Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s telephone system was using out of date technology, and each of the 24 individual station sites had their own phone system. This had led to a very complex telephony environment with high running costs, as every call made was billed as an external one.
BT also no longer had staff that could fix the old equipment, which created a significant risk to the organisation.
It was clear to Gavin Harris, Head of ICT at Nottingham Fire and Rescue Services that they needed to simplify and update their voice infrastructure system.
Through the G-Cloud framework they chose risual to help them develop a new high-performance telecommunications network. This provided the opportunity to take advantage of new communications technology and remove costly legacy telephone systems.
A unified communications solution using Microsoft Skype for Business was chosen as it provided a host of benefits including:
- reduced maintenance and line rental costs
- excellent connectivity for multi device and channel communications, including text-based chat, video and audio calls
- integration with old technology at fire stations to ensure an easy transition
- a mechanism for distributing calls from publicly facing numbers to relevant departments and groups
The approach was described by Gavin Harris as:
“A revelation for us, the way risual work and their knowledge meant they were designing the solution to deal with problems before they could even become a problem.”
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is seeing a huge reduction in costs thanks to the new system. They have also seen an increase in staff productivity and flexibility, as staff can now answer each other’s calls, and are no longer reliant on a site administrator at every location to respond to calls 24/7.
Gavin Harris commented:
“People are getting to grips with instant messaging and the rewards are being reaped already. We will save thousands and thousands of pounds in call costs. We will get more productivity from our workforce and the solution allows us to centralise the workforce and work a lot slicker. The G-Cloud framework made the procurement process very quick and easy, and ensured we were getting good value.”
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