Wichita Public Schools Personalize Parent-Teacher Communications Using NEC’s Unified Messaging

UNIVERGE UM8500 helps teachers shorten response times to parents’ queries

IRVING, TX, March 31, 2009 — NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. (NEC), a leading communications solutions integrator, today announced that Wichita Public Schools, a Kansas-based leader in urban education, is benefiting from more personalized parent-teacher communications and higher technology utilization rates thanks in part to UNIVERGE® UM8500 unified messaging.

“Over the years we’ve come to trust NEC as being innovative and more of a partner in our long-term success. In this instance, UM8500 gave us advanced, easy-to-use voicemail integrated with Microsoft ® Outlook®, which makes it a powerful tool that enables a closer relationship between parents and teachers,” said Cathy Barbieri, CIO, Wichita Public Schools. “This solution makes it effortless for our teachers to check their voicemail via email and forward, categorize, save and delete messages with a click of the mouse. As a result, over time, the communication culture here has improved greatly.”

An NEC customer for more than 10 years, Wichita Public Schools is the educational home to nearly 50,000 students and employer of approximately 4,000 teachers, 3,000 support staff members and 240 administrators. Prior to implementing NEC’s UM8500 unified messaging, voicemail usage by teachers at Wichita Public Schools was low or non-existent. Teachers and parents communicated almost exclusively through the school office and some e-mail, and in some cases the lag-time between initial contact and response was lengthy. Today, Wichita Public Schools teachers and administrators receive voicemails directly from parents and other contacts by e-mail, increasing the district’s usage of voice technologies and facilitating a more personal connection between parents and teachers.

Because the district relies heavily on email communication, and considered its previous voicemail system inefficient and difficult to use, NEC recommended UM8500’s unified messaging capabilities to integrate both functions into one solution. Telephony solutions installed at each school in the district allow teachers to have a single-line phone and voicemail in the classroom, which has increased adoption. Additionally, an auto-attendant has been added, which has enabled consistent communications for parents and staff across all of the district’s campuses.

“Unified Communications comes in many forms. The benefit of NEC’s UNIVERGE360 role-based approach is that the customer can choose what makes sense for their organization,” said Don Fiorentino, Vice President of Western Regional Sales, NEC Unified Solutions. “For Wichita Public Schools, this means unified messaging and voicemail that improves communications efficiency between staff, parents and teachers.”

For more information on NEC’s communications solutions, visit www.UNIVERGE360.com.

About NEC Unified Solutions
NEC Unified Solutions helps companies unify their business communications through innovative software, applications, development tools, and services. NEC offers a complete portfolio for unified communications, wireless, voice, data and managed services, as well as systems integration and application development. NEC Unified Solutions serves as the North American communications integration arm of global giant NEC Corporation for Fortune 1000, as well as small to mid-sized businesses in vertical markets such as hospitality, education, government, and healthcare. For more information, visit www.necunified.com.

NEC and UNIVERGE are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About Wichita Public Schools
Wichita Public Schools, USD 259, is the largest school district in Kansas. There are close to 50,000 full-time students and 8,000 full-time and part-time employees. The district has more than 100 buildings and support facilities and includes K-12 schools, special programs and special schools. Wichita Public Schools parents and staff work together to create a learning environment that is safe, caring and challenging for each student.