We have all the normal unified communications tools that the other VoIP systems.VoIP deployments for institutions the size of Casper College (700 phones) have traditionally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. At Casper College, multiple phone upgrade paths were explored, and our best guess estimate to upgrade with a traditional vendor provided solution would have ranged from $500,000 to $1,000,000+. The lower number ($500K) would only provide basic functionality and would provide less than half of the phones needed to service the campus with a single VoIP phone platform. Additional phones and additional features such as unified communications, support of our emergency notification services or public address system functionality would likely drive the cost to the upper part of this range. Although many organizations are also considering hosted or cloud based solutions, our belief at this time is that these solutions are still cost prohibitive for our institution. So how did we decide to provide great VoIP technology for all of Casper College and not break the bank? Digium Switchvox was our answer. This VoIP project was completed for under $200,000
Adding E911. E911 turns out to be completely optional and expensive. If we were not
subscribed to it and dialed 911, it would work just like it used to. It
would trace to the main line. With a service, it traces back to the
office. The default settings also caused a problem in this regard. We did remove the need to dial 9 to get an outside line to cut down
on the 9-1 stutter. As we had a couple instances of users calling 911 inadvertently. Since the service is IP now it would report to E911
almost immediately even the user hung up quickly. You would be surprised
how often this happens. (sometimes 3-4 times a week).
This solutions provided a unified communications platform. It allowed us to: (1) converge three phone systems to one (2) standardize handsets across campus (3) upgrade and improve our voice communication capabilities (4) get the greatest value for our initial investment (5) reduce our recurring costs by 80%.