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Elgin, IL, September 2008 – With less than two weeks to go before school was scheduled to start, the Stevens Point School District discovered that the telephone system for their high school, one of the district’s largest facilities, was damaged and had failed. The system needed a critical upgrade and rebuild. D&S Communications, Inc., a national provider of converged communications solutions, came to the rescue, using parts from their $5M+ in in-house spares inventory and rush ordering the upgrade from Nortel. Foregoing the requirement for a formal purchase order from the school district in order to meet the critical timeframe, D&S took a risk that paid off for both the school district and the company. The necessary system upgrades were completed in time to allow the new school year to begin without any interruption to communications and D&S earned a satisfied customer.
Mike McArdle, Stevens Point Area School District Assistant Superintendent of Operations, says that when the core processor failed on their phone system they knew they were going to be in a time sensitive situation. “We were very eager to get the phone system working again, particularly before the first day of school. We wouldn’t have canceled school, but it sure would have made communication more difficult,” said McArdle.
Director of Building and Grounds/Transportation for the school district, Alan Hetzel, states that he was able to troubleshoot the problem in their Nortel Option 11 Release 22 telephone system by swapping equipment from one of the District’s other schools and bringing the high school system back up. “Once we made this discovery, we reached out to both Verizon and AT&T; however, neither could meet the two-week deadline. In fact, AT&T told me it would take at least two weeks just for them to come up with a proposal, let alone actually perform the work.”
Hetzel also contacted Tim Orlowski, Senior Sales Manager at D&S, to see if he could meet the tight deadline. Orlowski immediately engaged the D&S sales engineering team to design a solution that solved the immediate problem while safeguarding the school from a reoccurrence. This plan was quickly presented to the school district. “Instead of just replacing the processor card that burned out we were able to upgrade the entire switch to CS1000 Release 5.5, taking advantage of promotional pricing from Nortel to deliver a cost effective and timely solution.” said Orlowski.
How did they get all the equipment that was needed in time? Orlowski stated that D&S management worked to expedite the necessary Nortel components and drew from D&S spares inventory to get the complete solution for the customer on time. A commitment was made to perform the installation on Labor Day weekend, immediately before the start of the school year.
To meet the aggressive schedule, Director of Sales Engineering JD Ackley was dispatched to site with Lead Technician Victor Maldonado to perform the upgrade and it was successfully completed within just a few days – a week ahead of the commitment. David Green, VP of Sales for D&S, said, “This display of timely professionalism and technical expertise was truly inspiring. Our team’s ‘will do’ attitude stemmed from our commitment to Stevens Point. JD Ackley stepped up when needed, even putting on his old ‘senior technician’ hat and getting out in the field to oversee the upgrade. This was critical to meeting the required timeline.”
Hetzel said the upgrade went much faster than anticipated and that Ackley and Maldonado did an excellent job, adding, “We got the Purchase Order issued on Thursday, then I was off work Friday and Monday and, by the time I came back on Tuesday, everything was done – one week ahead of schedule. I was pleasantly surprised. Everything was working as it should and we still had an entire week before school started.”
Since 1986, D&S has been a leader in offering cost effective innovations to the telecommunications industry. D&S services customers throughout the US and is noted for having the size and depth to meet customer’s largest service requirements while also being nimble enough to provide highly customer-centric solutions.
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