Students are already enjoying their summer. But school and university administrators have different summer plans: They’re working. And one of the most pressing issues they face is how to allocate budget among dozens of competing priorities. Among the most crucial areas: communications.
Administrators and IT staff don’t already see how their needs are evolving. Today’s faculty, students and families are more mobile than ever. Not only are they tied to their smartphones, they rely on an array of devices from tablets to laptops. They also demand more remote learning, more collaborative workspaces and universal device support. 

All this leads to one conclusion: Schools and universities must adapt. Fortunately, cloud communications provides the features and functionality that modern students and faculty require. 

One advantage of cloud communications is that it’s flexible enough to meet current needs. As requirements change, applications can be added with minimal effort, and both administrators and IT get more from their budgets because these investments are incremental.

Summer is an ideal time to deploy new communications technology and adopt new capabilities. Let’s look at a few cloud applications that modernize your communications without breaking your budget.

Taft School saved money by leveraging cloud communications technology. Learn how they did it here. >

API integration allows universities and schools to extract more value from existing solutions. Integration with learning management systems such as Google Classroom and Schoology, as well as applications like Outlook and G Suite, create a collaborative environment that extends school hours beyond the traditional. Faculty have easy access to emails and voicemails on any device and network. Students receive real-time help on questions after normal hours and can collaborate with other students and teachers on projects quickly and efficiently. Lesson-specific resources can be made available, saving students time and enriching the learning environment.

Video capabilities, particularly video conferencing, enable administrators in various locations and campuses to have face-to-face meetings, which are more productive and engaging. Travel expenses are kept to a minimum while productivity remains high. Parents are afforded more flexible times for conferences with teachers, better accommodating working parents. 

Voicemail to email transcription saves time for administrators and faculty and provides a choice regarding the preferred method to review messages.

Full call recording and archiving for IMs, phone calls, and web and audio conferences provide a searchable and secure database for school communications. This can be especially useful for staying on top of parent communications. Engaging with dozens of parents is challenging, but the ability to effortlessly keep a record can help teachers ensure every question or concern is answered and parents are receiving critical messages.

Salesforce or other CRM integrations
empower university contact centers to create personalized experiences for outbound campaigns. Alumni relationships remain strong, forming a foundation for more successful fundraising efforts. Inbound text messages and calls made by K-12 parents can be addressed promptly with a quick look-up of the student’s record. Call time is reduced, and questions are answered quickly.  

NJPA: Ease the solicitation headache

Summer goes fast. Schools and universities don’t have a lot of time to research vendors, send out requests for proposals, analyze the options and make the best choice. Sourcewell simplifies the process.

Sourcewell creates national cooperative contract purchasing solutions on behalf of its members. Membership is free and is open to all K-12 and higher-education institutions in the U.S. and Canada. 

Sourcewell completes the competitive solicitation and contract process for its members. You save time and can be assured that you’re offered quality products and services at competitive prices. You are presented with the best choices, while still having the freedom to search on your own should you choose. A Sourcewell membership is a great way for schools and universities to get the best price for cloud communications without having to worry about the quality of the technology. 

Your classrooms may be empty during the summer, but your budget planning meetings are packed. Summer is the time to make the right decision about how to make your campus a more productive, engaging, collaborative and safe place for your students and staff. Cloud communications checks all of these boxes and more, and it can save you money with reduced overhead, maintenance and training costs. Leveraging Sourcewell simplifies the vendor selection process so you can be up and running before the first bell rings. 

There's a cloud solution out there for every school and university. To learn more, check out our Cloud Communications For Dummies ebook. >

Digital transformation has become a top initiative for business and IT leaders. In today’s business world, sustainable market leadership is no longer based solely on which company has the best products or even the best people. Instead, organizations that are agile and can quickly adapt to rapidly evolving market trends will become market leaders.

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