New Voice System Creates Unexpected Benefits
Raewyn Van Lingen started with the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA) as a head teacher in 1996. She is now the HR and Communications Manager, in charge of supporting the CMKA's large workforce in 29 separate locations, ensuring staff and children have what they need to succeed every day.
Head office is located in Takanini, and from there they provide 250 staff and 2000 children at 29 sites with the tools and care they need to be best equipped for life
Technology plays an important role in ensuring that isolated sites are connected and safe, and it needs to operate at a high level to support their technology platform that sees children using video, animation, photography and coding to learn and interact meaningfully with their parents and families.
In early 2018, CMKA’s Voice Over Internet Protocol or “VoIP” contract was coming up for renewal after five years.
The organisation had chosen VoIP for their phone system when moving into their new head offices in 2013, to take advantage of the lower calling costs over traditional copper phone lines, which tend to be charged by the minute.
“By and large, that was the case. But we really didn’t make as much of a saving out of it as we thought we would, because the support costs, if anything went wrong, were really high.”
Looking for a better solution, Raewyn reached out to Foundation Partners, as the organisation’s trusted IT partner, to see if they could identify an opportunity to do their calling better.
Foundation Partners outlined a proposal to change all 29 early childcare sites to VoIP, bringing them in line with head office.
To pull off the project, Foundation Partners had to coordinate with the 29 geographically dispersed sites and their staff, and with CMKA’s security company, because the 29 building alarms also needed to be transferred to internet monitoring.
Foundation Partners estimated that the new system would save the organisation $1000 a month once up and running. “But in fact, it’s a bit more than that; it’s around $1500 a month,” Raewyn explained.
And she explained that there was another unexpected benefit of changing the alarm system to internet monitoring:
“Previously, when one of the alarms triggered in one of the 29 sites, our security company would have to send someone to the site to see whether or not it was a break-in or a problem with the phone line. And this would cost us each time. Now, as part of their normal internet monitoring, Foundation Partners can now see if it’s a problem with the internet or not, and work with the security company to get someone on site, if actually needed.”
By establishing a true partnership with CMKA, Foundation Partners are able to understand and deliver IT solutions that help the organisation thrive commercially and help serve their littlest customers better.