“Microsoft Lync has helped us reduce telecommunications costs by 40% and is making huge improvements in the way we communicate amongst ourselves and students. Microsoft Lync has been a game changer for us.”
Northern Health School, with 17 regional offices and more than 120 full- and part-time staff, has realised a 40% reduction in telecommunications costs after installing Microsoft Lync to manage their voice and data applications. But those savings are just the beginning. “Once we roll out Lync to our home-based students and enable teachers and students to collaborate on-line,” says NHS Principal Richard Winder, “we’ll be able to significantly reduce drive times so that teachers can spend more time instructing and less time driving.
On top of that Lync itself offers a raft of capabilities – such as video-conferencing, digital diaries, point-of-presence – that are already making huge improvements in the way we communicate amongst ourselves and students. Microsoft Lync has been a game changer for us.” New Era, leading provider of ICT services and solutions to the NZ education sector and a Microsoft Gold Partner, helped specify the solution, managed the implementation process and now provides on-going support.
Northern Health School caters for hundreds of home/ community- and hospital-based year 0-13 students with high health needs and offers students a variety of modes of service delivery. Teaching is provided through student support centres, hospital ward and classroom support, on-line learning and community home visits.
Complex communications requirements
Due to the geographically-dispersed nature of their mandate, NHS relies heavily on voice and data communications to coordinate their activities. They had employed a PBX (private branch exchange) that supported voice, FAX and internet access amongst their regional offices. However, as NHS expanded their services and footprint around the country, their telecommunications requirements became more complex. Indeed, some offices had up to eight separate phone lines to keep up with demand.
“We knew we needed to upgrade,” continues Winder. “Our PBX system was becoming dated and we wanted to be able to take advantage of the collaboration tools that a digital system would provide. We discussed our requirements with New Era, our ICT support partner, and they suggested that we look at implementing a fibre-based wide area network as the backbone and Microsoft Lync as our unified communications platform.”