Creating a private cloud telephony solution for a multi-site Housing Association

The Challenge

Firstcom was approached by one of their strategic partners to design a telecoms solution for their client, a not-for-profit Housing Association that owns and manages more than 7000 homes across the north of England.

The Association was formed by the merger of eight major offices and 30 minor offices at the Associations residential sites. With different systems across all sites, communication was disjointed and not cost efficient.

The eight major sights were all connected via a mixture of BT leased lines with ISDN back up. The 30 residential sites all connected by BT ISDN circuits.  When searching for a new communications provider it was clear that the client would need a robust solution from a reliable service provider whilst keeping costs under control.

The Solution

Working closely with our strategic partner Firstcom recommended a new Software-defined WAN based on lease line connectivity, Cisco Meraki routers across all the estate to ensure network performance consistency. The benefit of SD-WAN technology is that it improves connectivity, is scalable across multiple locations and is essentially a private cloud so boosts security.

This provided the connectivity for our resilient SIP Trunking solution and for the client’s data usage. Communication between sites and being available to be contacted by the communities served is crucial, so down-time is out of the question. With Firstcom’s SIP there are multiple failover and resilience options, providing unrivalled continuity of service.

In addition, Firstcom supplied a bundled solution which included call minutes and call recording. The Association were looking to significantly reduce their call telephony costs provided through BT and capture call records of discussions with tenants to ensure efficient resolution of disputes.

Our ability to manage the porting in the client’s existing 180 phone numbers was a major plus point. The client was able to retain existing numbers and the smooth transfer meant there was no loss of service.

The Benefits

Firstcom provided a reliable and flexible IP telephony solution that fully supports the client’s commitment to providing excellent service.

Rationalisation of communications into one private cloud system has enabled the Association to more than quadruple Internet connectivity at the major sites whilst at the same reducing the cost by nearly half.

The bundled SIP and Call recording solution has enabled the Association to capture and log all calls with residents and at the same reduced telephony costs by 45% – crucial in a not-for-profit environment!