New City College London

The Background

New City College (NCC) is the fourth largest college group in the UK with campuses across Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Epping Forest and Havering. Employing around 1,800 staff, serving more than 20,000 students, and having increased in both size and scale over recent years, the college retains its strong local identities. In addition, having campuses in each borough continues to provide a strong choice of courses for the communities it serves.

The Challenge

With a mix of obsolete and out-of-support phone systems and a complex set of ways for students to contact the different college sites, the college started to look at methods that would allow it to consolidate disparate systems into a single solution; one that would address obsolescence and enable a better student experience – particularly concerning student admissions.

It was also important that any new solution would provide staff a better platform in which to communicate – regardless of location – whether inside or outside the college campus environment.  And this infrastructure had to be implemented within secure, on-premise data centres.

The Solution

Having taken the time to fully understand the unique pain points of the customer, Daisy Corporate Services and key stakeholders at the college developed a flexible relationship built on trust. This relationship allowed Daisy to deploy a design, development, consultancy, training and support service that would provide the college with a Unified Communications (UC) and multimedia contact centre solution using vendor partner Mitel. When completed, this will include MiVoice Business for telephony, MiCollab for unified communications and MiCC for the contact centre element.

With such a large transformation, the solution was split into multiple phases which deal with each pain point in terms of priority.  Phase 1 has a provided a contact centre service to act as a single point of contact for admissions and improving the ability to deal with student enquiries.

This improved student experience will also mean that the existing multiple lines for contacting the college’s advice teams using different phone numbers and different sites have been consolidated under one contact centre. Customer Service team members will be provided with real-time and historical information re: incoming calls so that the best possible student experience can be provided at all times.

For New City College, a cloud-based or externally-hosted data centre were considered too high a security risk, so Daisy’s ability to provide a unified communications and contact centre platform within a secured internal VMware environment was a critical factor in the decision-making process, and so phase 2, which is currently underway, will consist of migrating all campuses to a common infrastructure implemented within data centres on-site.

Phase 2 will also see the rollout of contact centre services from voice to omnichannel. This will allow the college to provide all students with their platform of choice for communication, reflecting that the student body might see web chat for example as their preferred media as opposed to a conventional telephone calls. This will further enhance the college’s ability to meet student recruitment targets and offer an enhanced student experience in the highly-competitive further education (FE) field.

The Result

Daisy successfully met the college’s budgetary constraints to deliver powerful new Unified Communications (UC) applications and desktop services as well as delivering a UC platform residing within the college’s internal, secure data centre.

With phase 1 completed, NCC are able to enter busy admissions periods with a new, single point of contact for students. A secondary benefit is that having all the enquiries channelled into in one location allows for greater synergy, data collection, and identification of arising issues and opportunities.   In addition, projected cost savings will arise from reduction in support costs, reduction in telephony call charges via migration to session-initiated protocol (SIP), simplification and cost reduction in moves and changes in administrative costs.

The strong relationship that exists between the two parties has seen Daisy serve as a sponsor for the Apprentice of the Year category at NCC’s student awards that took place in October 2019. Paul Hadaway, Sales Specialist at Daisy Corporate said: “We worked closely with the college’s project leads to deliver a cost-effective solution which will improve the communications experience for both staff and students. Thanks to the relationship we have built with the customer, I was delighted to attend the college’s annual student awards dinner. As a sponsor, Daisy were able to contribute to the provision of recognition and rewards that these students deserve.”

The Future

Phase 3, under discussion currently, will see the rollout of a mass notification platform which will deliver a secure instant message notification system across a range of desktop and mobile devices.  This will provide enhanced duty-of-care capability for staff and students alike.

RSA_Insurance

RSA Insurance Group

Case_Study_RSA_Insurance_Group

“Support from Daisy has made us feel very confident about the solution we’re getting. Consistency of service is key, and whichever recovery site you visit, you know that’s exactly what you’re going to find.”
Paul Rose, UK Head of Business Continuity Management at RSA Insurance Group

The Background

RSA Insurance Group is one of the world’s oldest general insurers. With a 300-year heritage and the capability to write business in more than 100 countries, it provides a range of vital services
to help businesses and individuals protect themselves against life’s uncertainties and enjoy peace of mind.

As a complex business that specialises in managing risk, RSA unsurprisingly considers business continuity a key priority. With customers often needing help at a moment’s notice, the group’s contact centres need to be up and running. Meanwhile, other vital business functions must be quickly recoverable to ensure claims can be processed seamlessly in an ever-tighter regulatory environment.

