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CLS Serves Educators Across California and the U.S.

Collaborative Learning Solutions LogoCollaborative Learning Solutions (CLS) works with schools and educational agencies to improve academic and emotional learning environments for students. Its consultations with school districts, individual coaching of teachers, student curriculum development, and delivery of other education services give educators the tools they need to help children succeed.

VirtualPBX is proud to be a part of the CLS mission to “optimize the life outcomes and trajectory of marginalized youth” by giving its staff a reliable, affordable link to educators who need their assistance. The VirtualPBX Business Phone System has provided CLS with user-friendly access to a range of voice services like an inbound Auto Attendant, Voicemail, and Call Forwarding since 2015.

A brief chat with CLS administrative assistant and office manager Candy Haight recently provided VirtualPBX with a deeper look about daily use of CLS’s phone plan – one that has helped it maintain relationships with educators across several years and throughout the present need to embrace remote work.

Motivation to Adopt VirtualPBX

One of the primary questions VirtualPBX takes time to ask its customers is “Why did you choose us as your phone provider?”

There are many choices for VoIP service in the market, yet VirtualPBX often stands out as the diamond in the rough. It doesn’t have the largest number of employees versus its competitors; nor does it spend the most in marketing to show off its features. What it does well is pair low costs with an abundance of features in a package that’s easy for customers to use.

“CLS was a new company starting up when we chose VirtualPBX,” Haight said. The company bases its work on the research of Dr. Jon Eyler – the founder of CLS – in order to properly address the specific needs of marginalized youth who have emotional and behavioral disorders. The implementation of this goal was in the forefront of CLS’s first steps as a California-based education developer. A user-friendly phone system was essential for its outreach.

“We did some research and found the VirtualPBX system to be user friendly and just what we needed for the new business,” Haight continued. Cost also came into play at this stage. As many startups can attest, costs are a particularly important factor when choosing services on which to attach their businesses.

VirtualPBX was able to match CLS’s needs on many fronts.

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Phone System Use Across Many Locations

CLS operates its headquarters in California at an office building located between the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles. CLS, therefore, is positioned perfectly for outreach in those areas. However, in the years since its start, CLS has grown to partner with educators in more than 20 counties in California, many more cities throughout the U.S., and most recently to Dubai, United Arab Emirates as its official entrance to the global stage.

Inbound calls can come from educators in myriad locations. It is essential that CLS handles all inbound calls accurately, so the organization has split its Automated Attendant into distinct subgroups for callers to reach appropriate individuals and departments. Callers can be directed to CLS staff members who head their various programs, and employees are always able to be reached at their direct extensions.

“We have 20 users on the plan,” Haight clarified, “and everyone in CLS pretty much works from a different location. CLS works with different school districts in the U.S., so most work is done directly within schools.”

Call Forwarding and Voicemail

VirtualPBX Call Forwarding SettingsThis spread across the U.S. is handled in the phone system by Call Forwarding.

“All CLS users forward to their personal cell phones any calls that come through for them,” Haight said. This helps keep employees connected to educators while also keeping costs low for phone system use overall. Since employees can use their personal devices to receive calls, the don’t need to carry an extra phone to stay connected.

“Users’ extensions are given out to clients to contact them,” noted Haight, who also indicated that Voicemail was another often-used feature for CLS staff. Paired together, inbound calls can be handled immediately at each individual’s convenience or followed up when meetings and collaborations at school locations are complete.

Remaining Steady

This process has been a staple of how CLS has operated throughout the previous decade. Although the world has experienced a lot of change regarding its workplace processes due to the COVID pandemic – and this does not exclude CLS – its use of the VirtualPBX Phone System has remained steady and able to cope with shifting user needs.

Call Forwarding worked well when CLS staff was commonly visiting education facilities on a regular basis. Now that COVID has changed global workplace practices substantially, Haight said, the use of Call Forwarding and other VirtualPBX features have been supplemented with browser-based video conferencing. All of the above help CLS maintain a work-from-home setup while working with educators both virtually and on location.

CLS represents many companies that have used VirtualPBX service to weather the effects of the pandemic. It has established itself a base of tools that work well for its employees to collaborate with one another and continue their attachments to the outside world. Business need proper footing to remain stable in their own operations, and they can use that stability to remain connected to clients and customers even in the most trying of times.