How the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) supports Ontario families and child safety with unified communications.
Last year, 171,000 individuals in Ontario contacted Children’s Aid with a concern for the safety of a child.
For over 100 years, Children’s Aid Societies have been enhancing and promoting the welfare and well-being of children, youth and families in Ontario. With 80 employees in a single Toronto office, OACAS provides communications, advocacy and government relations, public education, training, information and knowledge management, and event planning to 48 member Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies across the province.
“Without the ability to connect, the whole system shuts down.”
OACAS relies heavily on their phone and internet connection to unite their member agencies across Ontario, and they do so with just five departments. “One of the five departments is the corporate service function, including IT, Finance and HR; and the other departments are staff who handle virtual training, manage political issues and coordinate communications between members on a daily basis,” says Jae Song, IT Manager for OACAS. “When provincial initiatives or time-sensitive cases arise, reliable and constant communication is vital to bring the right people and expertise into one room. Without the ability to connect, the whole system shuts down.”
When families need help, Children’s Aid Societies can’t be left hanging without access to the right information or expertise, which is what OACAS provides. But their old communications system was letting OACAS down: their provider changed ownership twice and service was degrading, pulling vital administrative resources away from supporting member Children’s Aid Societies. “We are a small and nimble team,” says Jae. “The communications tools we rely on every day are absolutely critical to service such a large membership.”
OACAS struggled to keep their lines of communications open. “Service quality for administrators and voice quality on calls were deteriorating significantly,” says Jae. “Often, we would hear static noise and poor volume during important conference calls, or worse: the calls would drop altogether.”
Support for voice services and functionality also became a problem. “It was impossible to keep pace with the needs of our members,” Jae says. “Our systems were complex and outdated, but there was no support to troubleshoot the problems—we had to redirect our time to find the problem and fix it ourselves. Even simple issues like resetting a voicemail password took weeks.”
The solution to the problem was not what Jae expected. “We were looking for a replacement system, and our goal was to save about 15%.” Instead of providing a quote for desk phones, Rogers suggested something quite different. “The Rogers team listened to all of our concerns and where we were having difficulty,” says Jae. “They took that information away and came back with a tailored solution for our situation.” That solution didn’t rely on hardwired desk phones and costly on-site infrastructure. Instead, the Rogers offering hosted the service in the cloud, allowing OACAS to let their members use the type of device that best suited their needs. “That’s when we realized how much Rogers Unison could help us.”
Beyond offering secure devices, mobility, conference calling and internet connectivity, Jae’s team discovered features of Rogers Unison suited to their specific needs. "If someone comes in with a serious concern and reception feels they need help, the person on duty can press 9 on their device and Hunt Groups rings a selected number of phones simultaneously,” says Jae. “Then additional support comes from many departments to help.”
“Across our operating expenses including desk phone, internet and additional subscription services like VoIP, we’re saving about 25 percent.*”
“The single source for services helps not only IT but also Finance and Accounting,” says Jae. “One line, one expiry day, one bill—the efficiency is noticeable in the time we save.” And, savings are also noticeable in their bottom line. “Across our operating expenses including desk phone, internet and additional subscription services like VoIP, we’re saving about 25 percent,” says Jae.*
Beyond their administrative operations, Jae says they can support and respond to inquires much faster, adding value to their members. “We’ve had zero complaints [from end users about telephony service quality] in the past six months, compared to 36 tickets in a single month before getting Unison.” And from Jae’s perspective, the reduction in complexity, maintenance and management of communications has directly impacted their end users, service quality and delivery. “At the end of the day, our IT department can focus on more critical matters, like security and data administration, which serves all our members better in the long run.”
To learn more about Rogers Unison, speak to your Rogers account representative or visit: rogers.com/enterprise-contact
*Savings based on switching to Rogers Unison and Rogers Business Internet. Actual savings will vary based on previous on-site infrastructure and service provider, number of users, licenses, equipment rentals and add-on features.