As a result, RSA boasts an advanced and energetic business recovery function, with dedicated teams allocated to each of the group’s 100+ business areas.

The Challenge

Effective work area recovery is central to RSA’s business continuity strategy. Prior to 2017, the group was able to meet its requirements largely in-house, using its large property portfolio to provide alternative workspaces if one of its main sites was compromised.

However, after rationalising its property holdings and calling a review of its business continuity management (BCM) strategy, RSA decided that a third party solution would be a better way of meeting its work area recovery needs. As well as providing flexibility and value for money, the solution had to be second to none in its effectiveness, ensuring staff welfare in the event of an incident and allowing the business to manage its existing obligations to customers.

During the tender process, it became clear that Daisy’s network of workplace recovery sites had the best geographical fit for a UK-wide business like RSA. Daisy had also been supplying RSA with business continuity planning software for some years.

The Solution

Working with Daisy allows RSA to meet its recovery time objectives via a syndicated model, rather than relying on dedicated recovery seating. With a syndication ratio of less than 10:1, the solution offers considerable efficiency and a substantial risk-managed cost benefit, while ensuring fit-for-purpose workspaces are always available if an incident occurs.

Before implementation, the solution was rigorously tested in close collaboration with the RSA team and key external suppliers, such as Vodafone, which provide RSA with network and phone connectivity. In the event of an incident or test, Daisy deploys the customer’s IT “image” to computers at the relevant recovery site, while connectivity is supplied by Vodafone between RSA and Daisy’s own premises.

This allows business-critical applications to be up and running in accordance with RSA’s recovery time objectives. The contract is designed to offer maximum flexibility and value, with a simple flat rate charged “per desk, per year”, regardless of how many incidents actually occur. Ongoing testing is also built in, allowing RSA’s Business Continuity team to conduct regular preparatory “dry-runs” and inspect all aspects of each recovery site when required.

The Result

“We were pretty impressed by how logical it all was,” said Paul Rose, RSA’s UK & International Head of Business Continuity Management. “It was great how flexible Daisy was prepared to be in allowing people to come and look and test. The team let us use their meeting rooms free of charge when we visit, are always accommodating and keen to help.”

The work area recovery solution has already been tested over seven times by the RSA workforce. As well as making sure colleagues are comfortable with the work-specific aspects of each site (desks, phones, IT), the team ensures all other practical facilities like kitchens and washrooms are fit for purpose. After each test, users are asked to complete a survey, and the results have so far been overwhelmingly positive.

Going the extra mile is part and parcel of Daisy’s approach. A site can be ready within just four hours, giving ample time for connectivity to be established and fine-tuned by RSA’s IT and BCM teams. What’s more, Daisy makes each recovery site available for 14 weeks in the event of an incident – far in excess of what RSA plans for as standard. An emergency hotline is also available for extreme situations, with callback guaranteed within 30 minutes.

Because the contract is flexible, RSA can increase or reduce the number of recovery site desks to fit changing business needs and workloads – essential in an industry that’s undergoing extensive change. Daisy also offers RSA a “FlexPlace” service, where recovery centre desks can be hired for requirements other than business continuity – for example during an office refurbishment, or to accommodate temporary staff for a large marketing campaign.

In an evermore regulated industry, RSA can demonstrate a leading-edge, award-winning work area recovery solution to customers, senior leadership, regulators and auditors.

Manchester City Council

Daisy-Corporate-Services-Manchester-City-Council-Case-Study

Manchester aims to be a city that is well connected.
A city with ultrafast broadband and free WiFi in public places. A city with enviable digital skills.
A city of open data where citizens can develop the apps to make data not only available, but usable, and create a more openly democratic city.

– Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council*

The Background

Science, technology and innovation have long been part of Manchester’s DNA.

As the first region to secure devolved powers from Westminster, Greater Manchester, specifically Manchester City Council, has redoubled its commitment to making the city one of the most forward-thinking in Europe, investing strongly in digital industries and putting the public at the forefront of its strategy.

Promoting “digital inclusiveness” is central to this vision. In its drive to become a truly-connected city, Manchester has sought to harness the benefits of ultrafast broadband for the benefit of its citizens whilst offering free, high-quality WiFi in many public places. As well as improving the overall quality of life, a key aim was to bring internet access within easy reach of new, previously excluded groups and communities, thereby enhancing democracy, opportunity and social cohesion.

