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VoIP Solutions for Schools

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Every school or educational organization needs a reliable phone system to operate. Administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students need to stay in communication at all times. VoIP phone systems are the most affordable, efficient, and safety-conscious communication system options on the market today for schools. 

Related: How to Create a VoIP Request for Proposal

Why do Schools need VoIP?

Schools today have two main options when it comes to phone systems – landlines or VoIP. Landlines are analog phone systems while VoIP uses your Internet to run and provides tons of high-quality communication features. Considering the amount of communication school staff has to handle on an everyday basis, choosing VoIP is a no-brainer.

VoIP is safety-conscious, operating using a private network and allowing administrators and families to establish an emergency communication system. Additionally, it allows teachers and administrators to easily stay in contact with students and parents through its accessible communication tools. Staff and families can take advantage of unified communication features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, mobile apps, call forwarding, and much more.

Hosted vs. Cloud-Based Solutions for Schools

Schools can choose either a hosted or cloud-based VoIP phone system. A hosted VoIP system uses an on-site server that connects to your school’s router and private internet network. Then, you can connect internet-friendly devices to take calls, such as desktop phones, softphones, computers, and even smartphones. 

On the other hand, cloud VoIP systems simply use “cloud technology” to operate, instead of an on-site server. Cloud phone systems are typically the best choice when you only need a mobile VoIP solution and prefer to use your smart devices to take calls. For that reason, hosted VoIP systems tend to be the more practical option for schools.

Benefits of VoIP for Schools

VoIP phone systems provide tons of benefits for schools. Implementing VoIP is the best way for schools to facilitate communication between faculty, staff, students, and parents. In addition, it helps schools keep te4chnology costs down! Consider these top benefits of VoIP for schools.

Administrative collaboration

With VoIP phone systems, school administrators can reap the benefits of tons of communication tools and features. These features help school staff stay connected with one another easily and effectively during busy school days. School administration can utilize VoIP communication features such as voice and video conferencing, live messaging with staff or parents, voicemail to email forwarding, and much more.

Parent communication

It’s often important for parents to stay informed of what is going on in their child’s school throughout the day. VoIP allows teachers, administration, and other staff members to easily communicate with parents remotely. Parents can stay in the loop with real-time communication tools, such as call forwarding to teachers’ extensions or smartphones, live chat, and much more. This provides a more satisfactory experience for families of the school district.

Safety features

Fortunately, VoIP provides robust safety communication features for schools. This allows schools to ensure immediate safety precautions in the event of an emergency, which can help parents, students, and teachers feel more safe on school premises. For instance, with VoIP, administrators can send out emergency text messages or phone calls to students and families to keep them informed. There are also Enhanced 9-1-1 services, which connect school administrators to the nearest emergency service at the touch of a button, to ensure everyone’s safety during an emergency.

Cost savings

Even with all its robust benefits, VoIP is the most cost-effective phone system on the market for schools. Most VoIP services start at only $20 per month and go up from there, depending on your selected add-on features and number of individual extensions. Learn more about VoIP’s low costs.

Unified communication features

One of the reasons VoIP is the best phone system for schools is that its features are completely automated and streamlined into one easy-to-use system. Using VoIP’s single interface, you can utilize dozens of communication features all in one place. Additionally, all you have to do is set up your communication preferences once, and you can take advantage of automated communication throughout the day. Unified communication features that VoIP offers for schools include: automatic call transferring, call queues, virtual receptionist, conferencing, call recording, live chat, voicemail to email, hold music, and more.

Flexible hardware

VoIP is the only phone system that allows you to pick and choose which hardware you want to use. For instance, administrators working at the school’s front office all day may prefer to use a desk phone, whereas on-the-go staff members may prefer to use a mobile device. Conveniently, since VoIP runs by using the Internet, almost any device that connects to the Internet can be used with your VoIP system, including deskphones, softphones, and smartphones. This is also helpful for teachers who may want to receive phone calls while away from their classroom.

Top VoIP Features for Schools

As mentioned, VoIP provides a huge list of communication features that can be added to your school’s phone system. To help you get started planning for your ideal VoIP phone system, here are some common VoIP features that schools choose:

  • Intercom integration
  • Caller ID
  • Call recording and analytics
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Call routing and transferring
  • Voicemail to email
  • Live chat
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Hold music
  • Emergency services
  • Automated announcements (via call or text)

Top Providers for Schools

As you may already know, today there are lots of VoIP providers on the market. Many providers have different industry specialities. Wondering who are the best VoIP providers for schools? Here are the top 4 VoIP providers that cater to schools.

SupplierPerksFeatures Starting Cost per Month
Jive (GoToConnect)Free 30 day trial
First month free
No upgrade fees
Easy to use
Free installation
Voice call
Hold music
Call routing
Caller ID
Unlimited call queue
Video conferencing
$19.95
OomaFree mobile app
Free landline number porting
Unlimited calls
Included live messaging
Free set-up
Virtual receptionist
Mobile app
Extension dialing
911 service
Online fax
Intercom system
SMS message
Call forwarding
$19.95
RingCentral100+ features
Unlimited calling
Unlimited conferencing
30 day free trial
Voice calling
Video calling
Instant message
FaxFree local number
File sharing
Virtual receptionist
Call forwarding
Mobile app 
$19.99
NextivaUnified platform
Safety-oriented
Mobile learning
Secure network
Unlimited calling
Voice calling
Screen sharing
Video conferencing
Audio conferencing
Call transferring
Virtual fax
Instant messaging
Mobile app
Privacy features
$19.95

Comparing the following VoIP providers can also help you as you do your research:

By the way, many schools, universities, and other education centers use Requests for Proposal (RFP) when deciding on a new VoIP phone system. Find out more about how to create a VoIP RFP here, or use our service to quickly find VoIP price quotes for your school.

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