Mission Accomplished

Verteks supports Rocky Bayou Christian School’s goal of providing more effective communication for parents.

Rocky Bayou Christian School takes seriously its commitment to parents, as well as students. Superintendent Michael Mosley notes that “the health of a school depends on the health of its culture — a culture comprised in part of intangibles often so subtle that the absence of their important influences may be overlooked.” One of those intangibles is communication.

Dr. Mosley and the Rocky Bayou staff were concerned that the school’s aging phone system was hindering effective communication with parents. Located in Niceville, Fla., Rocky Bayou Christian School has grown from 22 students in 1973 to more than 700 students today. The old PBX had not kept pace with that growth.

“We had a limited number of incoming lines so parents would frequently get a busy signal when they called in. Parents also had a hard time getting to the department they wanted because of the way calls were routed,” said Beth Herndon, IT Manager, Rocky Bayou Christian School. “We were also worried that our old voice mail server was going to fail. It had to be restarted frequently and we were never sure that it would come back up. We knew it was time to get a new phone system.”

Rocky Bayou Christian School looked a several phone systems but was most impressed with the ShoreTel IP Communications system. Verteks Consulting demonstrated the system, and the school was equally impressed with the professionalism of the Verteks team.

“Everyone at Verteks was helpful and friendly, and our sales rep was really on the ball,” Herndon said. “That was an important factor in our decision to go with ShoreTel.”

“Everyone at Verteks was helpful and friendly, and our sales rep was really on the ball. That was an important factor in our decision to go with ShoreTel.”

Ease of Use, Advanced Features

The ShoreTel IP Communications system brings a number of advantages to Rocky Bayou Christian School. Traditional PBXs are notoriously difficult to administer and maintain, typically requiring a specialist technician for even the simplest moves, adds and changes. With ShoreTel, Herndon can perform most administrative functions from an easy-to-use, web-based interface.

“As IT manager, I love the way that I can use the ShoreTel Director to change somebody’s name on an extension. Plus, we can pick up a user’s phone and move it to a different office while keeping the same extension number. It makes my life a lot of easier,” she said.

The ShoreTel system also provides faculty and staff with a number of advanced communications features.

“Call forwarding is especially helpful — we can now send our calls to our cell phones when we are out of the office,” Herndon said. “We also have several people who will be using the conference calling function.”

Verteks made it easy for Rocky Bayou Christian School to take advantages of these features. The Verteks team worked closely with the school to design a solution that would meet its current and future needs and completed the implementation on schedule and with minimal disruption. Faculty and staff had plenty of time to become familiar with the new phone system before the start of the school year.

“They are very knowledgeable, and the project went off as planned,” said Herndon. “We ran into a few glitches but that’s just the way it is with computers. Verteks has always been on top of everything.”

Peace of Mind

Of course, the primary benefit of the new phone system is the improved communications it provides for parents. The ShoreTel solution enables Rocky Bayou Christian School to route the calls efficiently so that parents don’t get busy signals or always get sent to voice mail.

Having a reliable, efficient and flexible phone system also brings peace of mind.

“There’s a real sense of security that comes from having a system that works when we need it,” said Herndon. “We are also able to use the system to send emergency messages to rooms that don’t have intercoms. If there’s a tornado or some other situation we can send that message over the phones.”

Verteks brings peace of mind through its ongoing, expert support of the ShoreTel IP Communications system. Through its emphasis on long-term relationships, Verteks has become part of the school’s mission and culture by helping to ensure effective communications.

“We at Rocky Bayou Christian School are very thankful for the increased capacity and efficiency for successful parent communications made possible through Verteks,” said Mosley. “We exist as a school to serve parents, so to make such a quantum leap in our ability to communicate in a state-of-the-art, integrated technology environment is very exciting.”