Led by CIO, Bob Brown, Manchester City Council has developed “Our ICT Strategy” which details ICT as a key enabler to transform the organisation, deliver new technologies to Manchester’s residents and act as the vanguard to the digital revolution in Manchester.

The Challenge

To realise this ambitious vision, Manchester City Council needed to install fast, reliable and user-friendly WiFi across a comprehensive array of public buildings. These ranged from libraries and leisure centres to historic buildings, heritage sites, sheltered housing, Sure Start centres, health and social care facilities, homeless shelters and many more – a total of almost 130 sites around the city.

At the time Daisy took on the project, WiFi was only available in a few larger libraries. The existing infrastructure lacked the necessary scalability to support further development, while the user interface varied across locations, offering little scope to capture and understand user data or improve their experience. This meant that a comprehensive redesign was required.

Time proved to be another critical factor. In order to meet eligibility requirements for a vital tranche of funding, working WiFi had to be delivered to all 130 sites within a short three-month period.

The Solution

Daisy’s state-of-the-art solution was based on a proven, resilient and scalable Cisco infrastructure housed in two separate data centres. Where possible, existing infrastructure was integrated into the design to provide fast, consistent and reliable WiFi coverage across all sites.

The team designed a single proprietary portal, delivered via the Daisy Engage platform, to work across all locations, carrying the council’s Busy Bee brand and greeting returning users with a “welcome back” page that remembers them by name and invites them to reconnect without the laborious process of entering usernames and passwords.

To ensure the project’s exacting timescales could be met, the surveying of each WiFi location was carried out in parallel with the ordering of hardware, cabling and other equipment – an approach that needed careful coordination and oversight. When lead times for installing some ASDL cabling proved too long, Daisy made innovative use of 4G technology to provide high-quality interim connectivity and meet the completion deadline.

The Result

Greater Manchester’s public WiFi infrastructure has enjoyed a steady increase in usage, celebrating its 100,000th unique user in June 2017 and achieving more than a million logins. Meanwhile, the core platform has functioned with 100% reliability across more than 400 access points.

Most importantly, the project has enabled Manchester City Council to offer free and seamless internet connectivity to more than a million citizens, including underprivileged sections of the community who may previously have lacked internet access. This has helped to promote digital inclusion whilst encouraging the widespread development of IT skills.

Daisy’s Engage solution has added further value by offering the Council a bundled price for all services. This includes a sophisticated range of analytics that provides insight into every user interaction, capturing a variety of data from names, postcodes and email addresses to the time spent online and the site at which the WiFi was accessed. This gives the Council an unprecedented understanding of user needs and habits, highlighting locations or time periods when usage is especially high and allowing it to provide the best possible service to each and every user. It also facilitates planning for the future stages in Greater Manchester’s digital transformation.

*First published in Manchester City Council’s Digital Strategy, 2012

MHA Monahans

When we took the decision to outsource, we spoke to a number of potential suppliers, but Daisy stood out from the start with their professionalism, knowledge and vision. This, and more, has been borne out in the years we’ve been working with them. The platform is stable, secure, reliable and performant, while the people are experienced, knowledgeable and good to work with. As we start to look at our 3rd generation platform, Daisy’s vision, expertise and commitment remains outstanding.

Steve Fraser, Partner, MHA Monahans.

The Background

MHA Monahans is one of the leading firms of chartered accountants and business advisors in the west of England, offering expert support to clients in areas such as accounts provision, audit and tax. Its teams of accountants and other professionals operate from offices in Bath, Chippenham, Frome, Glastonbury, Melksham, Swindon,  Trowbridge and Taunton.

The firm also provides a range of more specialist services including corporate finance, tax consultancy, business recovery and insolvency, cloud accounting, HR and payroll services, and probate. Its financial services arm, Monahans Wealth Management, offers a complete package of tailored, independent wealth advice to individuals and businesses.

As chartered accountants, MHA Monahans sell their skills in units of billable time, which need to be precisely accounted for. The wealth management side of the business, meanwhile, actively manages clients’ money, with transactions relating to pensions and investments all needing to be handled in a timely, professional and compliant manner.

The Challenge

To deliver the efficient service clients expect, MHA Monahans needs a reliable, high-performance IT solution.

