Case Study: Digital BackOffice Teams With Broadview Networks to Help Connecticut Schools

The Client. Digital BackOffice (DBO) is a Connecticut-based MSP specializing in managed optical Ethernet, server co-location, hosted Exchange and IT services to businesses, schools, libraries, state agencies and town halls throughout Connecticut.

The Challenge. DBO needed to help the 156 members of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), an organization comprised of towns and cities, gain access to the Nutmeg Network. The Nutmeg Network is a high-speed fiber network built by the state of Connecticut to connect all the local schools.

As is the case with many other states, Connecticut deals with countless outdated legacy phone systems and analog switches within the public sector. Schools and municipalities in the state also are finding that their old communications model make them vulnerable to certain common emergency situations. For example, during power outages at local facilities or cases of inclement weather, service and access to communications systems have been compromised. In recent years, smaller institutions facing hurricanes and storms have lost communications capabilities when power has gone down.

Despite the need for continuity through their communication systems, Connecticut public schools and libraries – like many across the country – tussle with funding shortages, which results in the lack of budget to for up-front investments. However, school decision-makers have realized the need for upgrades. One of the main reasons was that old services were becoming so outdated, they would no longer be available. These platforms further were impractical to support.

CCM turned to DBO for help, and DBO looked to Broadview Networks for the right solution.

The Solution. Connecticut’s Nutmeg Network connects K-12 schools, higher education institutions, public libraries, and the University of Connecticut’s multiple campuses. When the state opened the network to municipalities and the private sector, DBO was the first MSP to connect to the Nutmeg Network with its own private fiber connection.

As a result, Ron Rich, CEO of DBO, started looking for a cloud services partner that could help Nutmeg Network members achieve business continuity and get affordable cloud communications. The cost to move to VoIP services in a dedicated environment often is hampered by expensive dedicated circuits, and many providers are unable to meet schools’ low-cost demands.

Rich spent time researching suppliers that provision cloud communications with disaster avoidance and future-proofing capabilities. In the course of that research, Rich came across Broadview Networks.

“In addition to providing advanced tools, including mobile twinning, hot-desking, voicemail-to-email transcription and mobile app integration, Broadview also has a really strong billing platform and excellent customer support,” Rich said.

DBO partnered with Broadview, which offers the OfficeSuite platform. That way, through Broadview, DBO was able to deliver high-quality cloud services to Connecticut schools and municipalities at affordable prices.

The Result. DBO paired its dedicated fiber-optic connections with Broadview OfficeSuite and the Nutmeg Network to deliver Broadview’s OfficeSuite cloud services to Connecticut schools, libraries and municipalities without incurring any dedicated circuit installation fees.

Now, CCM members have fast, high-quality, efficient and affordable communications.

In particular, CCM members are finding certain of Broadview OfficeSuite’s tools most useful.

“The mobile phone app features are very important to our customers,” Rich said. “OfficeSuite provides full extension features between office phones and on iPhones and Androids. OfficeSuite is designed so that the extensions and features are not tied to hardware. You can log in with your extension from anywhere and all of the features and your personal settings you are available to you. This allows users to work from home, another office, or anywhere in the world.”

Additionally, programming functions that used to be hard to manage as an untrained user now can be overseen by staff with no IT experience.

“We can easily build and design templates and aren’t required to re-program every phone individually,” Rich said. “We can create rules for groups and implement changes immediately. It really provides full control.”

Further, CCM members themselves may route calls to cell phones or other municipalities if there’s a crisis or weather emergency, while getting guaranteed quality of service and built-in redundancies.

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