State Government refuses to fund SMS for parents in emergencies

Department of Education & Training does not cover the cost of an SMS solution

On the back of bomb hoaxes to schools across Queensland the media ran a number of articles about the State Government’s refusal to fund texting services for parents in emergencies.

A spokesman for the Queensland Department of Education and Training stated “The choice to subscribe to and fund an SMS service is a decision for individual schools,” he said. “In the department’s south east region, 44 schools have an SMS text solution that can be used for student attendance and/or crisis information to parents. “The department does not cover the cost of an SMS system.”

Gold Coast Bulletin Article 

If you work with a local school or education department it might just be worth speaking to them about an sms gateway solution.

SMS is vital for the education industry

Any school can use an online sms system – but it brings with it problems of security and also the long term issue associated with cost control.  Whilst upfront costs can look smaller than an alternative solution, a better and secure long term option would be to use a sendQuick SMS gateway.

We see SMS as vital to the education industry.  Where emails aren’t always read or opened in a timely manner, SMS can increase efficiency and reduce costs, along with fostering greater interaction between students, parents and teachers.

SMS can be used for general broadcasting OR urgent/important information like bomb scares.

But there are greater benefits to a secure SMS Gateway system that is controlled and managed by a school that can plan for usage and not have to think about their budgets after the initial outlay.  It could add so much more to the efficiency of education providers as SMS has a myriad of potential uses within schools:

Increased efficiency in monitoring student progress and performance

  • Send links to exam results anytime, anywhere
  • Teachers can notify students of changes to school timetables and reminders when homework is due or extracurricular activities occur. This can be especially useful at the start of school terms after a long break.
  • Notification of child’s non attendance

General updates and relationship management

sendquick sms gateways

  • Automatic updates of upcoming events/talks/sports carnivals/free dress days
  • School fees payment link via text or reminder of school fees due to avoid penalties
  • Teachers can directly text confirmation of parent/teacher interview times
  • Marketing use to promote upcoming events to students and their parents, or even departed students.
  • SMS for parental consent for classroom outings
  • SMS birthday wishes to the students

 More effective communications within the school

  • Quick and efficient alert broadcast to students and parents
  • Quick and efficient alert broadcast to teachers only
  • Reduce costs compared to postage

Improve school IT processes with alert notifications

  • SMS has always been used for testing systems and confirming they are working appropriately.  Schools can take advantage of this technology along with every other industry in Australia.  The IT support team can be informed immediately when there are critical events affecting the IT network and systems infrastructure. Using SMS to deliver system and network alert notifications provides instant notification. This enables the IT team to be more responsive and proactive at solving potential problems before services and end users are affected.

sendQuick Enterprise

The SendQuick Enterprise is the option we would recommend for schools and the combination of products would look like:

  • sendQuick Enterprise
  • 3G SMS Modem
  • sendQuick Modem 1-4 licence

sendQuick Enterprise is a box solution that sits on the school server behind the firewall and security protocols so should fall under existing security arrangements.  It is quick and easy to deploy and has been utilised in a wide variety of applications worldwide including educational institutions.

Return on Investment

sendQuick presents a good ROI for most organisations. Obviously the more services that you use your SMS for, the faster the return on investment will be.

If your school can replace their admin/postal notices with sms, put a cost on their improved communication, and IT benefits, plus utilise it for marketing purposes, it is highly likely they will be ahead within the first year.

Our team at Powertec will provide support for your install by phone if required.  If you need more support, speak to your Sales Manager.

Technical Details

As an enterprise class system, sendQuick supports multiple types of configurations, from single server to RAID and High Availability (HA) infrastructure to ensure continuous SMS service availability to users. sendQuick has the following features for educational operations as listed below:

  • Interface to back end system via HTTP Post, TCPIP messages, Secure FTP, ODBC and others
  • Web interface for direct messaging for different users to send different messages
  • Bulk messaging capability
  • High throughput via Telco connection via HTTP Post or SMPP3.4
  • GSM modem messaging as a backup capability
  • 2-way messaging to banking system for transaction enquiry
  • IT notification messaging format (SMTP, SNMP Trap and Syslog)
  • Database integration via ODBC connection • Other connection method that can be customized

Unlike normal applications, sendQuick is delivered as an appliance server hence delivering its innate benefits to the IT and application team. sendQuick has a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is maintenance free and helps to reduce support costs. Furthermore, all sendQuick systems comes with one (1) year standard warranty. As an appliance, it is easy and quick to deploy for the standard modules. sendQuick has been deployed in more than 1000 customers worldwide in more than 15 countries across industries in a wide variety of applications including educational institutions.

To find out more information on the individual products check them out here:

https://www.powertec.com.au/sendQuick-enterprise-sms-gateway

https://www.powertec.com.au/robustel-gorugged-r3000-hspa-modem

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