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Broadvoice Delivers Reliable Communications to Illinois School District


Fox River Grove School District 3, located in the small, vibrant community of Fox River Grove, Illinois, serves 400+ pre-K through 8th-grade students at Algonquin Road Elementary School and Fox River Grove Middle School. The district’s 80 staff members are committed to providing educational excellence strengthened by a partnership between the schools and the community. The middle school has become the hub of the Fox River Grove community, offering its buildings and campus to local groups like the Scouts and municipal organizations like the Fox River Grove Recreation Association.

“We want to educate students to the best of our ability and provide them with an education that prepares them for the future, and not only have academic skills but also social [and] emotional skills,” said Fox River Grove School District 3 Superintendent Sandy Ozimek.

“We think of ourselves as a public school with a private school feel. So customer service, to us, is a huge piece of what we do, not only for our students but for our parents and our community as well.”

The Challenge

For many years, Fox River Grove School District 3 relied on a legacy, on-premise phone system to communicate internally between the two school buildings and externally with parents, students, suppliers, community groups, and more. Over time, the existing phone system could no longer support their basic communications needs, let alone their evolving requirements.

District 3 experienced persistent problems with its phone system, including:

  • Unreliable service. Being responsible for more than 400 students, the district prioritizes clear, real-time communications with students’ families. However, the legacy system was unreliable, and they experienced downtime for weeks at a time.
  • Compromised safety. The excessive downtime was not only inconvenient, but it also posed a safety issue, especially during emergencies when prompt communication is mandatory.
  • No back-up plan. The phone system was so unreliable that staff resorted to sharing their cellphone numbers with other staff members and parents.
  • Ineffective customer support. To make matters worse, the phone provider’s customer support was slow and ineffective, which further extended downtimes. “With our prior system, we needed to purchase an expensive support plan,” said Superintendent Ozimek, “And then [when] we had issues, it did us no good.”
  • Outdated functionality. The district’s aging phone system did not offer modern capabilities, like support for staff mobility.

The Solution

Eventually, the district’s leaders decided to make a change. “Our biggest [concern] was having a reliable phone system that we could count on every day when we came into the office, and that if [there was] a problem, it would get quickly resolved,” said Superintendent Ozimek.

Dyopath, the district’s technology advisory firm, introduced Ozimek and her team to the Broadvoice b-hive unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform. Broadvoice b-hive is designed for small and mid-market businesses like Fox River Grove School District 3 and combines enterprise-class cloud PBX, unified communications (UC), collaboration, and virtual call center features into one platform that is connected to Broadvoice’s secure, redundant network and hosting infrastructure.

Broadvoice’s b-hive Communicator offers users an easy-to-use, all-in-one app for calling, video conferencing, texting, collaboration, voicemail, and fax, putting essential communications in reach from any desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.

With b-hive, Fox River Grove School District 3 could access new functionalities such as increased mobility, so individuals can communicate whenever and wherever they need. b-hive can also integrate directly with the bell and intercom system at the schools for overhead paging and announcements.

After weighing their options, including potentially upgrading the existing phone system, the district chose Broadvoice b-hive.

Superintendent Ozimek said the deciding factor was Broadvoice’s exceptional, award-winning customer service. Broadvoice offers a two-week implementation process that exceeds the industry-standard self-service installs by including a customized needs assessment, a network readiness assessment, design and configuration, an on-site survey, and professional installation, training, and issue resolution. The Broadvoice Customer Success Program adds three months of dedicated professional support to ease the customer learning curve, ensure the system is set up correctly, and promote user adoption company-wide. Afterward, customers receive a graduation packet with information about who to contact for questions or support in the future.

The Benefits

With Broadvoice b-hive, Fox River Grove School District 3 experienced the following benefits:

  • Improved customer experience. After the poor experiences with their previous vendor, the district prioritized working with a provider who offered excellent customer support. Broadvoice worked closely with the district throughout the implementation process, continuously informing staff on the deployment status.
  • Flexible deployment. Broadvoice made the deployment process as convenient and painless as possible, rescheduling the rollout from February to March so the installation wouldn’t interfere with normal school operations.
  • Mobility. Broadvoice b-hive is hosted in the cloud and accessible using softphone technology that works from a browser, enabling staff to communicate anytime, anywhere, from any internet-enabled device. “We wanted to use our phones and not be tied to a desk,” said Ozimek. “We could use [b-hive] either through the app or on our computers, and the staff has really liked that ability.”
  • Affordability. The district gained access to all the features and functionality of the Broadvoice b-hive solution as an affordable monthly subscription, realizing a higher service level at a lower cost than its previous vendor.

The Results

For the first time in many years, Fox River Grove School District 3 has a reliable, modern communications system backed by a customer-centric communications provider.

Broadvoice provides the district with optimized communications to fit its unique needs and a dedicated point of contact that checks in every 30 days to ensure the system is working smoothly.

“Broadvoice has far exceeded our expectations in terms of [customer service],” said Superintendent Ozimek. “Right from the beginning when we started working with Broadvoice, they’ve held our hand every step of the way [and] kept us informed of what was going on.”

“If anyone is looking for another phone system, Broadvoice would be a high recommendation. Out of 10 stars, I’d give them 11, and really encourage [businesses] to look at what Broadvoice offers and, most of all, the customer service they offer.”

Fox River Grove School District 3 can rest easy knowing they have a reliable phone system backed by a customer-centric, attentive, and price-conscious communications provider.

“If anyone is looking for another phone system, Broadvoice would be a high recommendation. Out of 10 stars, I’d give them 11, and really encourage [businesses] to look at what Broadvoice offers and, most of all, the customer service they offer.”

Sandy Ozimek, Superintendent of Fox River Grove School District 3

Do you need to streamline, scale, and future-proof communication at your company? Contact us for a demo to learn how Broadvoice solutions can help you with all this and more.

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