New City College London

Secure, collaborative communications help

enhance student experience

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.

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