The new academic year is coming. In preparation, managers, teachers and other staff are already seeing their workloads increase. Those workloads will only grow as students return.
Now’s a good time to consider the technology you use to support your team. And that’s what we’re doing today. We’ve helped hundreds of schools and other educational establishments to succeed through technology.
This includes everything from phone systems to connectivity and IT support. We know what educational institutions need to run a tight ship. Today we’re sharing some of solutions that benefit the sector.
The need for efficiency in education
Schools, colleges and universities each bring distinct challenges. But wherever you are in the education sector, there are certain common themes.
These are complex, dynamic organisations that serve an incredibly important social function. This means a lot of rewards, but it also brings challenges, legal duties, and a whole lot of admin and inbound phone calls.
Busy organisations have to run efficiently, whatever sector they’re in. Here’s how we help the education sector achieve that.
Technology audits for the education sector
Let’s start at the beginning. Unfortunately, in the education sector it’s pretty common to be overpaying for technology. There are many reasons for this. Often, it’s just that infrastructure projects start without finishing. The consequence is a surplus of unused tech.
Before recommending anything to our customers, we need to know their current condition. This means a comprehensive audit of your site and technology infrastructure.
What are the unique challenges of your site? Is your connectivity up to scratch? Does your IT estate speed you up or slow you down? Are you getting the most out of your existing setup? These are the sorts of questions our expert tech auditors will ask first. The goal is to meet your unique needs.
Connectivity and network configuration in education
In a generation, the internet has become essential to education. It’s not just about browsing either. In modern workplaces more broadly, connectivity supports entire technology infrastructures, from phones to payment collection and admin.
In education, so much more relies on the internet. You may use virtual learning environments like Moodle, or plagiarism detection services like Turnitin. You may have a digitised library. The list goes on.
And connectivity in education brings unique challenges. Of course you need the right bandwidths and speed, as well as access points to ensure you can connect throughout the faculty. You also have a legal obligation to block access to unsuitable content.
There’s a lot to consider, but BDR’s specialists make it easy. First, we’ll ensure you have great speeds, bandwidth and coverage throughout your site. We can also set up separate networks for staff and students. This makes them much easier to manage and is a popular choice in schools.
Phone systems for the education sector
Schools, colleges and universities all tend to have busy call queues. This is especially true when enrolment and term time starts, as questions start flying in left, right and centre. For these circumstances, you really need a phone system that helps keep you efficient.
Any phone system we recommend would have the features you need to achieve that. This means ACD, or automatic call distribution, which will ensure calls get through to the right person. Quick and easy call handling features are also a must, so you can transfer callers easily. These are the sorts of features that speed up every call making you that little bit more efficient. Add the calls up, and you really see the difference!
We’ve covered the kind of support that helps your reception team help more people on the phones. But there are other considerations beyond inbound calls. Another recommendation we often make is unified communications, or UC for short.
With UC, you combine all channels of communication in one platform. This includes voice calls, but also videoconferencing, instant messaging and email too. UC is a big upgrade on the traditional phone system. That’s because it enables your whole staff to communicate and collaborate efficiently, from anywhere.
Phone system add-ons
There are all sorts of other phone system features that really help. One is call recording. You will get calls on sensitive subjects, and unfortunately, you’ll also get complaints. Call recording gives you a record of all this, allowing you to resolve issues with greater speed and transparency.
We can also integrate your phone system with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This means that all your contacts are imported into your phone system, including any notes you have on them.
CRM integration sounds simple, but it really helps to increase your efficiency. For outbound calls, you can just click to dial. And for inbound calls, your screen will display all the info you have on the caller. This saves time at the start of each call, and allows your team to handle those queries with confidence
IT support for the education sector
Schools, colleges and universities tend to have quite complex IT estates with a lot of components. Keeping these running is a big task. You need to keep downtime to a bare minimum, while also protecting the whole infrastructure from security threats.
This in turn demands the maintenance, monitoring and optimisation of your network, devices, software, phone system and any other tech you use. And you have to achieve all of this while keeping budgets under control. Even if you have an in-house IT team, it really helps to have some external support.
At BDR, we’ve also provided a whole range of IT services for the education sector. These include desktop virtualisation, disaster recovery and backup, cybersecurity, help desk and so much more. What’s important is that the support is tailored to your needs and budget – helping to protect and power your infrastructure. You can find out more about our managed IT services here.
BDR – a true partner for the education sector
We’ve helped hundreds of schools over the years. We understand the sector’s needs and challenges, and are dedicated to helping our customers in education to thrive. To find out more, get in touch today.