We have talked at length about hosted phone systems for businesses of all sizes, how they can save money, streamline incoming calls, benefit call centers, and free up IT staff. An installation we’re currently working on illustrates a whole new set of benefits to be achieved from a hosted phone system deployment.
OTELCO is in the process of designing and deploying several different types of hosted phone systems at multiple Cumberland County, Maine facilities. Although many of the phones are for the more traditional administrative and office uses, one deployment, at Cumberland County Jail in Portland, offers some unique advantages in a correctional environment.
Consider the Cumberland County jail, at 100,000 square feet in area, It’s the largest county jail facility in the state with 400 to 500 inmates at any given time and a staff of 251. As one might imagine, internal communication is critical when monitoring so many inmates in a space that exceeds 2 acres.
Currently, with the phone system that is being replaced, when a critical situation arises, staff has to make an actual call and provide his or her location in order to get assistance.
The new hosted phones can each be assigned a unique IP (internet protocol) addresse,making their individual locations trackable. That feature allows anyone on staff to use the nearest phone to send an alert throughout the organization to notify everyone of an emergent situation and its precise location.
According to Bruce Tarbox, Director of Facilities for Cumberland County, this new hosted phone system will enhance security and inmate safety by providing instant communication between all locations within the facility. Any threat, whether it’s a security breach or the health or safety of an inmate or prison staff, when reported via the hosted phone system, will broadcast to the entire facility and everyone will know the exact location of the incident.
We’ve talked about total cost of ownership and return on investment.
Tarbox did as well, and expects two significant benefits beyond operational safety and security:
- a long-term cost saving solution as cloud-hosted service can be upgraded and expanded without the purchase of additional equipment
- the ability to free up electrical and IT staff for more important tasks
What unique communication challenges does your business face?
For the record, this is the first time that OTELCO is deploying a hosted phone system for this type of application at a jail. When our sales and engineering staff met with Bruce and county staff, it was truly exciting for them to develop a hosted solution to meet the unique internal communication challenges of the prison. The entire process speaks well to the versatility and adaptability of hosted phone systems and how they can offer solutions to challenges that we don’t even know about yet.
Perhaps a hosted phone system can help you meet your communication challenges.
Hosted Phone Systems, Not Just for Offices