Intelligent migration

Solihull Council take advantage of Mitel Technology to transform its servicesSolihull Council is working on a regeneration project covering North Solihull, which includes the building of ten new primary schools.
“With the growth in the number of sites the Council must manage, we knew it was time to implement a new telephone system. Telephone communications are business critical to the Council and we require a system that ensures our staff stay well connected,” stated Jeff Higgins, IT Telecom Manager, Solihull Council.
“We made the decision to go with the Mitel® IP based communications platform because of the flexibility it offers. Converging voice onto the network provides for enhanced flexibility and mobility within the organisation,” Jeff points out.
The Council’s main ten sites were already networked together with the Mitel SX2000 (TDM phone system) but as the organisation grew, they wanted to expand the network to cover the smaller sites, in particular the schools.

Simplified management
“Employees typically move around a lot in the Council and the IT team spent a great deal of time moving people. Moves, adds and changes in a traditional telephone environment required physically reconfiguring the wiring infrastructure, which put a lot of pressure on the IT team.
With the new Mitel platform, moving a user no longer requires reconfiguration of the physical infrastructure; instead an employee can move the phone themselves if required. This has had a significant impact on our resources, freeing up our time to spend on critical areas, which has made our lives much easier,” said Jeff.

Cost savings
A total of twenty sites are now networked together using Mitel IP communications with an additional seven schools as part of the growing network. This has generated significant cost savings as these schools can dial internally for free over the existing LAN infrastructure, between each other and main Council sites.

On the move with Mitel
To ensure the Project Management team stay in touch, they now use Mitel Unified Communicator Advanced, a suite of conferencing and collaboration tools, including a softphone, presence and availability display, secure instant messaging, audio conferencing and web and video collaboration. Project managers simply plug in their laptops into a broadband connection or network access point in order to use the Mitel soft-phone with a headset. They can also see if their colleagues are available through the presence status and send secure instant messages to save time.
The cornerstone of good public service is good communications and this is where Mitel Contact Centre management technology plays a pivotal role in supporting contact with the public. The Contact Centre employs 56 agents who are divided into two teams. Mitel technology has been instrumental in driving improvements in customer service.
Agents also use Mitel Unified Communicator Advanced soft-phone to facilitate call management by looking up departments such as “social services” to display a list of numbers that the caller can be transferred to. The presence and availability feature ensures that calls are transferred with the confidence that the knowledge worker is present and available to take the call. This strategy has vastly lowered call abandon rates to seven per cent and has meant that calls are answered within 30 seconds.
The Contact Centre team rely heavily on historic data such as call volumes, call flows and call waiting times. It is used to plan for seasonal events, forecasting the number of agents required and for managing shift patterns.
“The great thing about the Mitel technology is that individuals can monitor their own performance. We schedule reports and send them directly to the agent’s desktop. In this we empower our staff to take ownership of their performance which aids in their personal development. The reports are a fabulous way of factually reporting on activity such as call flows and call trends, rather than opinion based reports. This is vital when you are delivering services on behalf of someone else,” states Angela Pretty, Contact Centre Manager.

Weathering the storm
During a period of heavy snow, agents were able to log in from home to avoid facing the weather. This meant that the contact centre was able to run fully staffed, albeit virtually, during its usual hours of 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. With high call levels due to disruption in services, pre recorded messages meant no queues in waiting to speak to an agent.

“We can see the agent’s performance and activities on our screen as if they were in the office. Home based evening shifts are proving popular with agents, especially as call volumes are quite low and we only require a few agents at night. It is much more cost-effective for the organisation to have them based at home,” states Angela.
Mitel has enabled the Council to change the way they work, offering mobility and flexibility to staff. This has resulted in improved productivity, enhanced operational efficiencies and raised the game in customer service.
“If you put the work in and develop a communications strategy, then the Mitel IP communications platform really comes into its own,” concluded Angela Pretty.

For more information
Tel: 0870 909 2020