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Leicester Chamber of Commerce - Case Study
Some 18 months ago, Leicester Chamber of Commerce faced the issue of renewing their existing lease on the Chambers property in Leicester city centre and the decision was made to relocate the staff to another building on the De Montfort University campus.
Moving all communications from one property to another was a difficult task as the deadlines of moving to the new site were tight, especially as the new property needed extensive work to be completed (including mains electricity and telephone connectivity) prior to the staff moving in. Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce work with and represent local businesses and act as the local voice of the business community. As such, local organisations and members of the Chamber depend upon them for support; therefore continuity of service in communicating with the Chamber was key.
The decision was made to leave the existing Avaya telephone system at the old premises as not only was it over 10 years old and out-of-date, but other businesses utilised the existing system and depended upon it. Therefore, the Chamber needed to source a new system, but wished to keep as much of the existing functionality as possible.
Simon Palmer – Director of Resources and ICT at Leicester Chamber of Commerce explains:
“Moving all facilities and staff in one seamless operation was challenging as we had to project manage every element of the move carefully to ensure no loss of service to our members who rely on us to be available during normal business hours. With so many of our staff publishing their direct dial numbers to our Chamber members, meant that we had to minimise our downtime as much as possible”
“We made the decision to go out to tender to local businesses that would be able recommend and implement the most appropriate, and cost effective solution for us”
Abtec Network Systems responded to the tender and were selected based upon a Siemens HiPath Open Office solution, in conjunction with acting as the point of contact for coordinating the BT telephone services.
With so many other areas to co-ordinate in the relocation, Simon wanted Abtec to project manage the telecommunications operation and was delighted with the service he received.
“We attended a demonstration at Abtec’s offices in Market Harborough, where they gave us an overview of their Siemens HOOME system, which Abtec use for their own telephony requirements. Having previously had reservations about using a VOIP solution, we became confident that if the platform worked for Abtec, and with Abtec’s expertise in IP implementations, then it would work for us.”
Due to the nature of the deadlines around the move, testing the system in a live environment was not an option. The systems and associated services needed to be tested off site and this is where Abtec’s comprehensive lab environments helped. A dummy scenario of the Chambers solution was set up in the Abtec lab and tested and prepared for installation.
Coordinating with BT for the circuit move also was critical and Simon was happy for Abtec to handle this part of the operation as it meant one less supplier to deal with. Abtec’s history with BT as a reseller and distributer meant that navigating the many processes and procedures necessary for relocating the services was one less area for Simon to get involved with.
“I was thrilled with the service I received from Abtec from the start” says Simon. “ Every step of the way, Andy and the team kept me informed of progress, even to the extent of being on the end of the phone in the evening to provide updates and reassurance “
The week before the move, Leicester Chamber of Commerce had no mains electricity, telephone services and even water pouring through the ceiling of the server room. However, come the Monday morning, the telephone systems and services were up and running with the correct direct dial ranges associated to the relevant staff and chamber members experienced no loss of continuity of service.
“Leicester Chamber of Commerce is extremely happy with Abtec, who exceeded our expectations and we look forward to working with them again. Our thanks go to Andy, Claire, Josh, Julie and the rest of the team for their help, professionalism and reassurance throughout the whole process. A letter of thanks from our Chief Executive is on its way!”