Broadacres Housing Association provides a comprehensive range of services to over 5,200 homes in North Yorkshire. Established in 1993 the Association has grown both in terms of the number of properties it manages and its awareness of the needs and aspirations of its customers.
Broadacres operates under charitable rules and has a governing body of 12 volunteers including four tenants of the association.
With headquarters in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, Broadacres manages stock in Hambleton, Darlington, Spennymoor, Richmondshire, Harrogate, Redcar and Cleveland, Ryedale, Selby and East Riding of Yorkshire and Scarborough, providing homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale.
Broadacres provides a range of support services to different client groups including persons with mental health problems, learning disabilities, older persons, people with physical disabilities, those fleeing domestic violence, people suffering from alcohol and substance misuse and the homeless.
Broadacres’ existing Cisco Call Manager system was due to be upgraded at significant cost, and this was an ideal opportunity to review the overall communications and IT strategy. There was already a move to further merge telephony into their ICT solutions and leave a traditional VOIP handset with PABX system behind.
The upgrade gave Broadacres the opportunity to replace the costly Cisco solution with Microsoft Lync 2010 and embrace unified communications. The Cisco system was successfully replaced and Broadacres used Microsoft Lync to provide the business with a handset free telephony service.
The existing Contact Centre had historical reporting and statistics to demonstrate the level of service Broadacres was delivering for incoming calls. However it did not have real-time information, i.e. a wallboard to help manage the call queue with the correct number of agents available to answer 85% of calls within 20 seconds. Broadacres were looking for an enhanced Lync solution that would also provide this business critical information required by the agents.
As a long standing partner of Broadacres, BT was invited to scope out a solution that would meet the requirements of the business. Consultants delivered Design & Planning Workshops to create a detailed Scope of Works and Bill of Materials.
Microsoft Lync 2010 would be used to provide the optimal platform, with the project also utilising Microsoft best practice in design and deployment. Chris Fawcett, information systems and technology manager says, “We were looking for a partner that understood organisations of our size, and could provide the approach and expertise that we needed for a project of this complexity. With our existing relationship and the benefits of dealing with an organisation that has both the Microsoft knowledge and legacy voice expertise, BT was the logical choice. From the start of the project, it was obvious the consultants were extremely knowledgeable, and this gave us the reassurance that we had made the right decision.”
We were looking for a partner that understood organisations of our size, and could provide the approach and expertise that we needed for a project of this complexity.
Chris Fawcett - information systems and technology manager, Broadacres Housing Association
Following the Design & Planning Workshop with Broadacres, business objectives were defined for the project. As part of the design, planning and deployment process, BT aligned the business objectives of the project with the technical objectives and requirements outlined below:
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