With more than 400 councils nationwide now sharing services to realise efficiencies, Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council developed plans to build on a strong, existing relationship and join together in creating two more flexible, customer focused and cost effective organisations. This was to be achieved through the integration of staff and the modernisation of culture, structure and, importantly, technology.
With the two councils operating independent telephony platforms with no potential for integration with one another, and a need to modernise the features to better support modern flexible working, the decision was taken to go out to tender for the provision of a modern Unified Communications Platform to support a council workforce with staff in two geographically distinct main offices and a high degree of mobility.
The councils’ strategy also included the creation of a state-of-the-art shared call centre and full resiliency across the organisation.
One of the key factors in determining the successful tenderer was the ability to work with a local, flexible organisation with a proven track record of delivering excellent customer service and outstanding support.
“It was clear to us at the start of our shared service journey that enabling staff to communicate quickly and easily across a range of locations was critical to building a properly shared ethos. Furthermore, both councils had past experience of poor telephony systems or suppliers and understood the impact that can have on staff and customers. Therefore, the choice of supplier was as important as the choice of system.”
Mitel Telephone System with SIP Trunking
Cavendish Communications were awarded the contract following a thorough selection process, proposing a resilient virtualised Mitel MiVoice Business solution with active standby SIP trunking, Mitel Contact Centre deployment and MiCollab software integrating all users regardless of their location.
With a complex and evolving workforce such as the council, it was important to deliver a user experience that could be recreated seamlessly across any device, whether it be a desk phone, home worker, or indeed a mobile worker utilising a tablet or mobile.
With the software provided across the whole organisation, this is exactly what was delivered through the implementation of Mitel MiCollab software, with staff having access to their communications and being able to collaborate with colleagues wherever they may be.
Additional consideration was given to the core of the council’s incoming calls which are answered within their Contact Centres, deployed in both Lewes and Eastbourne locations. With the Mitel Contact Centre, supervisors now have numerous tools to better monitor and improve the customer experience within these departments.
Extensive reports and wall boards enable complete control and call distribution is extremely flexible, with automated handling improving efficiency and response time.
Thanks to the resilient nature of the installation, calls can be taken at any location and even in the event of a major outage (perhaps due to a local power cut or similar), callers can still seamlessly reach the council representatives and have their enquiry handled without any disruption. This resilient theme continues throughout the telephony architecture, from a high availability VMWare virtual infrastructure right through to active failover SIP trunking to ensure business continuity whatever the situation.
Implementing this state-of-the-art telephony platform had the primary goal of delivering the latest feature set, but in addition, allowed substantial monthly savings to be made through modernisation.
Employing the latest SIP trunking and rationalising the existing telephone lines had the added benefit of significantly reducing ongoing expenditure, with the vast majority of call charges now free on the modern VoIP platform, and line rental charges halved.
Cavendish provided a dedicated Project Manager to manage the planning and rollout of the installation from start to finish, introducing a phased approach to minimise disruption to daily activity and utilising the Cavendish training team to offer support every step of the way.
Cavendish were selected to partner with Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council due to their ability to work closely with both organisations and provide a flexible and supportive approach to a potentially challenging project. The results speak for themselves, with the solution delivered on time and within budget, the relationship between the Council and Cavendish Communications continues to go from strength to strength.
“We have been delighted with Cavendish Communications. They understood our requirements and came up with a solution that met those requirements and offered great value. They worked with us to plan the project and implemented it smoothly in carefully planned phases. We have a resilient and reliable system, and we are now able to build on that by rolling out collaboration tools such as MiCollab, and will soon merge the two contact centre operations into one with confidence.
Their technical knowledge is great, and it makes such a difference to work with a local supplier who is easy to contact. We know the team, and they are easy to reach when we have a question or a problem. I would recommend Cavendish Communications without hesitation.” – Henry Branson, Assistant Director for Business Transformation
Feedback from the Client
“I wanted to say what a great team you have at Cavendish. Right from the outset to go-live yesterday your team have been patient and totally supported us every step of the way.
I have to say a big thank you to the team for the smooth rollout and testing, Tina for her work on the porting, Tracey and the team for delivering the training and the floorwalkers on go-live (brilliant).
Finally, the man at the helm – (Project Manager) Scott who I can only describe as patient, professional and exceptional in what he does. It was a pleasure working with him.
All the best in the future and if anyone asks for a phone system in the future I know who to recommend.” – Walter Piper, Telephony Project Manager
We are very pleased we could contribute to this successful partnership between Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils.