Eastchester Union Free School District was in need of an upgraded telecommunications system, but finding a vendor who understands the school system environment is no easy feat. With restricted working hours, tight security, and a very busy staff who can’t have their communications disrupted, a school can be a difficult place to install a telecommunication system without the experience necessary to guide the project to a successful conclusion.

After installing a district-wide system of security cameras and expanding or installing phone systems in various Eastchester schools in years past, Select Telecom already knew the ins and outs of the Eastchester School District and the district was confident that Select Telecom would be able to do the job with minimal interruption to normal operations. “Select Telecom is really ahead of the game due to their experience installing our security cameras,” a district employee explains. It was necessary for Eastchester School District to replace the existing system which had reached the end of its lifespan. They decided on a state-of-the-art Voice over IP (VoIP) system by ShoreTel, upgrading their hardware and installing a phone in each classroom. Working with the New York State Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Eastchester was able to secure their new system at state pricing and begin the installation process.

Since vendors cannot work in the classrooms while classes are in session, the district worked with Select Telecom to create a schedule whereby the technicians could come in during the afternoons so as not to disturb students. District staffers also coordinated between Select Telecom and the main offices to get the necessary security clearances, and devised a plan with Select Telecom for upgrading the phones in the office areas without disrupting day-to-day operations. As a district representative explains, “Parents and kids call in to the main office, so we can’t just take the secretary’s phone. We did it overnight so that the new phones were there when everyone got in to the office the next day.” The district was pleased with Select Telecom’s scheduling flexibility and reliable timing. Says one employee, “Select is very responsive to the school environment. They have extensive prior experience working with schools and they know what the challenges are.”

The district had complete confidence in Select Telecom due to their past relationship. As one staff member explains, “There’s continuity in being able to use Select for this project. Their technicians know our buildings, know our wiring closets, know the people, so they know what the issues will be in the various offices.”

After the installation was complete, the district was also very satisfied with how quickly Select Telecom’s training helped the school staff and faculty transition to using the new system productively. The staff reflects, “Training went extremely well. Everybody is comfortable.” The school district’s TV studio team worked with Select Telecom’s Customer Service to record videos describing the features of the phones. The district posted the videos on an internal site where staff can access the training on-demand. One staff member reports that, “Having the video-on-demand option available to all staff and faculty helped us to tailor to the specific needs of district users.” With knowledge of the specific needs of the school setting, Select Telecom was able to get Eastchester’s telecommunications up-to-date while maintaining a productive and secure learning environment for all of the district’s students, staff, faculty and community.