For three years now OTELCO has worked closely with The Town of Casco to provide them with a Hosted Phone System. This week we sat down with Casco’s Administrative Secretary Bob Tooker to discuss the town’s success with their business phone solution, how they survived two lightning strikes, and their plans to expand their Hosted network.
When the Town of Casco built a new town office in 2016, they decided to leave everything behind and start from scratch. “We put in an entire IT infrastructure,” explains Bob “and that’s when we decided to go to Voice Over IP.” For those who might need a refresher, Voice Over IP (VoIP) phones leverage the power of the internet to send and receive calls, forgoing traditional voice services that require fixed copper loops and complicated infrastructure. At OTELCO, we supply customers, like the Town of Casco, with a hosted platform, often referred to as Hosted Phones. With Hosted Phones, OTELCO provides the connection that powers the system, allowing customers to scale, move or redeploy wherever there is an internet connection.
The Town of Casco decided to lease their phones and network switches from OTELCO as a way to cut costs after their big build. They worked with Natalie Penny, one of OTELCO’s Solution Design Engineers, to create a phone system that would meet all of the municipality’s needs. Bob remembers the onboarding process and Natalie as being “incredible.” “When we moved in [to the new office], Natalie came here a couple of days ahead of time, plugged in all the pre-programmed phones, did the staff training, and we haven’t had any problems since.” Of course, the Town did have some minor problems when they were hit by lightning not once but twice.
When Lightning Strikes
Bob can look back on the time the town office was struck by lightning now and laugh, but it wasn’t quite as comical at the time. “The first time we got struck by lightning, one of our network switches got fried, along with my phone, some computers and a bunch of other things.” The switches are the main communications hub for building, and Casco leases two from OTELCO. Bob was very pleased with how quickly OTELCO was able to “come through” for the Town by sending a team from our Bangor office right down to replace the switch with a brand new one. Then, six months later, the office was struck again.
Bob is still impressed with the efficiency OTELCO displayed after another switch was damaged from the second strike. “It was pretty amazing because OTELCO had a new switch installed and working as soon as the next day.” The technicians had taken a snapshot of the hosted network configuration when they were on site repairing damages from the first strike. After a review, OTELCO’s technical support team was able to coordinate between two locations in Bangor and New Gloucester to bring the right switch to Bob in Casco.
“One thing that I really wanted to emphasize,” Bob told us while discussing his experience with OTLECO’s team during the strike, “is that whenever we have a problem support is fantastic, and that is probably the single most important aspect of having a hosted system, because managing the system is just a phone call away.”
Looking to the Future
For Bob, being able to “integrate multiple facilities” was another important part of having a hosted system. Recently the Town brought Casco’s Community Center on board, and Bob is already looking forward to the next expansion. “It’s really nice because the Community Center is just a button away” Bob proudly illustrates, “and as time goes on, we will slowly branch out and bring everybody on board.”
OTELCO is an industry leader in Hosted PBX phones. We pride ourselves on our local technical experts, like Natalie Penny, and winning VOIP technology. With our phones, we are able to help small towns like Casco stay connected with a reliable and convenient voice solution. If you would like to learn more about Hosted Phone Systems, you can download OTELCO’s all-inclusive guide to business phone systems. It is a complimentary guide that covers everything you need to know about VOIP phones, including total cost of ownership comparisons and advice on how to leverage the resources you already have.