We have a small school with classrooms across a few buildings. There are currently no phones going into each room but each teacher does have a school laptop and Internet. We need a way to instantly communicate with teachers from the office or vice versa. We're looking for a free solution as we have no money and very little to work with. I have access to a Windows 2003 server. I've looked into Openfire and Spark but need something a bit more simple and more control over clients.
Here are some requirements:
Need a way for people in the office to open up a 2 way line of communication with a teacher in a classroom and vice versa.
When a teacher receives a message there should be a constant sound (VOIP?) and visual flashing of some sort until the teacher directly interacts with it.
Would like to be able to centrally manage clients.
No video, file transfer, adding other users besides teachers and staff, or anything else common to typical IM that goes beyond messaging.
Would like this to be strictly used for staff and teacher communication so people don't have to walk to and from rooms each time.
I'm also open to other solutions that don't directly involve IM. I have thought about VOIP like skype but I can't centrally manage skype to restrict it to only calls within the school or control which users show up on contact list.
Here's a paid product that comes somewhat close to what we need: http://www.netsupportnotify.com/overview.asp
This seems like there should be a simple and free solution but I'm having trouble figuring it out!