Upgrading to Mitel Telephone System
Community Base is a charity providing office space for community and voluntary groups in Brighton and Hove. Situated just 300 metres from Brighton station, Community Base provides managed offices for 29 diverse organisations that offer a mixture of local and nationwide services.
Many of these organisations provide helplines, some of which are available 24/7, others provide translation services over the telephone, which means they rely heavily on the telephone services provided by the centre and its reception team.
Cavendish had maintained the existing telephone system for more than 10 years but as key replacement parts ceased to be manufactured, this became increasingly difficult.
The decision was taken by the Community Base board to replace the system. A number of telecoms companies were invited to tender for the new system and the business was awarded to Cavendish.
Commenting on the decision to choose Cavendish over the competition, Centre Manager Olivia Canham said, “The team at Cavendish had always been very responsive and resourceful when it came to dealing with the growing issues on our aging obsolete telephone system, so we were very keen to continue with their services. In addition to having an existing trusted relationship with Cavendish, their pricing was competitive and we were happy to continue partnering with them.”
Managing the Project
It was the responsibility of Centre Manager Olivia Canham to project manage the transition to the new phone system and liaise with the 29 organisations to ensure the switch over caused minimal disruption to the services that they provided.
The Cavendish account management and service teams worked very closely with Olivia to plan the project and ensure everything went smoothly.
Ensuring minimum disruption to the centre’s organisations involved Cavendish carrying out vital engineering work out of hours at the weekend where possible and providing regular updates which could be disseminated to the centre tenants.
Priority was given to organisations with 24/7 helplines and essential voicemail requirements when drawing up the project plan, to ensure everything went smoothly.
Talking about the task of switching over to the new system, Olivia confided,
“Naturally there had been concerns about changing the telephone system for 29 different organisations and managing their expectations but Cavendish were excellent to work with and allayed any fears I had.
All of our tenants were dealt with sensitively by Cavendish, often directly and the transition was seamless.The flow of information from Cavendish was really good and I was able to keep everybody informed as to what was happening when. The project was well planned and as usual Cavendish were flexible and responsive throughout”
All substandard cabling was replaced by the Cavendish team as part of the upgrade and an operator’s console was added to the reception to make managing calls easier for the busy team.
Training was provided to each of the organisations individually, on how to get the most from the new system. Commenting on the training Olivia said, “The Cavendish trainers were very thorough, providing quick reference guides and extra training sessions for anybody that needed it. We have posted these guides on our Intranet.”
Asked about the impact the new telephone system has had on the centre, Olivia said, “All of our tenants are happy with the new system and our receptionists find it much easier to handle incoming calls. Tenants can now see the name or number of callers before they take calls and have options to call them back. For me personally, the ability to run individual billing reports and provide calls information for tenants, saves me time and makes it much easier to see which extensions are making what calls.”
Working with Cavendish
Asked to comment on the overall experience of changing the telephone system and working with Cavendish, Olivia said, “Cavendish are really really good, excellent, I would highly recommend them. They are cost effective, provide a great service, are responsive, friendly and the team we deal with are lovely.”