Connecticut’s Taft School, a private boarding and day school founded in 1890, was founded by Horace D. Taft with the goal of helping students not to be served, but to serve.
The school’s mission is to create well-rounded, engaged students, often focusing on service-based programs and many different types of abilities, including academic, artistic and athletic. Taft School is comprised of a diverse group, with 595 students from 44 countries with 129 faculty members.
And just as the school encourages its students to be forward-thinking and prepared for a changing world, its IT leaders are dedicated to doing the same for the school’s technology.
Looking for change
A long-time Mitel customer, Taft School had an analog system that served it well. But feeling the need for digital transformation, Taft School’s systems administrator, Frank Trosky, started exploring potential upgrades and the possibility of utilizing cloud communications for its schools.
Trosky realized the school might want to move on to cloud communications with an IP-based system. Education institutions are more and more seeking the move to systems that will aid in creating a more digital environment.
Parents are also becoming more technologically savvy than before, with many communicating with students, staff and administrators digitally.
In addition to the increasingly digital needs within the school and the education community, Trosky also needed to make sure the system he chose fit within the school’s budget.
Trosky did his due diligence, exploring options even outside of Mitel, to make sure he understood the breadth of systems in the market.
Modern education needs
In considering the next steps to take, Taft School determined it needed a flexible, reliable and easy-to-use system.
Schools need their IT departments to be focused on issues that directly affect student education, not wasting time managing a difficult communications system.
Similarly, schools cannot afford communications downtime, especially in the event of an emergency. One of the most important ways to provide parents and students peace of mind is to be able to communicate quickly and effectively during a major event.
“Mitel’s services had always been stable and reliable. We were somewhat reluctant to move to the cloud though,” Trosky said. “We weren’t sure how reliable the phone system would be. However, once we used some cloud-based phones in a demo environment setup by Mitel, we were con dent the cloud was the right choice.”
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Taft chooses Mitel
When searching for a new system, Trosky and Taft School considered Mitel and Cisco systems, ultimately choosing Mitel.
“The process and costs associated with moving from analog to digital and on-site to the cloud were also a factor. If we moved to Cisco, there would be significant costs and a very involved and time-consuming process,” Trosky said. “Upgrading with Mitel and their partner was an easy and collaborative process.”
With MiCloud Enterprise, MiCollab and Enhanced 911, Taft School was able to save money, improve business continuity, and enhance responsiveness in the event of an emergency.
Efficiency gained with new system
While making the transition to a cloud communications system, Trosky and Taft School administrators were able to cut down on the number of lines they had active at the school.
By moving 400 lines to the cloud and going from 950 total lines down to about 500, Taft School is saving about $1,000 per month on server fees and direct inward dialing numbers, all without disruption.
“The migration process was well- organized, and fully managed and coordinated by Mitel and their partner,” Trosky said. “The cloud also eliminates the need for periodic forklift upgrades, saving us quite a bit in future equipment, overhead and resource costs.”
The school is also saving on school resources. Reassigning phones is no longer a major task, as new phones can be plugged in and repurposed with little effort.
Taft School administrators knew that a move to cloud communications would enhance productivity, reliability and safety, and they trusted Mitel to take them there.