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Jackson School District

Video length: 2:56 minutes.

Americas | United States | Education | Digital Workplace

Enabling better learning outcomes through the cloud

Jackson School District needed a communications solution that could keep up with the evolving technology used by their students. Through Dimension Data's Cloud Services for Cisco, they found a solution that not only provides their employees and students with value, it's also cost-efficient and flexible.

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Real-time Analytics

Why?

Jackson School District needed a communications solution that could keep up with the evolving technology used by its students.

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Tranforming IT

How?

A cloud solution wouldn’t only provide teachers, students, and staff with value. It also contains costs, results in savings, enables flexibility and the ability to add future services.

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Light bulb with plant inside

What?

The communications solution fits in the district’s tight budget, allows easy communication across locations, and frees up the small IT team to focus on serving the community.

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Why?

Why the district needs technology to support education

Jackson School District provides technology-enriched programmes to educate and inspire over 9,000 students to become critical thinkers. Jackson’s students continue to evolve technologically, and when the time came to update the district’s communications, they needed a solution that could do the same.

The district serves students across six elementary, two middle and two high schools. It’s critical for administrators and teachers to communicate often, easily and reliably. The district was faced with a dilemma, in that their Avaya telephone system was reaching end of life and they risked losing support.

Although the IT team of two is driven to provide the school community with tools to facilitate education in the 21st  century, they struggled to keep up with the demand for high-level support.

With a USD 135 million budget for all their needs - from paper towels to IT, costs were also a consideration. Since the budget comes from taxpayer pockets, they need to ensure that as many dollars as possible end up back in the classroom.

Lincoln Mahabir, Supervisor of Technology at Jackson School District adds, ‘We needed something more than just a telephone. It had to be part of an integrated package of communication.’

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How?

How cloud enables learning outcomes

The district chose a cloud solution, because it brought value to staff, teachers and students. Moreover, it helps to contain costs over time, results in savings and provides the district with the ability to be flexible and add future services.

The district selected Dimension Data’s Cloud Services for Cisco (CSfC), which is a fully managed and hosted enterprise telephony system to provide efficient communication across all the district’s locations.

Hosted by Dimension Data and built on the Cisco Hosted Cloud Solution (HCS), this freed up Jackson’s IT resources for other critical support and met their needs for future scalability.

The cloud solution is leased for six years and supports up to 1,000 users. The solution also offers other benefits such as predictable costs and the ability to add Unified Communications features (such as Call Control, Voicemail, Instant Messaging and Presence) as required by the business.

To ensure that the district’s network was running at full potential before the solution went live, Dimension Data conducted a Network Optimisation Assessment. A team of engineers spent time onsite to upgrade the district’s backend and help them transition onto the new platform.

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What?

What 21st century technology does for the district

A fully managed, efficient communications solution fits into the district’s tight budget, and allows teachers and administration staff to communicate easily across multiple locations. The small IT team can now focus on serving the community, instead of ‘putting out fires’.

Jackson relies on Dimension Data’s expertise to administer, maintain and upgrade the system. The IT team now spends less time dealing with technology interruptions and issues, and instead can focus on serving administration and teachers who in turn serve students.

The district is also experiencing savings in that they don’t have to employ staff to run a new communications system. The solution can be scaled according to their demand and lays the foundation for future technology implementations, such as unified communications and video.

Jackson is also setting an example for other schools. They’re utilising the latest technology on a tight budget to facilitate communication. Moreover, the system has unique features, such as ‘All Call’ which serves as an internal 911 system. The phone system turns into an intercom at the click of a button, which allows teachers to alert the entire school if they come across intruders.

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