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3CX | Edmondson's IT

WILLIAM HENRY SMITH SCHOOL

SUMMARY


CLIENT

The William Henry Smith School work with children and young people aged 5-19 across a broad spectrum of social, emotional and mental health challenges.

PROJECT

Given that William Henry Smith School is a residential home for boys that operates 24/7, the phone system needed to be installed during the half-term. This was to make the transition as seamless as possible.

SOLUTION

We upgraded their phone system and migrated them over to 3CX to enable emergency broadcasting and out of hours operation.

William Henry Smith School Logo
Introduction

With history dating back to 1916, The William Henry Smith School work with children and young people aged 5-19 across a broad spectrum of social, emotional and mental health challenges. With their years of knowledge and expertise, they are a school which is committed to providing excellent support to their students. Ofsted has recognised their experience by awarding them an 'Outstanding' rating across all areas of the school, and they have been Ofsted Social Care Outstanding for 16 consecutive years. They not only support their school community, but also numerous charities by hosting a variety of events to benefit organisations such as The Salvation Army, McMillan, and Jeans for Genes.

Challenge

Given that William Henry Smith School is a residential home for boys that operates 24/7, the phone system needed to be installed during the half-term. This was to make the transition as seamless as possible and ensure a smooth configuration process. Understanding the importance of the phone system for communication within the school, they selected us as their preferred provider for the installation. Our extensive knowledge, combined with our experience dealing with similar scenarios, allowed us to set up the phone system swiftly and efficiently.

We also manage their IT support and development, so we have substantial knowledge of the school and how it operates. This gave us leverage to implement the system with minimal issues.

Solution

With the 2025 PSTN shut down closer and closer, William Henry Smith School needed to make the transition from the traditional phone line system they had in place. Their goal was to have a phone system was more than just a simple replacement. They wanted a system that seamlessly integrated with their Bespoke CRM to enable easy calling.

One crucial feature the school needed was the ability to send Emergency Broadcasts to all desk phones in the event of an on-site emergency. Using our knowledge in both development and phone systems, we used the 3CX Call Flow Designer to send out emergency messages to all handsets and Tannoy systems at the same time with an audio prompt. Furthermore, the CFD was configured to send emergency notification via email or text message to all staff. This helped to develop a multi-channel communication system, which boosted staff awareness during emergencies.

The upgrade also addressed the previous system’s limitations, such as the absence of Soft clients on workstations. In response, Group Policy created a strategic solution that enabled our team of experts to easily deploy the 3CX Web Client across all staff workstations. This allowed staff to use headsets and access the system from anywhere, which was essential for real-time communication in the dynamic school environment.

Furthermore, the new phone system automates Out of Hours operations, removing the weight of responsibility from a member of staff. This not only streamlined after-hours contact, but it also efficiently managed calls when the school was not in regular operation.

what were the key outcomes?

Improved Communication

The implementation of centralised physical services using Hyper V environment addressed the school’s limited disaster recovery, ensuring that the school’s sensitive data is always protected.

Out of Hours Operation

The automated Out of Hours operations helps staff with the responsibility of managing calls during non-regular hours. This streamlined after-hours contact, ensures that urgent communications are handled efficiently even when the school is not in regular operation.

Modernised Technology

The transition from the traditional phone line system addresses the issues surrounding the closely approaching 2025 PSTN shutdown, ensuring the school's communication infrastructure was future-proof. It also reduces the likelihood of disruptions due to the modernised technology.

Scalability

William Henry Smith School now has proactive IT support by their side to help resolve possible issues before they disrupt the school. We also collaborate closely with their internal IT department to provide comprehensive support.

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