You may have heard TV chef Alton Brown criticize "unitaskers" -- tools in the kitchen that take up space but only perform one specific task -- in favor of "multitaskers" which can suit a variety of purposes just as well as a dedicated tool.
Outside of the kitchen, tools and systems can often be divided in similar way: those that fill a particular role and those that are multifunctional. When it comes to communications systems, those differences can be significant.
When LaMoure Public School's public address system failed, it could've seemed like another headache for already-busy school administrators.
But it was an opportunity.
Instead of installing a new, expensive dedicated paging system (the unitasker), they found the right tool for the job -- and a bunch of other jobs.
Enter the Multitasker - EverAlert
The broad capabilities of American Time's EverAlert system were already appealing, but with his PA system not working, LaMoure superintendent Mitch Carlson needed it to do even more.
Thankfully, American Time's engineering team had already been at work on adding the ability to send one-way audio pages to EverAlert devices from voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone systems. By treating the EverAlert units like a speaker connected to a phone extension, our engineers created PA functionality within the existing system -- requiring little or no additional equipment.
When the doors opened at the start of the 2022-23 school year, there were EverAlert devices in the admin offices, hallways, and every classroom -- 60 displays in total. Not only were they displaying consistent time and critical weather information, but the displays were also managing the entire school's bell system.
The real test came in January of 2023, when LaMoure became the first official install of the EverAlert Live paging system at a customer site.
"It sounded great."
With the push of a button on his desk phone and dialing a two-digit extension, Carlson surprised his administrative assistant and paged her over the Dynamic Display in her office.
"It sounded great," he reported later. "She thought it was coming over the phone at first."
Not only did the paging feature itself work well, but the configuration process on the inCloud Management Portal was easy -- easy enough that Carlson had no hesitation about setting up the paging zones and extensions without assistance.
"That's what I really like about this system," he commented. "The interface is so easy to use."
An Ongoing Solution
One of the next challenges at LaMoure is resolving the lack of communications for their outdoor areas and gymnasiums.
So, it was great news to Carlson that the EverAlert system could also be tied to analog speakers with enough amplification to cover those large spaces with the same paging capabilities -- even more multitasking.
"The teachers are excited about all of this and the administrators are really using it," he said. "What's great for me is that this system is so flexible."