Council Unifies Communications for Collaboration and Flexible Working

Mitel has announced that Newcastle under-Lyme Borough council has deployed an IP solution to improve its communications.

The council, the largest in Staffordshire, recognised its previous telephone system was unable to meet its demands, and needed to improve its telecommunications network as well as reduce call costs. It was becoming increasingly costly to maintain and very time consuming in making adds, moves and changes for the 750 users and agents across its two main sites.

Employees also needed the flexibility to work from a variety of locations, and the existing telephone system was not flexible enough to offer this. With a clear set of objectives in mind, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough council approached a number of telecommunications vendors to help it decide upon the most suitable IP communications solution.

Mark Bradshaw, network support team leader at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough council, said: “We went to tender to identify a system that would enable us to handle calls more effectively, allowing collaboration of the workforce across multiple sites, and effortlessly adding users whenever necessary. We also wanted a system that would give our staff the flexibility to work from any location.”

Following a comprehensive review of the market, the council decided to deploy a Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform, Mitel Contact Centre Solution, Mitel Teleworker Solution and Mitel IP handsets. The addition of contact centre management tools meant that managers could now add agents during busy periods, while giving staff the ability to support the contact centre from any location. The council also witnessed increased staff productivity as Mitel’s contact centre management tools have reduced call abandonment rates, by ensuring calls are routed to the correct agents.

Bradshaw continues: “Since the deployment, there has been a noticeable difference in the way calls are handled and the level of customer service we can now offer, with staff productivity higher than ever before.

“Our staff have definitely reaped the benefits, revolutionising the way they work and dramatically improving the quality of service offered to residents in Newcastle-under-Lyme. With Mitel, we have established a distributed contact centre that routes calls to agents in the right departments, reducing the number of calls which are abandoned. With the successful introduction of new public facing services into the contact centre, other council functions will follow suit in a phased approach.

“Mitel has also played a key role in facilitating our plans to offer staff flexibile working. As a true innovator in the development of high quality broadband telephony, Mitel has made deployment easy to manage. For home workers, simplicity of deployment and management are a must, using the Mitel Teleworker Solution employees are now free to work from home or when required. Improving the work/life balance ensures a happy workforce and increases the chances of retaining skilled workers,” concluded Bradshaw.