Microsoft Teams on the Rise

Microsoft Teams™ can be a valuable solution for almost any school campus. With its collaboration and communication capabilities offering a quick and reputable solution for the shift to remote instruction, it is obvious why the solution is deployed in over 270 thousand educational organizations around the globe. 

The global pandemic greatly accelerated the rate of adoption in the education field. While the trend to digital was already underway in EdTech, Covid served as a major accelerator, pushing educational institutions across the globe to embrace its potential for remote and hybrid learning.

Now, with the pandemic in the rearview mirror, many educational institutions are examining a myriad tangle of communication solutions deployed across their campuses. The drive is on to simplify, unify, and strengthen their communications and collaboration infrastructure. 

Why Unify Communications?

Unifying communication infrastructure on school campuses delivers multiple benefits for schools, including improving the user experience, fostering collaboration, and reducing costs. Educational institutions are increasingly aware of this. 

Complexity and Confusion 

Too many schools currently rely on a messy patchwork of different tools and platforms for various communication needs. This leads to confusion, inefficiency, and a poor user experience. Email, text messages, social media groups, learning management systems, standalone announcement boards – these solution tangles can create an overwhelming landscape that hampers effective communication.

Cost and Maintenance

Effectively managing multiple platforms requires licensing fees, IT support, and constant user training. These factors quickly stack up, adding to operational costs. Streamlining the infrastructure leads to cost savings and a reduced administrative burden.

Simple and Predictable

A single, unified communications and collaboration platform simplifies communication for students, teachers, staff, and parents. A single platform allows users to access relevant information and updates in one familiar interface, fostering a more connected and informed school community.

Security and Privacy

Centralized control with a unified system provides improved data security and privacy, particularly compared to teachers and staff using personal accounts and individually preferred tools. Centralized control is particularly important for student data protection and privacy concerns.

As contracts made during the pandemic expire, the trend toward integrated communications is likely to accelerate as schools work to build more efficient and cost-effective ways to connect with their communities.

The Limitations of One-Size-Fits-All

Choosing the right platform requires careful consideration of school needs, budget, and user preferences. Few of the collaboration platforms on the market, including Microsoft Teams, can meet all the specific needs of an educational campus, such as:

  • Paging ability
  • Intercom system
  • Door phones for security
  • E911 capabilities tied to specific rooms on different floors in different buildings

On top of these concerns, there are challenges that those outside of education just don’t think of. Simple issues such as teachers or staff needing to phone parents, but not always being able to reach a school desk phone. They rarely, and rightly so, want to use their personal phones unless it’s an emergency. 

NUSO Adds Value

At NUSO, we’ve worked with several schools with campuses of varying sizes. We’ve found a high degree of commonality regardless of the size of the institution. By deploying NUSO Bridge for Microsoft Teams, we’ve seen success in unifying and simplifying communications and collaboration across the campus.

Highlights of NUSO Bridge for Microsoft Teams on Campus

NUSO enhances and expands the capabilities of Microsoft Teams with a comprehensive stack of phone and messaging services to provide a customizable package to meet the specific needs of individual institutions and campuses.

  • Paging and intercom systems
  • Door phones for improved campus security
  • Advanced E911 capabilities using Geo Location
  • Access to Teams/phone anywhere on campus 
  • Each classroom has a desk phone, assigned to the room, not an individual teacher
  • A more efficient, user-friendly voicemail system

NUSO Bridge seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams while providing an added layer of redundancy in case of emergencies. If Microsoft Teams experiences an outage, users can still access the NUSO Cloud Communications network for phone and messaging capabilities.

Teachers, staff, and students across campus can use traditional desk phones and/or the Microsoft Teams interface on laptops, tablets, etc. for phone and messaging services. By installing the mobile app, teachers and staff can even call parents on their own cell phones without revealing their personal number. 

Redundancy, Service & Support

In one deployment of NUSO Bridge for Microsoft Teams, NUSO aided in unifying seven separate campus networks into a single, centralized configuration. This unified solution resulted in easier system management, centralized control of all communications and collaboration, and a vastly improved, user-friendly experience.

Educational institutions and their professionals have been severely challenged in recent years by management changes, half-implemented systems, disjoined tools, and more. For many campuses, their communications and collaboration systems have become a seemingly inescapable hairball.

NUSO Bridge for Microsoft Teams delivers the solution for tangled communications on school campuses. Whether transitioning from a traditional PBX in a closet, or trying to streamline redundant cloud phone systems, NUSO and Microsoft Teams can deliver an improved user experience with a simplified system requiring less training, better security, and significant cost savings for schools and educational organizations.

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