ENA, Sylantro Launch Hosted VoIP for Education
Internet service provider Education Networks of America (ENA) has teamed up with Sylantro Systems to deliver hosted VoIP solutions for education using ENA Connect and back-end systems using Sylantro's Synergy platform.
The solution offered by the two companies is a hosted VoIP system that allows schools to implement in a gradual way, if needed. It can work in conjunction with existing PBXes, and implementations can be expanded without additional hardware, since the system is hosted. (ENA Director of Research and Development Michael McKerley emphasized that the hosted solution also provides continuity in times of disasters, emergencies, and other situations where school staff may not be on site to handle calls.)
The system also provides compatibility with a range of operating systems. Said McKerley, "Twenty percent of the locations we serve are Mac-based, and a number of one to one computing initiatives in schools rely heavily upon Linux, so Sylantro's support of user interfaces and soft phones that work across many different desktop platforms was crucial to us. Schools and libraries often start with smaller VoIP implementations, but need the latitude to expand quickly without having to constantly upgrade or replace premise-based hardware."
Some of the features of the Connect systems using Sylantro technologies include:
- Time of day/day-of-week personalized call routing;
- Video and voice in the classroom;
- The ability to call from remote locations while displaying the school's information on caller ID phones; and
- Mash-up capabilities combining Web and telephony applications, such as click to call from hosted websites.
According to the two companies, the services began rolling out in April, with implementations expected to be completed at 30 sites by the end of July. (Twenty-nine of these are K-12 schools; the remaining one is for the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents.)
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