Tech Report

Date: April 22, 2015
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

 

The installation of the new phone system over Spring Break went very smoothly overall. We had done the groundwork to prepare the network, so when Ednetics came along and put their appliances on the racks things were working very quickly. From there we began the task of deploying the new phones and removing the old, and with very few exceptions phones came up online. Obviously there have been some small anomalies, but Ednetics have so far been a good partner to work with to fix outstanding issues, some of which also involve our telco and 3rd party vendors (for the paging system) and so are taking a little longer. Middle, high and primary schools are currently still using the old phone system to page. I’m working with Simplex to resolve that for the high/middle schools, while the primary school is staying as it is as we’ll have to do something entirely different with their paging system this summer due to the office reconfiguration.

While any new system takes some getting used to I have heard more positive feedback from folks than not, so I think people are happy with their new phones! Sound quality is good (always a fear with voip systems from a network person’s perspective), and we have more advanced features rolling out shortly (online voicemail management and desktop computer integration with the phone).

The switching equipment for the new school has arrived and so we’ve begun installation there. Things are being somewhat held back by some power issues in the MDF, but we should have the new building connected to our main campus by next week! We have underestimated just how many things are now network or “IP” devices, we accounted for phones, computers and cameras but not things like clocks and speakers, so we do have to purchase a few more switches.

As the schedule for the reconfiguration begins to fall into place it’s reassuring to see it take form, but also a little daunting. After seeing how hard we had to work to get all the phones in place in a couple of weeks, our department will be looking for additional help to keep the entire reconfiguration on track.

Finally State testing has begun in earnest, with both LRA and our primary school running their students through it. With everything else that is going on I’m relieved to say that aside from a small number of glitches the technology has been working fine overall.