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Fast-Growing School District Picks Avaya IP Telephony for Small,Medium Businesses to Cut Costs, Deliver New Services to Parents,Students, Staff

08-15-2005

When one of Florida's largest school districts needed to replaceits costly phone service to accommodate growth and reduce operatingcosts, the organization turned to a new IP telephony network fromAvaya.When one of Florida's largest school districts needed to replace its costly phone service to accommodate growth and reduce operating costs, the organization turned to a new IP telephony network from Avaya (NYSE:AV), a global leader in business communications applications, systems and services. The new network is expected to help the St. Lucie County Schools not only reduce expenses, but also deliver new services to parents, students, teachers and administrators.

Located south of Vero Beach on Florida's Treasure Coast, Port St. Lucie is one of Florida's fastest-growing communities with a student population to match. Approximately 4,000 teachers and administrators serve more than 25,000 students at 33 schools.

To support the burgeoning district, the St. Lucie County Public Schools selected an IP telephony network based on Avaya IP Office - a high-performance voice and data server specifically designed for small- to mid-sized organizations.

"There is a statewide mandate requiring us to use PBX equipment instead of purchased telephony services in order to minimize operating costs, so it was important for us to make a change," said Richard Stabile, director of purchasing and warehousing for the St. Lucie County Public Schools. "In addition, we knew that voice and data are merging, and we wanted a solution that would allow us to incorporate to IP telephony over time as we were comfortable doing so. Avaya IP Office will help us meet both these objectives."

The solution for St. Lucie County Schools was designed by Arrow Communications (www.arrowcom.com), an authorized Avaya BusinessPartner headquartered in Stuart, Fla. Installation is now underway and is expected to be completed during the coming year.

More than 3,000 leased voice lines will be replaced by 50 T1 data lines for a significant savings in operating costs. The new data lines will link IP Office systems that provide voice and data connectivity to each school and to three district offices housing administration, transportation, purchasing and maintenance personnel.

Since Avaya IP Office supports IP, digital or analog phones - both wired and wireless - each site will be equipped with the mix of endpoints that best suits local needs. For example, Avaya wireless access points and wireless handsets will provide phone service to the many temporary trailers the district uses to accommodate class overflow, eliminating the need for costly cabling.

Teachers across the district will have two voicemail boxes - one for internal use so they can stay in touch with administrators and colleagues, and a second public voicemail box where they can post homework assignments and other messages that parents and students can dial in and hear. As an additional convenience, the conferencing features of IP Office will allow teachers to hold calls with groups of parents and administrators to convene staff meetings without requiring participants to travel.

As a security measure, the school district uses the capability of IP Office to log calls. As a result, they can identify and maintain a record of calls that are suspicious or threatening, and take any necessary actions.

"Implementing our new network is a first step for us," Stabile said. "IP Office not only gives us new tools to improve our operations, but also allows us to evolve our capabilities over time as our needs grow and change."

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500 ®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

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