|Joanne Polacek, left, and Tarolyn Branch, right, two of PBA's Sailfish Services representatives, receive incoming calls to the University.|
In an effort to provide better and faster customer service, Palm Beach Atlantic University has invested in a state-of-the-art telecommunications system being called “PBA Link.”
“PBA Link really streamlines the process of making communication effective,” said David Ladd, director of PBA’s network services (CIS), who led the team that spent the past 12 months planning for the installation of this platform driven by Microsoft Lync software.
Now when someone calls the University, the Sailfish Services representative has all of the tools necessary to make a caller’s experience a positive one, said Ladd.
Though no small investment, John Kautz III, PBA’s senior vice president for finance, administration and planning, said it is important for the University to take this technological step forward because “in today’s competitive higher education environment, fast and efficient electronic dialogue is an essential part of an organization’s ability to remain vigorous, engaged and actively involved with students, faculty, families and the community at-large.”
|Microsoft Lync's “Presence" provides a method to quickly determines someone's ability to receive a call.|
One of the system’s most attractive and customer friendly features is called “Presence,” which integrates the phone system with the Microsoft Outlook e-mail and calendars used by PBA faculty and staff to plan their schedules – providing a method that quickly determines someone's ability to receive a call.
“Now when a Sailfish Services representative receives an incoming call, he or she can see through the calendar integration the person requested is unavailable, the representative can transfer the call to another person in the department who is available and might be able to assist,” explained Ladd.
If an incoming call does go to voicemail, it’s now easier for the staff or faculty member to retrieve the message on their computer screen or mobile device through Outlook e-mail and thereby return it in a prompt, efficient way.
Another feature – the built in phone directory – makes finding people on campus much easier, Ladd added.
Other features of PBA Link include instant messaging, Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) allowing voice conversations to go across the network, video conferencing and the ability to access Lync client, which is software compatible with devices such as an iPhone or Android.
Over the next several months, CIS will be deploying the PBA Link software in addition to attractive new desk-top phones to all PBA staff and faculty, including on the Wellington and Orlando campuses. At present, about 30 percent of the system has been converted to PBA Link.