Phone System with MPLS & SIP Trunking Across Sussex for the Citizens Advice Bureau
Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau (CaSSCAB), is a registered charity and part of a nationwide network of Citizens Advice Bureaux. Offering advice on subjects such as debt, benefits and housing, the Citizens Advice Bureaux nationwide helped 2.1 million people to solve 6.6 million problems in the year 2012/13.
Comprising of around 50 permanent employees and around 300 volunteer advisers, the CaSSCAB operates from 8 offices covering a region from East Grinstead and Horsham, down to the coast at Shoreham and Worthing.
A review of the Bureau’s communications was prompted by a move of the Worthing office into the Town Hall building which created the need for a new telephone system.
It was the responsibility of bureau ICT Coordinator Mike Larcombe to organise the new telephone system and consider the wider communication requirements of the 8 offices.
The wider issue was the bureau wanted to enable more advisers to be able to login manage calls on Adviceline and they needed more lines and a more integrated communication solution.
Commenting on the significance of the telephone systems, ICT Coordinator Mike Larcombe said,
“The growth of the Adviceline service means that telephone communications are becoming significantly more important. Currently over half of the advice offered to clients is provided face to face, with 40% by telephone and 3% via email the percentage of enquiries being managed by telephone is increasing steadily.”
Mike went on to explain,
“Taking enquiries by telephone means that we can balance the demand for advice across the region more evenly by managing the calls between the 8 offices based on available resources.”
Talking about the choice of communications provider Mike Larcombe shared the fact that the bureau had considered a national provider, together with a number of local communications companies but in seeking a recommendation, Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau had recommended Cavendish. The decision was taken to partner with Cavendish as a local company with experience.
Cavendish installed IP based communications with a resilient MPLS network and SIP Trunks at the Worthing office followed soon afterwards in Haywards Heath and Horsham as part of a roll out programme.
Installation and Support
Asked about the project management and installation Mike said, “The engineers were excellent. Where new cabling was required, the cabling team turned up early and installed the cabling with very little disruption. The engineers installed the handsets, carried out the necessary programming and provided on site training.” Mike went on to say the post installation support had been very good too.
Working with Cavendish
Asked to comment on his overall experience of partnering with Cavendish Mike said,
“Cavendish have been very easy to work with. They are approachable, knowledgeable and helpful and I would be happy to recommend them.”
Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau Communications Officer, Clare Mannsaker, provided the following summary about their relationship with Cavendish by saying,
“We are using Cavendish to supply a single telephone system for our CAB Advice Centres in West Sussex. Our telephone service for clients – Adviceline- has high demand and by investing in a single telephone system from Cavendish, we can ensure everyone receives the high quality service they expect and deserve.”