Telephony service response times had plummeted after Lullaboo’s previous provider was acquired
Simple service requests or equipment orders took months to fulfill
Web interface to older phones made it difficult and time-consuming to program the previous generation of phones
Important new services were unavailable on the old phones
Time savings: Lullaboo IT personnel can now work on other strategic projects for which they had no time when supporting the older system
Safety gains: Onebutton paging enables instant access to all classrooms, even all facilities, saving time but possibly saving lives in an emergency situation
Response-time improvements: Lullaboo’s new service provider responds to requests immediately and there is no longer a months-long lead time when acquiring additional equipment
Powered by Avaya IP Office™
One thing that distinguished the Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center from the start was that parents could pick up their children at 6:30 in the evening—a full half hour after other day care centers in the greater Toronto area had locked their doors. It may sound like a small detail if you’re not a working parent, but for working parents it’s a huge advantage, and Lullaboo’s initial center was quickly filled to capacity.
Since Lullaboo opened its first center in 2008 it has continued to expand—and a total of 11 facilities will be operational by the end of 2019. Early on, the IT team supporting Lullaboo connected all the classrooms and business offices within the organization using a VoIP phone system they obtained through a local reseller. But after a larger firm acquired the local reseller, the stellar customer service that Lullaboo was used to disappeared. Suddenly it was taking months just to deliver new phone sets to Lullaboo’s new facilities. Lullaboo’s IT team was having to take on more service tasks themselves—and discovering that the age of that VoIP system was making it very difficult to get anything done in a timely manner.
Lullaboo began a search for a better service provider and a modern unified communications platform. Selecting the service provider was tricky because there were several that looked good. Selecting the communications solution for Lullaboo’s expanding needs was much easier, as nearly every reseller spontaneously suggested the same one: Powered by Avaya IP Office.
With Powered by Avaya IP Office, tasks that used to take me three days to complete I can now finish in about three minutes.
It’s not hard to understand why different resellers, each with many options to meet the needs of customers, would suggest Powered by Avaya IP Office. Lullaboo has a smart but lean IT team; they’re interested in getting things done quickly and effectively. Lullaboo itself is expanding—projecting to grow to more than double the number of facilities within the next decade—and IT management wants to be able to deploy and maintain the VoIP solution effectively without having to double the size of its team to do so.
“I contacted vendors in Vancouver, Ottawa, and elsewhere in Canada and asked for multiple quotes,” says Michael Rizk, a Senior IT Manager at Lullaboo. “Turns out, in the next town over from us there’s a firm called TA Networks that offered the right services and the right support at the right price.”
The Avaya Powered by Avaya IP Office service that TA Networks was showcasing also just had a certain wow factor to it.
“They showed us the phones they were recommending, and they were very cool,” says Rizk. “The J179 phones had color screens, which was a big selling point for our users. They were also power over ethernet (PoE) phones with a gigabit pass through port, which was a big selling point for me.” PoE meant that Rizk didn’t need a separate power supply for each phone and the gigabit pass through port meant that he could connect a computer to the network through the phone. One network port on a classroom wall would suffice for both a phone and a computer.
What’s the coolest thing about Powered by Avaya IP Office? “We now have access to things that we didn’t even know existed,” says Rizk, “and now we can’t imagine going without them.”
Integrated paging and twinning are high on Rizk’s list of previously unknown features. Paging with Powered by Avaya IP Office makes it possible for a teacher or administrator to contact every classroom—either in a single facility or all facilities—by pressing a single key on a phone. “That’s critical if we have an emergency,” says Rizk. “We can contact every classroom instantly. Before, we’d have had an administrator go around to each classroom to tell teachers what to do. In some facilities that would have taken 20 minutes, and if you must evacuate a building or lock down and shelter in place, you may not have that kind of time.”
Twinning is another Powered by feature that is exciting to Lullaboo users. Twinning enables a call to an Avaya VoIP phone to ring simultaneously on another phone (such as an administrator’s mobile phone), which ensures that important calls are not missed.
TA Networks taught Rizk how to manage the Powered by Avaya IP Office solution on a day-to-day basis—and because there’s a single interface through which he can interact with all of the phones on the network, he’s able to update phones or make changes to the solution much faster than before.
“With Powered by Avaya IP Office, tasks that used to take me three days to complete I can now finish in about three minutes. That’s a huge benefit to me as an IT manager. I’ll probably recoup around 100 hours over the course of a year, and I can spend that time working on other tasks that have been backlogged for long time. I’ve been trying to update the infrastructure in our head office for two years and I simply never had time to get to it before. With the time I’ve recouped, though, I finished that update a few weeks ago.”
It’s not just updates to installed phones that go faster, either. “Installing the communications solution in a new facility is now the least of my worries,” Rizk goes on to say. “I tell TA Networks to create new accounts, and then I plug in the phones, log in, and it’s done. I put 14 phones into a new center the other day and it took all of an hour.”
“I never expected it to be so easy to set up and manage all this,” says Rizk. “We spent more time unpacking the phones than anything else.”
We now have access to things that we didn’t even know existed, and now we can’t imagine going without them.
“Lullaboo is a 100% Canadian owned and operated establishment, with the goal of providing top notch education and development to Canadian children.”
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