Recently, the Gordon College IT team was facing a challenging technical issue. The school’s legacy phone system was facing its “end of life” and the IT team was not satisfied with the support it was getting with its old VoIP system. Upgrading the old system would cost almost as much as deploying an entirely new system, so a new, state-of-the-art phone system made fiscal sense. However, the IT team understood that the project would involve rolling out 600 phones at once, which seemed like a daunting task for a relatively small IT group.
Knowing that the deployment could be technically difficult, the Gordon College team decided to engage a partner to help with the project. After doing a deep dive into researching the competencies and reputations of various potential partners, Gordon College chose Harbor Networks for its expertise in VoIP and reputation as a trusted partner and Mitel for its best-in-class VoIP phones.
“The fact that Harbor Networks had a long history of support excellence was key to us picking them. All too often we find sales people are anxious to sell you a product and make all sorts of promises about support, but once you get into the contract, you find the support is less than desirable,” explains Gordon College’s Associate Vice President for Technology & Operations Chris Jones. “From our research (and now our personal experience) Harbor is NOT this way. They provide excellent support and make sure every issue is fully resolved.”
Once Harbor Networks was engaged, the team quickly got to work planning the project and working out all the details and potential pitfalls. The deployment was multi-site and required a mix of different phones in the dorms and in campus buildings, so Harbor Networks’ 20+ years of experience deploying VoIP phone systems—as well as supporting technologies such as virtual machines and an edge gateway—was particularly important.
When the project was complete, Harbor Networks had assisted Gordon College in deploying a mix of 600 Mitel VoIP and analog phones. Even more impressively, the cutover was completed seamlessly in just one day due to a tight collaboration between the Harbor Networks and Gordon College teams and the elegance of the Mitel solution.
“Harbor Networks worked with us closely to work through all the details until everything was fully implemented. They were very willing to augment our helpdesk staff, help our users directly, make site visits and work long hours until the project was done and we were happy,” Jones explains. “The team offered to do whatever was needed to make this project a success. This was such a refreshing change from other companies we have worked with and really makes Harbor Networks stand out.”
Now that the new Mitel phone system has been implemented, Gordon College is enjoying a top tier phone system complete with a state-of-the-art 9-1-1 system. The school’s IT team credits Harbor Networks and Mitel’s technology—specifically the user portal and desktop interface—with making the project such a rousing success.
“We have had very few issues with our new phone system and anytime we do have issues, the support has been fantastic. The new features on our phone system allow users to setup their communication needs in a way that fits how they work and really takes the load off the helpdesk to make every change,” Jones said. “We have been very happy with the product and with Harbor Networks supporting everything. They are truly a partner with us, and it is a blessing to have a company that really takes post-sales support so seriously.”