Nevada Virtual Academy (NVVA) is a tuition-free online public charter school serving students in 6th through 12th grade throughout Nevada. As part of the state public school system, NVVA combines innovative technology with a rigorous curriculum led by state-licensed teachers to provide each student a personalized learning experience.
Students take a full course load in the core subjects of math, science, English/language arts, history, as well as electives, honors and Advanced Placement courses in high school. Student learning can occur at home, on the road or wherever an Internet connection is available. Day-to-day procedures, such as recording attendance, teacher interactions and coursework, are conducted online.
Inherent in NVVA’s virtual model is that teachers, as well as students, work remotely. And it is essential that teachers and staff are readily accessible by students, parents and colleagues. In addition to the online classes, teachers communicate with students and families via phone, chat and email. All of this means reliable, high-speed connectivity for each teacher, as well as a sophisticated unified communications platform for seamless voice communications, are crucial to success.
To address this essential need, NVVA was previously working with a technology provider contracted to support the school’s hosted voice service. Unfortunately, school officials found it was taking days to make simple technology changes to its voice system, like updating voicemail PINs and other simple administrative changes – all updates the school should have been able to make in the cloud.
Becoming increasingly frustrated with these network issues and how they were impacting the school’s services, a school staff member who had previously worked with SageNet reached out to the managed services provider. The school regularly goes out for bid for different technology services, so when the contract with its existing provider expired, NVVA asked SageNet to submit a proposal.
Realizing it needed a company that understood the challenges of Voice over IP (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), as well as the expanded requirements to run multi-tenant systems, NVVA selected SageNet to help take its communications network to top of the class.
“We’re very excited to partner with Nevada Virtual Academy and ensure they have the technology in place to deliver a quality education to so many students,” said SageNet CEO Daryl Woodard. “At SageNet, our Why is ‘Trusted Connections,’ both in the technology we deliver and in our relationships. Helping provide the enabling technology to form connections between teacher and student is especially rewarding for us. As a company, we also strive to be as accessible and reliable as the connectivity we provide. In fact, we use the Jive unified communications solution ourselves and find it an extremely valuable communications tool.”
Customized Solutions for Unique Needs
To address the different issues NVVA was having with its communications system, SageNet deployed secure, high-speed primary broadband connectivity to serve as the foundation for an integrated enterprise-wide communications solution.
SageNet’s VoIP solution featured Jive Communications’ native, true-multi-tenant cloud communication platform to provide more flexibility for NVVA. This involved SageNet creating a hosted phone system with broadband connectivity for 60+ remote teachers as well as 30 hosted seats at the school’s headquarters. Each teacher received a pre-programmed phone along with e-Fax and E911 capabilities.
The use of the Jive communication platform has been a particularly good fit for NVVA, since Jive’s features are tailored to similar remote environments. A softphone solution even allows teachers to use their PCs for voice communications (rather than a handset) to respond to students’ questions.
The solution was also designed to be cost-effective. If a teacher leaves or retires, the phone number stays with NVVA and the school can easily repurpose the phone by reprograming it, setting up a new voicemail and then giving the phone to a new teacher.
As a value-add for the school, SageNet developed the network to be eligible for the federal government’s “E-rate” program. The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as E-rate, provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access.
An A+ for Reliability
In addition to the financial benefit realized with the e-rate reimbursement, NVVA has enjoyed exceptional value from its partnership with SageNet.
One of the most noticeable benefits has been SageNet’s on time approach to customer service, which began with the system’s rapid installation. From start to finish, SageNet was able to deploy the entire broadband circuit and VoIP system in just 60 days.
SageNet also has ensured NVVA has experienced no service interruptions since the new Jive VoIP system was installed, with the added bonus of outstanding voice quality and monitoring from SageNet’s support team.
“We wanted to partner with SageNet because we saw they had the expertise and knowledge to help us create a system that would fit our unique needs,” said Megan Bernardo, NVVA’s Director of Operations and Compliance. “Their reliability has been a huge factor. We needed a technology partner we could count on to keep classes going, and SageNet has exceeded our expectations from the very first day.”
- More reliable network
- Fast, expert customer service
- Easy-to-use system and communication tools for school, teachers and students
- More move/add change functions available on the school’s end
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