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As an award-winning educational establishment, Kettering Buccleuch Academy (KBA) understand the importance of effective Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to all stakeholders – teaching staff, pupils, parents, authorities and partners. The school needed to expand the capabilities of their communications platform to effectively engage these groups, whilst reducing the cost and management overhead. KBA’s expectations have been exceeded since implementing Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral, which is providing the reliability, affordability, simplicity, analytics and features that will help maintain their leading position for years to come.
Aging system impacted reliability and availability and required regular intervention and maintenance from IT resources.
Lack of centralized control and Disaster Recovery or back up for siloed communications systems.
Analytics and reporting weren’t available putting the organization at risk if audited.
Implementing a new solution without disrupting operations and the school community.
Increased reliability of the always-on cloud-based solution provides automated updates relieving the burden of IT staff resulting in longterm cost savings.
A sophisticated analytics suite delivers valuable audit-trail with the capability of embedding and integrating reports with other applications while enhancing safeguards for both pupils and staff.
Much of the implementation was done remotely delivering cloud innovation without disruption.
Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral
Kettering Buccleuch Academy (KBA), in Northamptonshire, UK, is an exceptional school. In educating and nurturing children from ages 4 through 18, KBA focusses on the development and potential of everyone who contributes to school life, from pupils and parents to the teaching staff and management. Their ethos encapsulates this – “the best in everyone” - as do their core values that underpin the ethos – respect, ambition, and determination.
KBA is the first school in its county to achieve all 8 Gatsby benchmarks for careers provision, has been awarded Silver School status by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, is the recipient of the National Nurturing Schools award, and is a Gold award winner in the Citizenship Foundation Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural awards.
The core of KBAs success is effective communication with all stakeholders, both directly within the school and indirectly using ICT - including audio, video and messaging systems to enable better outcomes. This begins in the classroom, but also includes the links between departments, with parents and carers, with partners and suppliers and with outside authorities.
It’s critical that our communication lines to staff and parents are open at all times, without the need for regular intervention or management. In order to deliver on our ethos of “the best in everyone” we needed to reduce complexity and overhead whilst increasing availability and functionality."
— Adam Burn, ICT Systems Manager
KBA adopt a methodical approach to technology consumption. First they will define their challenges and requirements, then work with local partners to scope and deliver best-of-breed solutions from trusted brands. Following these principles, KBA has enjoyed the partnership of global communications leader Avaya and its local delivery partner, UCAdvisor, for many years. As a valued partnership that was already trusted by staff, the school was keen to build on this.
KBA’s existing systems had enabled remote communication for many years, but the age and complexity of these meant regular intervention was necessary. For KBA to have communication links that support the scale of their ambition requires systems that are reliable, available, affordable and integrated, and which reduce the overhead on staff by embracing new technology and intelligently managing routine tasks. Specifically, KBA wanted to implement a cloud-based system that also provided new handsets for the school to deploy, automated information requests, dedicated receptionist functionality, simple administration, powerful interaction reporting to enable complete visibility of use, and to deliver a predictable, manageable cost structure with no hidden or maintenance fees. These requirements became the brief that KBA gave to Avaya and UCAdvisor, and ultimately were the reason they chose to deploy Avaya Cloud Office.
Avaya Cloud Office is a versatile, unified communications solution using the power of cloud. Avaya Cloud Office provides everything employees need to be effective communicators, from feature-rich static handsets to application delivery on a single device, from any location. This simplification in communications not only allows for smoother operations across an organization, but also delivers greater cost savings.
KBA wanted to move away from the ownership and management of a premise-based platform and instead adopt a completely cloud-delivered solution. Adopting a system based in the cloud means that it is always available, and the economies of scale with a secure multi-tenant platform means that no additional investment in Disaster Recovery is necessary – DR is built inside the cloud. Avaya Cloud Office provides KBA with their primary voice, video, messaging and intelligent voice routing as standard, and provides backup for other communication platforms if they are unavailable, such as texting and social messaging.