Prior to working with Daisy, the firm’s core technology was housed in one of its own offices and managed by a third party service provider. In 2012, as part of its newly-defined IT strategy, MHA Monahans sought a new IT partner that could host their core infrastructure in a highly available way through an off-site data centre. This would allow for a fully-managed and monitored IT environment, with the ability to upgrade the entire application stack easily to the latest available versions while supporting staff with any IT issues.

As well as removing MHA Monahan’s IT dependency from its own premises, the solution needed to facilitate both mobile working and IT Disaster Recovery (ITDR) – with special focus on providing access if the firm’s business premises were ever compromised.

The Solution

Now on its second generation, MHA Monahan’s private cloud platform is hosted in one of Daisy’s state-of-the-art data centres, with the client’s actual data archived in a geographically separate location.

The use of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) ensures that all confidential data remains in the data centre, while secure remote access (complete with Multi Factor Authentication) enables both mobile working and effective ITDR. The same virtual environment also hosts a Cisco unified communications virtual platform, which delivers telephony
service and a virtual reception across all office locations.

Later in the relationship, Daisy also redesigned MHA Monahans’ Wide Area Network, providing improved connectivity with an MPLS WAN solution from vendors BT. As well as being more cost-effective, the solution offers
guaranteed class and Quality of Service (QoS) to ensure that virtual desktop and voice traffic are prioritised.

In addition to all this, Daisy operates a service desk to support all of MHA Monahans’ IT users, while proactively monitoring and managing the platform. The team also provides strategic support to help the firm drive innovation and challenge established thinking.

The Result

Today, MHA Monahans and Monahans Wealth Management both benefit from a resilient, accessible and high-performance IT environment which delivers a highly-available application and voice service – allowing all staff to provide a premium quality service to their clients.

HomeServe

We needed Daisy to be more than a supplier. We needed a flexible partner, one that would hold us to account and support us as we developed. The vision is that by 2020, resilience at HomeServe will be embedded and seamless. Daisy is and will continue to be key part of this journey.
David Owen, Head of Business Systems and Risk, HomeServe.

The Background

HomeServe provides emergency insurance cover to two million UK customers, helping them fix, maintain and look after their homes while offering peace of mind should the worst happen. Products cover everything from plumbing and drainage to boiler repairs, electrics and more.

HomeServe places customers at the heart of everything they do. In addition to a network of response-ready engineers around the country, the company employs a sophisticated contact centre operation so that customers can contact them easily if an emergency arises. Ensuring continuity of service in the event of a disaster is therefore a core priority, especially during winter when customer needs increase by 70%. As an FCA-regulated business, HomeServe must also be able to demonstrate effective business continuity measures.

Daisy has provided HomeServe’s contact centres with work area recovery (WAR) since 2006. Since 2011, however, as HomeServe’s business underwent substantial changes, the relationship has taken on a radical new dimension.

The Challenge

In recent years, HomeServe has expanded both its global reach and product range. In 2011, the company decided that its business continuity and IT disaster recovery (ITDR) capability needed a root-and-branch upgrade in order to maintain its commitment to customers.

With a lean ITDR resource and a vacancy at the head of its business continuity function, HomeServe saw the need for a flexible, expert partner to support them in improving these vital functions as the business continued to grow. As a long-term supplier, Daisy was an obvious potential candidate.

Daisy was tasked with establishing formal, fit-for-purpose business continuity and ITDR programmes for HomeServe – programmes that could adapt fluidly to changing requirements while enabling constant improvement and development. They also had to be fully embedded in HomeServe’s culture and DNA. In addition, the programme needed a strong focus on testing and exercising to demonstrably improve the company’s business resilience.

The Solution

To set up and manage the new Business Continuity and IT Service Continuity programmes, Daisy provided two expert consultants, each working on a contract basis. This gave
HomeServe the flexibility and cost-effectiveness necessary to overhaul its resilience capability even with a fairly lean in-house resource.

Daisy has provided broad-based specialist support in both areas, including the development and maintenance of detailed policy and process documents that help staff recover data and IT capability as quickly as possible in the event of a system failure. Meanwhile, robust Business Continuity and Work Area Recovery plans ensure staff can be moved and full contact centre capability restored within the agreed time objectives.

A regular cycle of activity is in place to ensure consistent improvement across all parts of the programme in line with strategic objectives, while identifying new areas of risk. Requirements are evaluated from a range of perspectives, from staff needs to IT frailties, allowing for a constant process of fine-tuning and optimisation. Meanwhile, a structured testing programme has been set up, with bi-annual ITDR exercises to explore new solutions and opportunities. Yearly tests are conducted at each Work Area Recovery site, while a robust education programme ensures all HomeServe teams get to experience scenario-based exercises, walkthroughs and e-learning.

