Fullarton school rolls out “perfect” network audio solution from Axis Communications.

Organization: Sunrise Christian School
Location: Fullarton, Australia
Customer need: Health, safety and environment (HSE)
Fullarton, Australia, 

Axis speakers provide new features in the upgrade to a new network audio system, fulfilling the school’s current and future needs.

Working with trusted service providers Building Security Technologies (BST), and an integration partner, Sunrise Christian School Fullarton were looking for an upgraded public announcement and school bell system. The solution needed to be user-friendly, sensitive to the residential area around the school and capable of zoning to different areas of the campus.

Ultimately, the new audio system would need to offer far greater functionality than the old analogue solution and provide a platform that future-proofs Sunrise Christian School for future digital integrations.

Axis audio solution meets the needs of the school
Following a trial of Axis Network Ceiling Speaker, staff found they could operate the system quickly and efficiently via the web-based user interface, creating specific alerts and messages for their individual class needs. School bells could be zoned in a manner that did not disrupt the school’s Early Learning Centre, while major, school-wide announcements could be sent right across campus on demand.

After an easy and effective deployment by the integration partner, the Axis Network Ceiling Speaker now provides users at Sunrise Christian School with a simple, very functional system that meets the needs of both individual classroom teachers and the broader school community.


Upgraded audio solution to meet needs of the entire school

Schools are inherently sensitive environments, and changes require special consideration. When Sunrise Christian School began to search for a new Public Announcement (PA) system, it was necessary to consider aspects of the deployment such as external noise, different zones within the campus grounds, and special needs requirements. 

Charged with finding and provisioning a replacement system for Sunrise, BST and the integration partner worked closely together, leveraging BST’s close working relationship with a wide range of relevant security products.


Simple, user-friendly audio solution

When Sunrise Christian School began to search for a replacement for their older analogue system, they discovered that an Axis Network Ceiling Speaker ticked a lot of boxes – more than they had originally considered. The network-attached speaker comes equipped with a built-in amplifier and is Power Over-Ethernet (PoE), so does not require hard-wiring to mains or a powerpoint in order to function.

“The staff at Sunrise Christian School found the speakers to be simple and intuitive and were quickly able to manage the system themselves with no intervention from our integration partner. They were able to schedule alarms and announcements quickly and easily, and found the system to be agile and flexible,” said David Rasmussen, BST. 

The school had recently built an Early Learning Centre (ELC) within the existing grounds, which would need certain functions in common with the rest of the school, but ideally not the frequent ringing of school bells to signal the end of each period over at the main campus, as these would disturb the learning environment for the younger children. The system would need to support shared announcements and alarms such as evacuations however, to adhere to the school’s safety mission.

Upon speaking to local members of the Axis Communications team and working in conjunction with BST and the integration partner were loaned an AXIS C2005 Network Ceiling Speaker to trial. As part of the demonstration, the team had the opportunity to sit down with staff at Sunrise Christian School and show them how the web interface works, how the technology would be driven from a central location, how different zones would work, and how easy it is to make changes within the system once deployed.


Easy zoning

Sunrise has four distinct zones, so the team started by discussing the individual requirements of various stakeholders, and working through the issues that they raised. Among these was the fact that Sunrise Christian School is based in Fullarton, a residential area, and the school is therefore conscious of neighbourhood noise levels.

In an effort to be sensitive to their neighbours the new system is less invasive than the previous ‘old school’ bell. It can also direct PA announcements internally where applicable, rather than blasting them across the campus. As another benefit of the zoned system, the ELC can play music and other learning tools such as audio books to their children, and not disrupt the rest of the school.

“The team on this project were looking for an outcome that delivered to as many stakeholders as possible, as well as fitting many of the criteria that our integration partner was looking at from an IT perspective,” continues David Rasmussen.

Strong, effective security protocols

One such requirement is the strict security protocols that the integration partner placed on all their deployments. The MSP has a criteria that all sites use 802.1X protocols, which restrict individuals from disturbing a local network, either accidentally or on purpose. Axis has speakers that adhere to 802.1X, and which come with a range of support tools for easy administration.

“With .1X protocols, our integration partner was finding that a lot of vendors say that they do it, but they don’t do it properly. Axis adheres to this highly secure protocol, and does it well. The tools that they include with their devices make deployments a breeze for our integration partner. Things like that make life easier and more secure for everyone,” said David Rasmussen.

Also of importance to the team is the continuity provided by the system from Axis. The audio solution does not solely rely on an internet connection, so if the WAN does go down, scheduled bells will continue to operate as normal with minimal disruption to the school routine.


The outcome is beyond expectations

The new audio system at Sunrise Christian School Fullarton is simple and much more functional than the previous system. Whereas few people engaged with the old solution and almost nobody knew how to operate it and change times, staff at Sunrise find the new AXIS C2005 Network Ceiling Speaker very easy to interact with via the simple web interface and are able to customise times and scheduling, chimes, music routed to the ELC and so forth.

“The outcome is well above and beyond what they expected. Everyone is familiar with the new system, and staff feel confident using it and making their desired changes,” said David Rasmussen.

Axis Network Ceiling Speaker was easy to set up, meeting all network security goals. BST and the integration partner have found that the solution is highly functional within the broader school ecosystem and compatible with associated devices. It is also easy to scale and roll out in different schools around the region.

The integration partner relies on the physical server infrastructure at Sunrise Christian School, and will be rolling out Axis Network Ceiling Speaker at other affiliated schools across the state using these server resources.

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