Leeds Co-op needed communications for their Head Office, including telephone lines for voice along with internet connectivity and email for staff. For the voice solution they had ordered Meridian from BT. Whilst reviewing their requirements, Leeds realised they had a large number of lines from BT and were unsure what was needed - but knew they had a very high line rental and ongoing call costs. For email IT had planned to give only select staff email and had started to roll-out Microsoft Exchange. Property Department became concerned about IT costs spiralling out of control and the functionality provided by the proposed part-implement solution.
As existing LCR clients of The Phone Co-op, The Phone Co-op was contacted to see if they could provide a solution that would provide the same kind of savings to the telecommunications hardware it was already providing for the calls. They found that for less money they would also gain significant data connectivity and convergance functionality than with the BT / Exchange Solution.
We worked with The Phone Coop and had a week to implement the solution. As well as installing the phone system hardware we also loaded and configured at least four different programs on every PC in the building. To achieve this, we had to be the first onsite and the last to leave. The full convergance solution we implemented over the course of a week included:
After the installation, Phone Co-op Systems ensured we were available to sort out any issues, queries or connectivity problems including after-hours and weekends. Our standard working hours are 9 – 5:30, but we have worked with the Leeds Co-op IT Manager have working to resolve shop to head office connectivity issues at 7:00pm. This was to ensure Till Data could still be collected when the separate till data routers weren’t talking. The Till support company is meant to provide a 24 hour support service, (which is why they don’t use the Alchemy to Alchemy connection) however when there were problems at a redeveloped site they weren’t contactable so the Alchemy to Alchemy conection had to be used.
With the installation of the Alchemy and CTi Server, the office-wide functionality significantly increased whilst substantially reducing line rental and ongoing costs. The dissemination of information is more efficient and effective, people are easier to contact and phone usage is much more efficient. Staff communications is much easier, more immediate and effective.
After the system was customised to Head Office’s required configuration, we have been able to:
The solution has been so successful, Leeds is continuing to rollout the solution to the Food shops, Funeral parlours, Optical shops and Travel shops. The ability to accommodate the extra shops has resulted in the need to replace the Head Office system with a larger one and reusing their existing system at the Funeral Head Office.
The implementation of Phone Co-op convergence solution has resulted in extensive initial and ongoing cost savings for the Leeds Head Office and shops. Both verbal and digital communications are much easier and effective and staff are able to provide a better quality service because of it. We continue supplying on-line remote support for Leeds and install the high-quality systems fulfilling the Co-op’s needs.