The Result

By partnering with Daisy, HomeServe has changed its culture with regard to business continuity and IT disaster recovery, while radically enhancing its resilience capability.

“The operational learning curve was steep,” says David Owen, Head of Business Systems and Risk, of the early days of the partnership. “Now, many years in, the teams actively seek the practice rehearsals to make sure they have their bases covered… the muscle memory kicks in from the repetition, and the focus is on the customer still, even in a catastrophe.”

From a technical perspective, HomeServe’s business resilience is demonstrably stronger. Recovery times have shrunk dramatically, with critical systems like phones and networks recoverable almost instantly. HomeServe’s contact centre service can be swiftly restored if an incident occurs, and all functionality seamlessly recovered.

In June 2018, Daisy and HomeServe jointly won CIR Magazine’s “Best Business Continuity in Industry” award, a fitting testament to the effectiveness of the partnership and its commitment to ongoing collaboration. It also speaks to the relationship’s inherent flexibility, as well as the fact that HomeServe trusts Daisy to act in the long-term interests of their business and customers.

In 2018, the relationship entered a new stage. HomeServe’s business continuity capability is now mature, with staff able to deal with incidents and amend protocols with minimal help from the Daisy team. The organisation is also growing rapidly, and has recognised the need to take on a full-time business continuity manager once again to meet its ongoing needs. Daisy continues to play a vital role with its advanced Business Continuity planning software, Shadow Planner, which makes a range of BC tools and applications available to staff in the way that suits them best, via a range of devices.

For Daisy and HomeServe, the relationship has the potential to run for many years more, driven by the needs of the client and their customers.

Care UK

 

The technical teams at Daisy are very knowledgeable and the team on the Care UK account fully understand the environment, from inception to implementation and for me, this is very important going forward.

Jason Wells, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at Care UK

The Background

Care UK is a leading independent provider of health and social care services. The organisation works in partnership with NHS commissioners to deliver a range of healthcare services including general practice and walk-in centres, 10 treatment centres that specialise in elective surgery, offender health, out of hours and the NHS 111 service.

It also manages 113 care homes, provides 150,000 hours of homecare every week and supports people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. For more than 30 years Care UK has been helping people to live happier, healthier and more independent lives.

The Challenge

Operating in a fast-paced environment and having grown annual revenue from £80m to £700m, it was crucial that Care UK worked with a partner that was able to support the planned growth and play a key role in supporting its IT provision, which is a particularly vital function of the organisation.

Care UK had a small selection of servers, all of which were managed in-house. The main objective was to move from a small communications room and find a stable, resilient and fully managed solution which could be accommodated away from the business in a data centre.

Due to considerable growth, Care UK also required a more robust and secure solution with the added support coming from a reliable business partner. On becoming a Daisy customer, Care UK’s main priority was to ensure business continuity and to avoid any potential disruption to business when Daisy acquired its previous IT provider. Daisy ensured this transition was successful and provided the reassurance Care UK needed.

In addition, Care UK’s IT team wanted to retain control over a small selection of servers and so required a flexible solution that allowed them to focus on its business and wider organisational operations, while Daisy took active control of key parts of the Care UK infrastructure.

The Solution

Care UK has grown and in turn its estate has expanded within the growing provision of the service Daisy now offers. Whereas previously the services were only for the back-office systems, the majority of Care UK’s line of business applications are now fully managed with Daisy – with application support provision in place with providers AHC, Unit 4, System C and IMS.

To cater for Care UK’s requirements, Daisy provides resilient data centres that offer disaster recovery capabilities, in addition to the redesign of the application stack and presentation layer responsible for running the daily applications of Care UK. Daisy also provides Care UK with a fully managed service for all its business divisions, including end user and technical service desks, account management, design authority and hosting and management of the infrastructure in a dual site 250 server estate.

The Result

The biggest results Care UK has experienced relate to cost savings and benefiting from the expertise and knowledge of the Daisy team.

Having previously used a multinational company for application hosting, Care UK was not achieving the best value for money. Jason Wells, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at Care UK, said: “Moving away from our previous supplier and utilising Daisy’s virtual platform has reduced our total cost of ownership.”

