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Illinois School District Achieves Digital Transformation Goals

Oswego Community Unit School District 308
Oswego School District 308


  • Upgrade to latest unified communications solution despite severe budget constraints

  • Access latest productivity, efficiency and safety applications

  • Ensure student, staff and faculty safety with reliable communications platform

Value Created

  • Monthly cost savings in the tens of thousands of dollars

  • Repurposing of an entire IT position

  • Improved campus safety

  • Efficiency and effectiveness boost for staff and faculty


  • Avaya IP Office™

  • Avaya 9600 series IP phones

  • Avaya Professional Services

Illinois School District Achieves Digital Transformation Goals Despite Budget Head Winds

For years there was one word associated with Illinois’ Oswego Community Unit School District 308 (SD 308): growth. In a span of 15 years the district saw both its student population and its number of school sites double. Today, SD 308 is a high-performing public school system that serves more than 18,000 students in 24 schools and employs 2,700 staff and faculty.

But in recent years, growth has slowed, and the main challenge has been shrinking budgets.

“We have had a real struggle with budget issues, and in the middle of recent cuts, our communications system started to fail,” explains Allen Clasen, SD 308 director of technology. “Safety is important to us. Students and staff aren’t safe if we don’t have a reliable and capable communications system.”

Clasen had no intention of waiting for a more favorable budget environment to deploy a new communications system. So, he laid out his requirements: a solution that would meet communication needs well into the future and boost campus safety. All at a cost the district could handle.

Avaya stepped up, doing what it does best: allowing Clasen to invest in digital transformation in the way that made the most sense for his organization. He cost-effectively replaced the entire infrastructure with a modern, feature-rich communications solution that supports the district’s school-safety initiatives. Oh, and did we mention the Avaya solution is saving the district tens of thousands of dollars every month?

We’re saving tens of thousands of dollars per month, and that’s no exaggeration.

Safety First

Every school site and building within SD 308 was migrated to Avaya IP Office™, and Avaya 9600 series IP telephones landed on 2,500 desks. Clasen reports that the implementation was “seamless,” thanks to Avaya and its partner Integration Partners. That translated into very happy end users.

As for the support from Integration Partners, Clasen couldn’t be more pleased.

“Due to our budget constraints, we’re lean staffed,” he explains. “We use Integration Partners’ monitoring services to make sure the systems are up and running 7 by 24 by 365. They really are a partner with us.”

24/7 availability is key to supporting the district’s stated goal of implementing a comprehensive school safety and security plan. In addition to monitoring services, Clasen implemented a high-availability feature within the phone switches. If one data center goes down, traffic switches to another data center in a matter of seconds.

“If we lose one of our two data centers, we still maintain call functionality across the entire district,” says Clasen. “From a safety stand point, it's absolutely critical.”

IP Office is built to integrate with the latest third-party school-security applications to boost campus safety. In the case of SD 308, that means 911 calls made from within its schools are monitored, quickly direct