Bay State College Connects Mobile, Distributed Administrators and Faculty With Avaya Voice and Data System for Small and Medium Businesses
Avaya IP Office configured by Avaya reseller All Business Communications cuts college’s communications costs by 35 percent
With four academic buildings located in a ten-square-block area in Boston, Bay State College uses a small-business communications system from Avaya to connect several locations to improve communication efficiency and increase productivity for administrators and instructors working on campus or remotely.
Bay State realized its existing communications was difficult to manage and expensive to operate, so the school changed to Avaya IP Office, a communications system that uses both voice and IP technology to help businesses reduce cost, increase productivity, and improve customer service. The system, configured by All Business Communications, a certified member of the Avaya BusinessPartner program, cut Bay State’s communications costs by about 35 percent because calls are routed over a private network.
IP Office provides communications for about 60 administrators and 125 instructors and professors at Bay State. With IP Office, they use the system’s built-in conference call feature to easily connect from a classroom or the Middleboro, Mass. satellite campus to join company-wide meetings. Full time faculty and adjunct faculty alike can pick up their voice mail messages from any Avaya phone on the campus, or on their mobile phone. “Phantom,” or temporary, extensions let adjunct
faculty, who may teach only one or two classes a week at Bay State, pick up their messages anywhere on campus or on their mobile phone.
The highly mobile administrators and instructors can receive email messages telling them if there’s a message on their campus phone. This feature is especially useful for the adjunct professors who teach at multiple colleges, and helps instructors and administrators keep in touch with each other and their students, whether they’re rushing to their next class or to a lunchtime meeting.
Bay State College’s former communications system had three-digit dialing and voice mail, but it did not have message waiting indicators, a conference call feature, or a feature that let administrators and staff put calls on hold. “These may seem like simple things, but having even basic business features saves us time and money and makes our work days go more smoothly, giving us more time to focus on our mission to provide an excellent learning environment,” said Todd Ficarra, director of IT, Bay State College. “We can manage the system ourselves, and change a voice mail password in minutes, rather than days. And we’re giving our administrators and instructors the communications tools that let them send and receive messages in ways that fit their schedules, freeing them to concentrate on the students.”
Bay State also wanted to measure call activity from admissions representatives to identify recruiting campaigns that were most effective. With its IP Office and Avaya phones, the admission department keeps track of incoming calls generated by specific marketing campaigns associated with specially-established “800” numbers. By tracking the number of calls a campaign generates, Bay State determines which of its campaigns – such as announcing a new course - are effective.
Today, callers hear prompts to reach the department they need, such as the admissions office, accounting, or faculty offices. The receptionist answers incoming calls on her computer, dragging and dropping an incoming call that appears on her screen to the appropriate department’s extension. And to help ensure assistance during an emergency, Bay State’s IP Office automatically routes E911 calls over traditional telephone lines and the public telephone network, providing local police and fire stations with accurate location information.
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