consistently accessible to co-workers and House guests through a single number, even when they are working away from the new House. Additionally, an Avaya IP Office application turns a staff member’s cell phone into a full-featured office phone so that House staff members can remain reachable, with business-level communications in-hand. The same feature can be used by the families so they won't miss important calls when away from their bedrooms.
With Avaya IP Office, employees also get a centralized conferencing bridge that allows all staff members at the four Ronald McDonald Houses in the Chicagoland area--and at the local Chapter Office—set up conference calls on demand.
Installation and design of the solution was delivered by Carousel Industries, which also provided project management expertise and coordination of operations. Carousel will deliver ongoing maintenance and support, including site visits and system evaluations, as well as assisting RMHC-CNI with on-site programming and 'adds, move and changes.'
Enhanced Communications Experiences
Avaya IP Office will help the new Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's gain the benefits of personalized and cost-effective Internet protocol (IP) telephony services. This includes direct dial phone numbers and voicemail established the moment a family checks in, as well as free long-distance calling via one of more than 120 IP phones around the house. Avaya IP Office works seamlessly with an organization's hospitality software, helping drive the smooth operation of essentials such as housekeeping, maintenance, facility management and secure guest check in/check out.
Avaya 4500 Series Ethernet switches and edge data devices not only carry voice calls, but also support Internet access. Family members can research their child's illness and check email, while children staying at the House during outpatient treatments can use the Internet to communicate with friends and keep up with schoolwork. 
All of the products, solutions and services delivered were a donation to RMHC-CNI from Avaya and its partner Carousel Industries.
More Information on the new Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's
Always located in close proximity to area hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses® help keep families of hospitalized children together at one of the most difficult times in their lives — when their child is fighting for their life in the hospital. The new 100,000-square-foot House, built just blocks from the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's of Chicago, stands 14 stories tall and will provide care and comfort to 86 families each and every night. 
The $30 million House has been financed largely due to the generous support of individuals, charitable organizations and corporate partners. To date, RMHC-CNI has raised more than 81 percent of the project cost and is nearing their fundraising goal that will allow the charity to keep more families of hospitalized children together than ever before.
"We want to make it easy for each of our families to focus on the health of their child, and having an Avaya IP Office communications system helps us deliver on that mission. Our guests can stay connected with the important people in their lives and readily reach any of our staff members during a time of need. Avaya IP Office, allows our staff members and volunteers to be more accessible and have the right tools to collaborate with each other ultimately making our services more efficient. This builds new territory for us in state-of-the-art communications as we continue to move forward as an organization."
-- Mary Agnes Laguatan, Vice President of RMHC-CNI
"We knew we needed to relocate the House to continue to accommodate the needs of our families when Children's Memorial Hospital made the decision to move. We are so grateful to the many organizations and individuals who have been so generous to make this House a reality. Celebrating this milestone of being able to provide more than 31,000 family nights this year alone would not have been possible without all of our partners' support."
-- Doug Porter, CEO of RMHC-CNI
About Avaya
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.
About Carousel
Carousel Industries designs, delivers and supports technology solutions that become the foundation of our clients' businesses. This includes unified communications, managed services, virtualization, Voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing and collaboration and data infrastructure solutions. Since Carousel was founded in 1992 we've grown an average of 30% - 50% per year with 2011 revenues of approximately $326 million. Today we have over 5,000 customers, including 35 of the Fortune 100. Carousel has been recognized by both VAR and CRN Magazines as one of the top technology integrators in the US and we’ve been listed in the Inc. 500/5000 six times.
Carousel is headquartered in Exeter, RI with over 1,000 employees working from offices in 30 locations across the US, including over 250 service technicians deployed across the country. For more information visit http://www.carouselindustries.com
About Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC®-CNI):
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC®-CNI) is to improve the health, well-being and education of children through four core programs:
•  4 Ronald McDonald Houses® provide a 'home away from home' to keep families close while their children are being treated at a nearby hospital.
•  Ronald McDonald Family Room® provides hope and hospitality right in the heart of Edward Hospital.
•  Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, in partnership with Advocate Hope Children's Hospital, provides essential health services to children in underserved areas in a mobile environment.
•  Scholarship Program provides $4,000/year renewable scholarships to academically outstanding, community-minded and economically challenged young people.
For more information visit www.RonaldHouseChicago.org.
Tags: Avaya IP Office, mobility, mobile collaboration, unified communications, SMB, SME, small business communications, Ronald McDonald House, Carousel Industries
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Jonathan Varman, Media Relations


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