Daisy has developed key business relationships across service, account and project management which provides Care UK with the confidence that Daisy can implement services quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to meet its evolving requirements. The organisation has also benefitted from the ongoing technical support and the personal touch Daisy provides.

Care UK is confident that the longer term benefits will include improved performance and stability.

Jason added: “The technical teams at Daisy are very knowledgeable and the team on the Care UK account fully understand the environment, from inception to implementation and for me, this is very important going forward.

“Often in larger organisations, the personal knowledge is lost when the support and project teams are too big and different people are involved all the time. Having the same key technical teams on all my projects is a huge benefit to Care UK.”

Because of the positive experience Care UK has had with Daisy, the organisation has regularly endorsed services to fellow businesses.

The Future

As a result of the long-standing partnership and having worked together through a continually challenging and changing environment, Daisy continue to support Care UK going forward, ensuring cost efficiencies are identified.

Daisy will work to introduce new services and upgrade applications and operating environments throughout the recently renewed five year contract, in turn maximising the business decision by Care UK to outsource to Daisy.

University of Southampton

Daisy_Corporate_Services_University_of_Southampton

Every year, the clearing process becomes more intense. With competition fiercer than ever, our telephony infrastructure was leaving us behind. Daisy designed a cost-effective solution that enabled us to handle calls efficiently and improve the quality of the service to our prospects. Because of this. we are now able to use the data generated by the solution to inform staffing levels and marketing campaigns for future years and are assessing how else we might utilise the solution to benefit both applicants and current students alike.

Nick Hull, Associate Director (Head of Admissions), University of Southampton.

The Background

The University of Southampton is a world-leading, research-intensive institution. Ranked as one of the UK’s top 20 universities and recently securing a position as one of the top 100 in the QS World University rankings for 2019, the university boasts more than 150 years’ experience in delivering world-class education.

Each year, starting on the morning of A Level Results Day, the University of Southampton’s phone lines can receive in excess of 10,000 calls during a mass call event known as “clearing”, where prospective undergraduate students yet to secure a place on a higher education (HE) course wait to be matched with places that the institution hasn’t yet filled.

In order to deliver the high-quality and stress-free service that prospective students expect, the University needed a robust, reliable, high-performance telephony system that could easily cope with the surge in demand come results day.

The Challenge

The institution’s method of call handling during the clearing process relied on a traditional “hunt group” – a method of distributing phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several ISDN phone lines where a number of people are then are set up to handle the incoming calls.

Scaling their infrastructure during peak periods was proving to be both difficult and costly;requiring significant investment in physical ISDN hardware in order to meet only temporary demand and leaving little room for the flexibility needed to meet any additional capacity requirements on the day. This meant that many calls were not answered and there was no facility to leave a message leading to frustration and a level of service below that which the university strived to provide.

Recognising the limitations of its existing infrastructure, as well as the limited access to key marketing data and with a desire to enhance customer service, the University contacted their incumbent unified communications suppler, Daisy, keen to explore a simple yet effective entry into the cloud.

As well as ensuring that any inbound calls during clearing were answered as quickly as possible, the ability to gain visibility of the quantity and timing of calls, the success of various marketing campaigns, and the ability to direct queued callers to the online form was of paramount importance to the business. Therefore, any proposed solution would need to facilitate measuring the success of any marketing activity, enabling them to better understand their student population and their origin.

The Solution

Facilitating the University of Southampton’s need for increased capacity and improved efficiency during clearing, Daisy proposed “Clearing in the Cloud”, a solution that leverages cloud technology for the processing of calls and mitigating bottlenecks caused by existing equipment and ingress.

After undergoing a detailed design and consultation stage, Daisy’s dedicated team set about implementing and testing the new platform, ensuring call flows would work for the desired outcomes.

By moving to a cloud-managed solution, the university would mitigate the costly and labour-intensive process of installing additional hardware and instead benefit from a solution that can scale both up and down as demand changes.

Clearing in the Cloud allows callers to dial one of 10 local rate 033 numbers each linked to a specific marketing source. These calls were then presented to the Daisy system and delivered to one of 90 agents. From here, calls are processed within the cloud and callers are either held in a queue or played a series of messages highlighting key marketing messages or, more importantly, urging callers to complete the clearing process online rather than wait in a queue.

Daisy were available throughout the clearing process in the event of any issues and are now looking to assist with the evaluation of data now on the system.

