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The Challenge

The Adoption Network of Cleveland connects and empowers individuals, organizations, and communities impacted by adoption and foster care and provides a source of healing for those in need. The organization was relying on an old and antiquated landline phone system—the same one they had used for 15 years—for their communications both internally and externally.

“When I started working here 3 years ago, I was frustrated that this phone system did not have the features I took for granted at my past jobs. Caller ID and easy access to voicemail when out of the office are features I thought all businesses should have. I was constantly running into issues that a new phone system could have eliminated”, said Nicole Cheraso, Director of Finance and Operations, at The Adoption Network at Cleveland.

Watch our video interview with Nicole Cheraso here.

The problem? The Adoption Network of Cleveland was a nonprofit organization and simply did not have the funds to invest in new hardware to make the switch to a new phone system.

The Solution

After attending a tech seminar, Betsie Norris, Executive Director of The Adoption Network of Cleveland was introduced to Alex Desberg, Sales and Marketing Director, at Ohio.Net. Desberg told Norris about Ohio.Net’s Nonprofit Stewardship Program, which gifts nonprofit clients with donated Polycom and Cisco 7900 phones. Norris and her team set up a meeting with Ohio.Net to discuss the program in further detail.

In their meeting, The Adoption Network of Cleveland learned that not only was the cost of implementation cheaper due to the Nonprofit Stewardship Program, but the monthly cost of VoIP is would be more budget effective than their current traditional phone system. The Adoption Network of Cleveland also learned that often times, organizations can upgrade to higher internet speed for the new phone system while saving monthly fees in the total cost of ownership. Having an upgraded phone system with premium features at a reduced cost was a ‘no-brainer’ for The Adoption Network of Cleveland. Ohio.Net scheduled a time that week to come out and set up the new phone system.

The Results

The new VoIP system was implemented in one day and the Ohio.Net team made the integration process seamless. The Adoption Network of Cleveland now had features such as call roll over to cell phones when employees were out of the office. Previously, employees would come in between appointments or not feel comfortable to work from home due to the fact that they would be missing important phone calls and had no access to voicemail. VoIP eliminated this problem and gave the employees at The Adoption Network of Cleveland to work from anywhere.

The auto attendant feature ensures that all calls are going to the appropriate person. The organization has a part-time front desk representative but when she was out of the office, the other employees would have to monitor her phone for fear they would miss important calls. Now, during business hours, after 3 rings on her phone, that phone call is sent to another designated representative, and if that person does not pick up, another employee. This ensures that the people The Adoption Network of Cleveland serves are getting the best possible care and service.

Another feature that The Adoption Network of Cleveland is benefiting from is fax to email. The nonprofit organization interfaces with many government and health agencies that will only send documents through fax. Previously, every fax was coming through the fax machine and The Adoption Network of Cleveland was wasting paper and ink on ‘junky faxes’. Now, all faxes are sent to a designated email address. The Adoption Network of Cleveland can delete the faxes they do not need and only print the important documents.

“The customer service with Ohio.Net is superior. The national phone carriers we’ve worked with in the past have been a nightmare to deal with. I love that I can pick up the phone and talk to an Ohio.Net representative that I have interfaced with in person and knows our organization. With Ohio.Net, we have better hardware and telecom features at a more affordable price. Having Ohio.Net as our communications provider was the best decision we could have made.” says Cheraso.
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