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The Atlanta Ballet was founded in 1929 when dance visionary Dorothy Alexander began a small dance group with the intent of bringing quality ballet to the Atlanta community. Over the years, the Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire has spanned the history of ballet, featuring the most beloved classics as well as inventive original works. Along with yearly productions of the Nutcracker, the Atlanta Ballet has performed on the stages of Taipei in Taiwan, at the Presidential Palace and the Sejong Cultural Arts Center in Seoul, Korea as well as debuted in London, performing John McFall's enchanting Peter Pan as the centerpiece of Royal Festival Hall's millennium celebration. They have also collaborated with artists in a variety of genres, including Big Boi of OutKast, the Indigo Girls, The Red Clay Ramblers, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Choir, and the Michael O'Neal singers.
Now in its 80th year, the Atlanta Ballet continues to be a vital part of the arts community, both in Atlanta and nationally. Also highly regarded is the Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education, located in Midtown Atlanta, and its satellite schools in North Atlanta and Marietta, GA. Each school is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity through its courses.
With a main office, containing administrative offices, practice space and a box office, and two satellite locations, communications is critical for ensuring that all three locations run smoothly, work as a united team and successfully promote the Atlanta Ballet and its educational programs to customers. Previously, the three locations were not connected. It caused problems when customers mistakenly called one location to speak with a person in another location. It became even more difficult when people called one of the satellite locations to purchase tickets to an Atlanta Ballet production. "Our box office resides in our main location; because of our proprietary software, customers can only call there for tickets," said David Tatu, director of operations for the Atlanta Ballet. "So when customers called one of our satellite locations looking for the box office or someone located in the main office, we would have to give the caller the correct number. In the case of voice mails, we take the message and email it to the correct person."
Tatu’s relationship with DiscountCall started when he approached Andrew Gambini, director of technology for DiscountCall, while he was a sales engineer at NuVox (formerly FDN.) Tatu needed a phone vendor to support an aging phone system. Gambini recommended Randy Berlin, president of DiscountCall, who through outstanding customer service and consultation, was selected to be the phone vendor for the Atlanta Ballet as they opened schools and offices in Marietta and North Atlanta. DiscountCall installed a Samsung OfficeServ 100 in the Marietta location. They also consulted Atlanta Ballet on the best way to connect the three locations. DiscountCall’s custom configuration included the installation of a Samsung OfficeServ 7400 at the Atlanta Ballet’s main location. The system’s VoIP capabilities allow the main office to connect with the satellite offices, which both have IP phones. The IP phones are used for inter-office communications among locations. The locations also utilize traditional telephony for outside calls. In addition, DiscountCall designed the system to allow the Atlanta Ballet to transfer voice mails between locations and to cell phones, as needed.
Communications among the Atlanta Ballet’s three locations is seamless. All three locations now exist as one. When an employee in the main office wants to contact someone in the Marietta office, they can dial their extension and not need an outside line to connect the call. When people call any location, they are easily transferred to desired person. Callers are also transferred to any voice mailbox in the Atlanta Ballet system as well as to the box office. "This makes it easier for customers to be buy tickets and subscriptions. It’s one less step in the buying process," said Tatu. "Also, with our old system, we would have to email the content of voice mail messages to the right people. Sending the actual voice mail to the correct person allows for a more accurate message."