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Kimberly Area School district

Kimberly, WI

They felt very comfortable with ESG as a company. I remember a lot of secretaries saying how nice their people were, how thorough and how well they answered questions.

Mike McDermott, Director of Technologies
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Project Scope

We sat down with the Director of Technologies at Kimberly Area School District (KASD), Mike McDermott, and Lee McDermott, an applications specialist, and talked about working with ESG. The district implemented a Mitel phone system about two and a half years ago and here is their ESG Experience.

ESG: How did ESG separate itself from the rest of the phone system vendors you looked at?
Mike: “What really set ESG apart was their pricing was fantastic and everyone was really impressed with the demo over in the ESG offices. They felt very comfortable with ESG as a company. I remember a lot of secretaries saying how nice their people were, how thorough and how well they answered questions.

ESG: Could you describe to me the process you took in designing the system?
Lee: They pretty much gave us the design and we just kind of approved it or decided we wanted to tweak it.
Mike: I think that’s one of the nice things about it. They came in and knew what had to be done. They asked the right questions and brought in the right people. We just had to answer questions and they came up with the design.

ESG: Can you describe how the implementation process went?
Lee: They had it all planned out. There was a step by step process.
Mike: We had great email communications, we had weekly phone meetings and we got project plan updates. We were really well informed as the project moved on.

ESG: How was the training for your end users and staff?
Lee: It was very good. I think everybody thought that way; teachers and technical people alike.
Mike: They had a lot of trainers, so we weren’t waiting a long time to train people. They had people in every building and they set up a special help desk line for those first couple of weeks when the teachers came back. That was really nice.

ESG: Can you give me an example of when you’ve called into the help desk or needed any service or support?
Lee: Yes, we didn’t go with the hotdesking originally when we first implemented the system; we decided to do that last summer. I worked with Dave Friedl a lot, he’s good, I really like Dave, and we got it done. Any things I screwed up they helped me with. It’s the same as it has been; just a good experience all around.

ESG: What special considerations were made in the design with it being for a school?
Mike: Probably one of the biggest things was the 911. Making sure we had all the right 911 features we needed.

ESG: How does ESG compare to other vendors that you’ve used for different systems?
Mike: Very good!
Lee: Ha ha, far and above. Much better than some other people we’ve worked with.
Mike: That’s very true. We wish ESG did more in other areas because our experience was so good with this phone system with how well it was organized and the good communication.