Implementing Avaya Cloud Office has also significantly reduced the administrative burden on IT staff. As a cloud-delivered platform, Avaya Cloud Office requires no manual firmware updates – everything is managed seamlessly in the cloud by Avaya. Even the deployment of the system was delivered remotely with minimal impact on school operation.
Devices and handsets were important considerations for us. Avaya Cloud Office allows us to use smartphone apps when remote, but we also have a suite of devices on site that staff are familiar with and which can withstand the daily rigours of school activity.”
— Adam Burn, ICT Systems Manager
With a central control interface for all school communications, including a powerful reporting and analytics suite, KBA are now able to interrogate historic records and see exactly when calls were made, where they originated and what route they took.
This not only provides a valuable audit-trail, but also enhances safeguarding of both pupils and staff. Reports can be generated at any time from any authorised user in any location, and then extracted and embedded into other applications and documents.
With minimal upfront investment, made possible by remote deployment, KBA are benefitting from fixed monthly costs per seat, allowing them flexibility of consumption whilst managing spend and using only what they need. UCAdvsior were able to cover the cost of deployment with their grant funding, as well as provide handsets for KBA without cost that delivered enhanced functionality with a familiar interface.
The range of Avaya devices available for Avaya Cloud Office is one of the most comprehensive anywhere in the world – developed as part of a mature, market-tested portfolio serving millions of users globally every day. Staff can quickly find anyone else within the school, and messages can quickly be relayed to every desk. What’s more, Avaya devices provide integrated Avaya Cloud Office services that are also available to softphone users on mobiles, meaning the instant communication lines remain open wherever staff may be.
Avaya Cloud Office has reduced the management overhead, allowing us to focus more on our core activities, whilst improving the service we can deliver for parents and students. UCAdvisor clearly understood our initial requirements, and helped us save a significant amount on upfront expenditure.”
— Adam Burn, ICT Systems Manager
One of KBA’s key requirements was to effectively automate the handling of routine and out-of-hours enquiries. Like most organizations, many requests and queries can be predicted and prepared in advance. For KBA this includes information like opening times, absences, exam times, and excursion details. They also need to enable callers to easily navigate selfservice options and reach staff or leave messages when necessary, and for these messages to be transcribed and emailed to staff. With Avaya Cloud Office, KBA have centralised control over automation, allowing them to quickly introduce changes or new information and to manage the timing and presentation of each message. Avaya Cloud Office also provides full transcription and text delivery to users. These is helping the school to reduce the burden on staff, respond faster, and improve the service delivered to parents.
Avaya Cloud Office was fully implemented with minimal impact and is running successfully across the school. Communications management is now easier, centralised, and more convenient for staff. Onboarding new users and licences is simple, and cloud delivery with transparent cost structures means KBA only consume what they need and have complete control of their budget. The school is now able to manage how calls are handled, either through receptionists, direct to staff or through an automated service delivery, and to keep an accurate log of all communication that can be analysed and reported at any time. Overall availability is improved, parents are better able to reach and communicate with the school, everything is managed through one online application that can be accessed anywhere, and the system is always up to date.
KBA are looking at deeper integrations between applications that will further enhance the school experience. Avaya Cloud Office has become an integral component in the school system, enabling KBA to focus on exceptional education and progressing their ethos of the best in everyone.
We have a relentless focus on high standards by having high expectations and not accepting any excuses. We aim to create a positive learning environment where the street stops at the gate and where we help every student to succeed. We provide excellent teaching skills and commitment from our staff and this in turn generates enthusiasm and hard work from the students. Our purposeful learning environment supports our students to achieve beyond expectations and challenges them to improve on their personal best.
A love of learning is our priority and the House system supports students in their academic and personal development.
We offer a broad curriculum at KBA which allows flexibility. All students receive the core curriculum of Maths, English and Science, delivered in state of the art classrooms. Our curriculum experience for students is further enhanced by a range of other subjects across all three key stages.