South West Comms Provides One-Stop Shop Solution to Chard Town Council

South West Communications Group has supplied a wide-ranging telephony and data solution to meet Chard Town Council’s goal of becoming a cutting edge beacon among local government organisations.

Chard Town Council was relocating from the offices it shared with South Somerset District Council to The Guildhall in Chard. However, The Guildhall had no existing infrastructure from which the Council could run either a modern-day telephone system or a data network and Chard Town Council had previously shared South Somerset District Council’s infrastructure.

Chard Town Council was therefore starting from scratch and required virtually every element necessary to create an efficient communications system suitable for a Council’s needs. The task of inviting various companies to quote for each separate element of the Council’s needs was a daunting task, but South West Communications Group immediately halted Chard Town Council’s need to explore a range of companies’ products as it was able to provide all that it required.

A single communications solution that included a new Toshiba IP-CIX 100 telephony system and data infrastructure enabled the Council to take advantage of voice over Internet protocol (IP) technology and Toshiba’s hot desking function. Hot-desking was of particular use to the Council’s part-time workers as well as to the reception staff who rotated their duties on the front desk, and therefore it was a more cost-effective way of managing its workforce

Mobiles were also provided to the Council to complete the telephony element of this solution while Oak call logging software gave the Council complete control over its call costs and line usage enabling it to monitor and performance and staffing levels in order to provide optimum customer service. South West Communications Group’s Lines & Minutes service and its web-based NetView billing platform allowed the Council further reduce and control its costs.

Data backup was one of the most important elements of the deployed solution to ensure the Council was protected against a disaster befalling The Guildhall or its data infrastructure. South West Communications Group’s reliable and secure off-site data backup service, storeiP, replaces the use of tapes which have traditionally been relied upon to protect businesses in the event of an on-site disaster or when files are inadvertently lost or deleted.

After capturing all of the Council’s existing data stored on South Somerset District Council’s servers, storeiP now automatically backs up any changes in its files and databases. As a result, the Councils backup is always up to date, and this highly efficient process minimises both local and remote server bandwidth usage. Files can be retrieved via a simple request system that is run via the Internet.

Furthermore, South West Communications Group was also able to provide computer hardware and software as well as ongoing support for the entire installation.

South West Communications Group’s sales director Sarah Flowers said: “The process of establishing a brand new data infrastructure can be quite a daunting prospect due to the amount of providers that potentially can be involved. However, we were able to offer a flexible and tailor-made solution to Chard Town Council so it only had to deal with one point of contact throughout the project.

“Our team of project managers and engineers could also efficiently plan the installation as they did not have to fit around other contractors. This process was carried out as smoothly as possible including the transfer of all the Council’s customers’ data from the South Somerset District Council to its new servers at The Guildhall. Such a move can prove to be very stressful but we always strives to minimise any upheaval.

“We have a recognised track record in dealing with public sector organisations and we are therefore well-placed to understand local government’s needs. Chard Town Council was ambitious in its desire to use the opportunity of the move to strive to be at the cutting edge of communications technology and to build an infrastructure that would take it into the future. We drew on our wide-ranging expertise to provide a complete solution that achieved the Council’s admirable goal.”

Town clerk John Furze said: “Chard Town Council was impressed with the positive approach of South West Communications Group to our situation and then how that approach was delivered to our complete satisfaction.”