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IP telephony systems – really worth the switch?

Nov 01, 2011

In the last twelve months, increasing numbers of independent schools are switching from their traditional telephone systems to more future-proof and innovative solutions, such as IP telephony systems. But is it really worth the switch?

Thankfully, the days of consumer-grade IP telephony and associations with ‘Skype’ are in the past, having paved the way for business-grade quality to operate at the professional level.  IP telephony today does everything a traditional system will do while bringing a wealth of features and benefits without compromising on the quality of calls.

For example, schools with multiple sites and a receptionist at each are freeing up staff to be more productive elsewhere by enabling all calls to arrive at one location, regardless of the geographical code that’s dialled. Systems like this enable calls to be transferred all over the country, at no cost, by using a simple extension number.  And the caller has no idea their call is being delivered initially to a central location.

Furthermore, staff can ‘log in’ to any phone within the school and even work from home with ease by leaving a handset there for those days when you can’t come into school.

And this turns dead time into work time, still allowing your extension number to be used so it’s just like you’re in the school.

Dave Parker, IT Manager at Newland House School is using an IP telephony system. He explained why this is beneficial to him. “When the bad weather hits and I’m stuck at home, it’s good to know the school can still contact me. Just because the children aren’t in it doesn’t mean my work stops. It’s very important for me to stay in contact with those I work with.”

While the world of IP telephony may seem daunting to some independent schools, others are seeing it as a huge opportunity to demonstrate innovation.

By Carl Nixon, Marketing Assistant, du Pré plc, a provider of traditional and IP-enabled telephone systems to independent schools across the UK.

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