...And, SchoolMessenger is owned by West, Inc, a major telecomm company. In their sales pitch, they say they can control the routing of calls to deliver a higher success rate.

Dana

Dana Baron
Student Data Manager
Burlington School District

"Everything will be all right in the end. And if its not yet all right, then its not yet the end."

On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 8:35 AM, Steve Jarrett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We went to Schoolmessenger after dropping Blackboard Connect for the same reason that you mentioned.  It is working well for us.


Just FYI: Blackboard goes too cheap in routing calls to save money.  Blackboard claim that calls go through, though our local providers show no evidence that the calls every hit their local network.

Congressman Welch identified this issue a couple of years ago.  Below is a January 2017 excerpt from VT Digger:


residents of Vermont and other rural states experience persistent problems with incoming long distance and wireless calls. The FCC reports that such calls are often plagued by choppy sound quality, long ring periods or even prolonged silence before the call connects. Sometimes long distance calls to rural areas will simply not connect, or faxes won’t go through.

The reason relates to the higher charges long distance and wireless carriers have to pay to local telephone companies to complete calls. In the complex process of routing a call to a local company’s network, a national company must pay an additional access charge, which helps cover the higher-than-average costs of setting up rural phone networks.

In efforts to shrink these additional costs, some wireless and long-distance carriers have contracted with third-party companies that route calls as efficiently as possible. In this process, service quality can suffer.






 
Steve Jarrett
District Technology Supervisor
Chittenden East Supervisory Union

On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 8:19 AM, Christine Gibson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Do any VT districts use Bright Arrow for mass notifications?  We are currently using Blackboard Connect but we've had all sorts of issues with call routing and messages getting "lost" in Vermont's tiny patchwork of phone providers.

Bright Arrow is embedded in PowerSchool, which is a plus.  It does not (as far as I can tell) provide translation.  

Anyone have a review?
Christine Gibson
Systems Manager

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