Valley Regional Fire Authority Leverages Microsoft Teams Investment

Valley Regional Fire Authority (VRFA) recently worked with Altigen Technologies to migrate from an on-premises Mitel phone system and Zoom web conferencing service to Microsoft Teams Phone.  VRFA provides critical fire and life safety services for the cities of Algona, Auburn and Pacific in Washington State.  Spread across five responding stations, the fire authority’s goal was to integrate all internal and external communications into a single platform. 

After completing the initial migration to Microsoft 365, IT Manager Jim Smith began exploring whether Microsoft Teams Phone could provide everything they needed.  “We were already paying for Microsoft 365,” he said.  “By adding the Teams Phone license, we found we could leverage our investment to the fullest extent.”

While Microsoft Teams Phone offered many advanced capabilities, it still needed to deliver traditional  functionality.  “We are a mixed environment,” said Smith.  “We are a fire department with firefighters on shifts, so handsets were the best fit there.  For our knowledge workers, the Team’s Phone client application was seamless and integrated.  Because we first had people using the Team’s client in Microsoft 365 for internal communications, the cutover to the live system was frictionless.  The Teams mobile client has also been very well received.”

In place of the previous Zoom service, VRFA is fully utilizing Teams Phone web conferencing.  “Because our employees are spread across locations, the video conferencing has really enhanced collaboration.  We use Teams for our planning and design sessions for new fire stations.  We’ve spent many hours on Teams meetings as we’ve worked together on an ERP migration.  Even our monthly command staff meetings can be joined virtually when someone is out of the office.” 

By adding the Teams Phone license, Valley Regional Fire Authority was able to fully utilize Microsoft 365.  The move eliminated the cost and support of an on-premises PBX and Zoom conferencing services.    Altigen Technologies assisted in the deployment of Teams Phone and is providing Direct Routing SIP services.   “We’re a lean, efficient organization,” said Smith.  “While we’re used to supporting our systems, the deployment assistance allowed us to move more quickly.  Teams is enabling us to communicate effectively, internally and externally.”