The Result

Today, the University of Southampton is able to see how many students called throughout the clearing process, with added visibility on how many calls were queued. This means that next year’s staffing levels can be aligned well in advance.

What’s more, the reporting functionality enables staff to determine the success of certain marketing streams, enabling them to focus on and, where necessary, realign marketing tactics for the coming year.

In addition, the university saw a 56% increase in online applications which they attribute to the promotion of online applications via the queue messaging function played to callers waiting to be transferred to an agent.

As a trusted partner, Daisy are looking at evaluating the service and enhancing it further for 2019. In addition, as part of university’s unified communications strategy, SIP trunking is to be deployed on campus.

Mencap

The Background

Mencap is the UK’s leading learning disability charity. It not only works with people with a learning disability, but also their families and carers. Mencap works collaboratively, fighting for equal rights, campaigning for greater opportunities and challenging attitudes and prejudice. Mencap also provides help and support through supported living, supported employment, respite services, organised activities, systemic and individual advocacy, and outreach support.

The Challenge

As with so many organisations, at Mencap it is vital that everyone gets through to the right person first time, and can be helped quickly and effectively. Calls simply can’t afford to be missed, dropped or poorly handled. Mencap’s existing call handling system was in need of upgrade. Mencap wanted to harness the benefits of call centre technology, with intelligent routing and reporting. All of this needed to be achieved without the costly investment of replacing the entire system.

The Solution

Daisy designed a call centre solution with Mencap based on its existing telecoms infrastructure. This entailed retaining the existing equipment, but adding the Avaya Aura Contact Centre (AACC) application. In order to ensure that the solution was right, pre-staging was completed off-site ahead of the implementation, allowing users to see it in operation before being implemented on their campus. The system databases were then copied and a data freeze implemented. The cut-over and user acceptance test period was successfully completed over a period of five to six days. Minor changes took place during the following go-live support period the next day, which meant the very minimum of downtime for the migration.

The Result

With the presence of the 24/7 network operations centre team both Daisy and Mencap have visibility and the ability to react as soon as issues are raised with the systems at any time of the day. Through a dedicated client manager, Daisy ensures that it remains accountable through the life of the contract giving Mencap the peace of mind to concentrate on achieving its business outcomes. The solution from Daisy has given Mencap flexible, effective and controllable call handling. This has had a very positive effect on Mencap’s essential work and means it can better help those that need it most. The solution was delivered on time, and costs were considerably less than using brand new kit. This also saved time and money, as there was no need for Mencap’s employees to be trained up on the new hardware and system.

Pembrokeshire CC

Pembrokeshire County Council

pembrokeshire-council

Daisy delivers a full package of support but also works with us to look at new technologies as and when they become available. Our relationship with the team is very good; they understand our objectives and we know that we can rely on them for support, day or night.

Lee McSparron, Head of ICT at Pembrokeshire County Council

The Background

Pembrokeshire County Council is the local authority for Pembrokeshire in Wales, providing a wide range of services for residents, businesses and visitors. The council has around 150 offices, including five core sites, dispersed throughout the county.

The Challenge

The council had a mixture of legacy Mitel equipment which was coming to the end of its life. The organisation also had multiple office moves and site relocations in the pipeline. In addition, the contact centre and the core business users were moving to a model which required the use of IP telephony for hot-desking and connectivity.

The ICT team was aware that the infrastructure within the council would benefit from a fully integrated IP solution using IP handsets. The area has a very good wide area network (WAN) which provided the opportunity to remove legacy PABXs from the council’s remote sites, ensuring it could move to a consolidated approach with all remote sites coming off core switches.

Following a formal tender, Daisy was successful against numerous applications and was appointed to assist the council in developing its overall telephony strategy.

The Solution

Daisy worked closely with Pembrokeshire County Council to review the estate to see how much legacy equipment there was and what needed to be upgraded.

The Daisy team of sales, engineers, pre-sales and project managers held a number of meetings with the council’s ICT team and Head of IT to assess the organisation’s requirements and to put plans in place for any potential impact of the intended upgrade.

Following this consultation, Daisy upgraded the council’s Mitel estate. The legacy Mitel sx2000 equipment was upgraded to three Mitel MXe 3300 servers and IP handsets. The council is now also running Mitel MiCollab (formerly Mitel UCA) and audio web conferencing on VMWare with Active Directory Integration.

The Result

One of the main benefits of the Mitel upgrade is the improved functionality and efficiency it gives the council across its entire footprint.

