Shoretel Helps Devon and Cornwall Housing Group Reach a Wider Audience

Devon and Cornwall Housing Group has selected a ShoreTel UC system to transform communications by increasing staff flexibility, broadening the scope of communication points to customers, and consequently increasing the overall quality of its services.

The Devon and Cornwall Housing Group is a major housing provider in South West England, providing rented homes, shared-ownership homes and supported accommodation to residents. The group is responsible for 17,000 homes and employs around 700 staff in nine offices throughout Devon and Cornwall The group required a UC system across all of its locations to integrate new applications and provide improved communications support services. With the assistance of ShoreTel partner Datasharp UK, the Devon and Cornwall Housing Group evaluated a number of systems and selected ShoreTel’s solution. It proved to be the most user-friendly, offered the best value for money, and above all, enables staff to communicate more effectively and deliver better service to customers.

The deployment comprises a new contact centre in Devon, an upgraded contact centre in Cornwall and a new telephony system across the network, providing customers with improved accessibility to appropriately trained staff.

“We can now communicate flexibly with our predominantly young customer base via e-mail and SMS,” said Gary Neilson, service development manager for the Devon and Cornwall Housing Group. “In addition, customers can now call us on the free 0300 number used by our new contact centres. ShoreTel’s solution uses our customer profiles to tailor communication to the needs of a diverse community, including the needs of people with disabilities.”

The ShoreTel UC system has helped improve communication within the organisation, lowered costs, and increased employee flexibility. The group now has a single internal phone directory which can be navigated with ease using ShoreWare Call Manager. Staff can also respond to customer requests when working remotely, thus minimising travelling to work and lowering the carbon footprint of the organisation.

“ShoreTel’s ease of use combined with Datasharp UK’s ongoing support allowed us to deploy the solution on time and with significant benefits to our customers and staff. Our communication system allows us to connect with customers in new ways, respond to their requests effectively and according to their preferred mode of communication,” said John McElroy, Customer Services Manager, Devon & Cornwall Housing Group.

Alan Robotham, Group IT Manager said: “Reliability and cost effectiveness are important for us. Using ShoreTel means we have a single, resilient communications system at all our sites. If one site were to fail, it can be seamlessly backed up by any other, without the need for us to buy additional hardware to create a costly duplicated network.”

“Unified Communications is no longer the reserve of high tech companies,” said Mark Swendsen, Managing Director EMEA at ShoreTel. “The housing sector, led by organisations such as the Devon and Cornwall Housing Group, is now seeing UC as a powerful way to offer high-quality customer services, improve employee efficiency and meet future customer needs,”

The 340-user ShoreTel deployment at the Devon and Cornwall Housing Group includes:

* A ShoreTel Unified Communications System

* ShoreWare Director

* ShoreWare Call Manager

* ShoreWare Mobile Call Manager for Blackberry users

* ShoreTel Certified Syntellect Customer Interaction Manager contact centre solution

* SMS Gateway from VoiceConnect

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