Nevada Virtual Academy Case Study

    Nevada Virtual Academy (NVVA) streamlined billing processes and consolidated services by switching to Fusion Connect.

    Streamlined Solutions with Savings

    “Our remote teachers have reliable, high-quality VoIP and Internet connectivity to effectively run their classrooms, and our help desk is no longer inundated with support calls. Now, we qualify for an additional $100,000 in E-rate savings.”

    —Kirby Okuda, Operations Manager, NVVA

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    The Challenge

    • Move away from teachers using their own residential broadband services so company can qualify for additional $100,000 E-rate discount and eliminate resource-intensive reimbursement processes
    • Ensure reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity for 20 administrators and 120 teachers that run their classrooms from their home offices
    • Eliminate frequent dropped phone calls to guarantee consistent and dependable communications between administrative staff, teachers and parents
    • Avoid resource-draining processes including processing monthly reimbursements for Internet connectivity as well as a heavy volume of support calls related to the previous voice service

    The Solution

    • Hosted Voice provides a single, no-maintenance VoIP system to serve teachers and administrators at their homes and the NVVA headquarters in Las Vegas
    • Features, such as Visual Voicemail, and extensive reporting capabilities simplify communications and voice administration
    • Fusion Connect serves as a single Voice and Broadband service provider for all NVVA locations in one invoice. Business-class broadband services, including Ethernet, T1, DSL, and Cable, are superior to residential service

    The Results

    • Teachers and students enjoy smooth streaming online classroom experiences – which rely on consistent, high-performance connectivity
    • Phone and Internet issues are dramatically reduced – if not eliminated – freeing up Okuda and his staff to accomplish other tasks
    • The Finance team no longer needs to manually process individual expense reports from 140 remote teachers and administrators seeking reimbursements for the residential Internet services they require to give online instruction
    • With business-class Internet connectivity across all of its locations, NVVA now qualifies for a total of $140,000 in E-Rate subsidies
    • Teachers receive voicemail messages transcribed as emails in their inbox. They can scan the message and respond quickly, especially when listening to voicemails is not feasible

    Classes Stay in Session

    Previously, NVVA teachers turned to local residential providers for Internet service to conduct online classes. This resulted in wide disparities in connectivity types and speeds. The lack of reliable bandwidth frequently caused teaching sessions to drop.

    By partnering with Fusion Connect, the academy has committed to a better learning experience for its students. “For optimal online education, it’s key to always have access to reliable bandwidth,” Okuda says. “When [Fusion Connect] told us they could provide us with Voice services and provide high-speed bandwidth to all of our teachers – no matter where in the state they lived – we didn’t believe it at first. But that’s exactly what Fusion Connect has done.”


    One Provider, One Invoice - $140,000 in E-Rate Savings

    Since teachers had to be reimbursed for their home Internet usage, Okuda and his staff received 140 erratically arriving expense reports each month. “We’d have three office workers devoting excess time just to process the expense reports,” Okuda says. “Since combining our telecom services for all of our teachers onto one bill, these employees are freed up for projects that bring value to NVVA in terms of online learning advancements.”

    The single-bill plan has also helped qualify the academy for additional government E-Rate subsidies, designed to assist schools and libraries in covering communications costs. “We only received $30,000 in E-rate subsidies for our Voice services. When we migrated to [Fusion Connect] business-class Internet services and put our Voice and broadband expenses onto one bill, we were able to demonstrate that our Internet services qualified as well,” Okuda says. “Our E-rate savings now total $140,000 a year, which covers 80% of our telecom expenses.”


    One Call for Support

    With NVVA’s previous vendor, teachers’ calls were frequently lost and Okuda received daily support calls complaining about Internet service issues. Because the quality of VoIP calls was directly tied to each teacher’s residential Internet service, it was frustrating to get to the source of an issue.

    “There was a lot of finger pointing, without actually resolving the problem,” Okuda says. “Worse, these vendors charged us for support calls.” Today, Fusion Connect is responsible for all voice and Internet service and support. “For the few issues that do arise, [Fusion Connect] is quick to respond in a very positive, results-focused way.”


    One Bill, Zero Surprises

    The previous VoIP vendor won the academy’s business largely due to its promise of a highly competitive rate. But the estimate did not include charges for various services which – due to the lack of call quality – became unavoidable.

    “Every time a teacher contacted the vendor, we’d get charged,” Okuda says. “Every time someone on my team contacted the vendor, we’d get charged. By the end of the month, these calls doubled our bill. Now, 24/7/365 support is included. We start – and finish – with a very affordable rate.”


    Who is Nevada Virtual Academy?

    Founded in 2007, Nevada Virtual Academy is a charter public school that provides tuition-free K-12 online learning. Through a dual credit program, the academy partners with the Nevada System of Higher Education enabling high school students to earn college credit.


    Products & Services
    Hosted Voice (VoIP)
    Fusion Broadband Services

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    “Since combining our telecom services for all of our teachers onto one bill, these employees are freed up for projects that bring value to NVVA in terms of online learning advancements.”

    Kirby Okuda, Operations Manager, NVVA


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