Realtors’ Association of the Palm Beaches
RAPB has two office locations in Palm Beach County, serving the cities of West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. The challenge of providing consistent high quality and continuing education programs for their members- Real estate professionals whose practices span the county footprint; was proving to be expensive for RAPB and from a travel time and expense perspective, increasingly difficult for the members.
If they were to meet this evolving challenge, it was imperative that they provide quality, highly available and universally accessible education services to its members. Real-time and Historical streaming of High Definition (HD) Video content was the logical choice. This of course dictated that RAPB fundamentally reevaluate the incumbent Voice and Data communications network infrastructure across all sites.
Business Continuity Assurance would be a high priority; the incumbent network design was fragmented inefficient, unable to reliably support Voice or Video applications, expensive to maintain and vulnerable to prolonged service outages.
A Data Center “Hub and Spoke” model would be essential, insulation from network, power or building infrastructure failures would now be a mandatory requirement. A high speed, converged, fiber optic and private network design would provide a consistent quality experience for Voice and Video communications across this geographically distributed framework.
Telephony services would be fundamentally changed, using “ShoreTel “, this single image multi-site IP PBX system, will be anchored at the Data Center ; interfaced with a dynamic Voice PRI circuit, this would enable seamless voice communications, not only across the corporate network ,but also via Smart Phones or any network endpoint or telephone number defined by each user.
ShoreTel’s ability to integrate calling ID numbers with the incumbent RAMCO CRM platform ensured calling members inquiries are expedited and handled more efficiently by providing a RAMCO screen pop in parallel with the incoming call.
Inbound faxing would move to server centric paperless system, using a blend of personal and departmental Fax numbers, RAPB would eliminate labor intensive paper copy shuffling and ensure they had a central and comprehensive indexed archive of all fax communications.
The existing lecture theaters at each site along with conference rooms and smaller closing rooms would be upgraded to include HD Video systems from “Lifesize”.
Formerly separated locations could now participate in two-way, quality interactive HD Video/Audio communication.
A seminar speaker situated at one site could now communicate and interact to audiences at either theater. Leveraging the web, RAPB have provided universal access to its members, the launch of www.RAPBteachesme.tv offers video streaming, real-time and historical, thus further extending the audience viewing participation to those situated at a remote office, or to those whose schedules require they view the content at a later time.
Finally and importantly, the converged Voice Video and Data network design has resulted in efficiencies that have translated into tangible reductions in cost of both human resources and circuitry expenses that have offset a significant part of the technology upgrade investment cost
This coupled with the improved membership services have resulted in RAPB being recognized as one the nation’s leading proponents of communications technology utilization.
“The investment in Lifesize, ShoreTel and Converged Network technology has been the bed rock of the RAPB transformation. Operationally, the flexibility and resulting efficiencies has enabled our association to greatly enhance membership educational services and importantly lower cost of doing so.”
Ervin E. Hein
Director of Facilities & Data Systems