The Avaya Difference
The district evaluated other potential solutions but would have to bring in multiple system servers to achieve what the school district wanted. Avaya was able to offer one seamless, integrated emergency notification system supporting multiple channels, with notifications going to any Internet-connected device. The solution, enhanced by Avaya’s extensive ecosystem of partners, offers three main forms of alerts: outdoor (paging speakers, UHF radios), indoor (PA speakers, message boards, desktop phones), and personal (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers via text/SMS, pop-ups, email, and RSS social media). The calling and SMS services are enabled by Avaya OneCloud™CPaaS.
Round Rock ISD was unique in that it did not have a dedicated police force; however, that changed and now its district-dedicated force is responsible for protecting and serving the district’s nearly 57,000 students and staff members. The Avaya Cloud Notification Service controller is located at the Round Rock ISD police station, where District Police Chief, Jeffrey Yarbrough, and his officers manage notifications. The system can be controlled so that notifications are sent only to specific schools (ex: if an active shooter is present at just one building) or to all schools (ex: if a natural disaster is projected to threaten the area).
The iNEMSOFT Advantage
“Being able to connect our UHF radios was a significant advantage,” Yarbrough explained. Avaya DevConnect partner iNEMSOFT was able to deploy its ClassOne® Radio Gateways utilizing the district’s existing Avaya infrastructure, essentially making the UHF radio act like an Avaya SIP telephony endpoint. This would ensure teachers or staff could receive notifications even if their cellphones aren’t working or they don’t have cellphones with them at the time of an emergency.
The SIP-based radio gateway provides the control interface for various types of radios over IP/SIP protocol, including UHF/VHF, narrowband, digital 700/800 MHz, Tetra, and P25 radios. The INEMSOFT radio gateway unifies land-based mobile radio channels (LMR) with the overall Avaya enterprise voice communications fabric – enabling mission-critical interoperability, unified communications, and collaboration. The solution additionally provides for radio-based dialing to a phone user and routing radio audio to recording systems.
Before Avaya Cloud Notification Service, Round Rock ISD had no way of notifying in- building persons about an active shooter or other critical threats. Now, the district is fully equipped to instantaneously send alerts to keep students, faculty, staff members, and visitors protected and safe. The district may also explore possibilities with the mass notification system outside of emergency threat situations. For example, these notifications can be used for anything from bus schedule changes to non-emergency delay and early dismissal notices to keep students, teachers, staff, and parents aligned with developing changes.For more information on Avaya OneCloud CPaaS, please visit avaya.com.