Lee McSparron, Head of ICT at Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “The 3G is notoriously poor here so we’ve built Wi-Fi hotspots around the county to enable staff to hop onto the corporate wireless network and access facilities when they are on the move. Enabling employees to use the Mitel UC Client means they can log in and collaborate with other employees while they are away from a main office. The savings on mileage and increased productivity are very significant.”

The second key benefit the council is realising is an improved level of customer service. Lee said: “The Mitel solution is fully integrated into our main contact centre so our Contact Centre Manager now gets the reporting statistics she needs to be able to make improvements to call response times and resource planning.”

In addition, the team at Pembrokeshire know they can rely on Daisy’s service. Lee said: “Daisy delivers a full package of support but also works with us to look at new technologies as and when they become available. Our relationship with the team is very good; they understand our objectives and we know that we can rely on them for support, day or night.”

The Future

Pembrokeshire County Council views Daisy as a long-term trusted advisor and as such is working with them to explore new technologies that will help it achieve its objectives.

Daisy is currently working on a Proof of Concept around business continuity utilising SIP technology. Lee said: “We’re working with Daisy and our calls provider to explore a solution that will provide us with business continuity if the telephone exchange goes down. This will ensure we have the facility in place to port numbers elsewhere utilising the WAN.”

The council is also looking into technology to support Channel Shift – moving customer contacts and transactions from more expensive options (telephone, face to face contact, letter) to less expensive options (for example self-service on the web and live chat).

Lee said: “We want to exploit the technologies available to us and the Mitel solution is already enabling us to do just that. It’s great for council productivity and I look forward to working with the Daisy team as they bring more ideas to the table to help us further achieve our objectives.”

The Entertainer

entertainer

Following the upgrades from Daisy, we have experienced a significant improvement in reliability across all of our stores. It means that we can operate more efficiently across the business, safe in the knowledge that the network connection won’t let us down.

Ian Pulsford, Head of IT Services at The Entertainer

The Background

Possessing more than 30 years’ experience, The Entertainer is the UK’s largest independent toy retailer.

Headquartered in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, the family-run business sells a wide range of toys and games via 100 stores nationwide and comprehensive website www.thetoyshop.com.

The Challenge

Prior to contacting Daisy, The Entertainer’s retail stores and head office were linked via dial-up public internet connections. Due to expansion and a desire to protect the large volume of sensitive data traversing the network, the business sought to create a faster, more secure, always-on network across its geographically dispersed locations.

As a key objective, Daisy was to deliver a solution that removed single points of failure, ensuring the business could operate effectively in the event of primary line failure.

Ian Pulsford, Head of IT Services at The Entertainer, said: “As an existing supplier we felt that Daisy’s level of support and commitment matched our requirements.”

The Solution

In collaboration with Comms365, Daisy refreshed The Entertainer’s MPLS Virtual Private Network (VPN), upgrading store DSL access circuits, retaining head office Ethernet bearers and increasing core internet access bandwidth.

To deliver store resilience, each Cisco router features an embedded ‘roaming’ SIM, providing the business with seamless, automated failover to mobile should either the PSTN or ADSL service fail. While operating via mobile, each store remains part of the corporate MPLS network, with each SIM accessing the ‘best available’ network, dependent on location and coverage.

Ian said: “Planning was smooth bearing in mind it was new technology and we had to incorporate changes during that time.”

All connections within The Entertainer MPLS network also feature the ‘Highlight’ service, which presents a full picture of circuit utilisation, health and availability

The Result

Despite an installation period for the primary DSL service, The Entertainer was able to benefit from the solution’s connectivity immediately, thanks to the innovative mobile element. The routers also allow the business to provide WiFi functionality to customers at selected stores.

Ian said: “Following the upgrades from Daisy, we have experienced a significant improvement in reliability across all of our stores. It means that we can operate more efficiently across the business, safe in the knowledge that the network connection won’t let us down.”

Implementing the ‘Highlight’ tool has provided invaluable ‘management to management’ information for The Entertainer, conveniently presented in a simple, graphical format. The application allows the retailer to measure existing ROI and to make informed decisions when budgeting, planning or resolving issues in real time.

Ian added: “Taking the opportunity to renew our ADSL commitment has allowed us to take advantage of faster, lower priced connections.”

The Future

The Entertainer now regard Daisy as a major strategic partner who they are happy to work and discuss future projects with.

Ian said: “We would definitely recommend Daisy as a supplier.”