Replacement of individual Telephone Systems with one Centralised VoIP Phone System
Hancock Cash and Carry are a wholesale confectionary distributor with 21 depots nationwide.
ESP Projects were approached by Hancock’s in the spring of 2015 with major IT problems; they wanted to grow the business, but the IT systems were holding them back. There was a multitude of different problems we grouped into 3 major areas; 1. Core Network Infrastructure. 2. Telephone Systems. 3. Software Systems.
This particular case study will cover how ESP Projects worked with Hancock Cash & Carry to improve their Telephone Systems.
Key aspects of the system that they wanted to develop were:
- VoIP Phone System
- Door Entry System
- Tannoy / Public Address System
- Multiple Handset Options
- Conference Calls
- Video Calling
To see other projects for Hancock’s please see the Core Network Infrastructure and Software Systems case studies and for more information on any of these subjects GET IN TOUCH!
“It’s given us the confidence to want to do so much more with our website.”
Support Services Coordinator
We started by auditing the phone systems that Hancock’s had in place, the types of connectivity, PBX Systems & Handsets. We then began to create a plan of attack of how we were going to get the system from it’s current state, into one that really started to show benefits to the staff. We decided that the overall model of the phone system would be an on-premise VoIP Phone System running on a widely-used Platform.
The one chosen was 3CX, which offered a fantastic range of features, all at a reasonable cost. VoIP does, however, rely on good quality internet connectivity. There was already a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) system in place, which needed improvements at certain sites, but overall would fit the bill perfectly.
Update: We ripped out the MPLS system and replaced with Leased lines and VPNs.
After several meetings with the customer, together we agreed which handsets would be required by each ‘category’ of staff member. Handsets were identified which offered headsets, portability, accessibility features and receptionist facilities. In addition, conference phones were chosen for board rooms and other meeting areas. Two Suppliers were chosen that offered SIP trunks (the direct connection between the business and the internet telephony service provider) which met the needs of the customer, one as a primary supplier, and one as a backup, should the first one have any problems.
The location of the phone system hardware was identified and it was decided that it would be prudent to have a second hardware unit, that had a copy of the configuration and was based at the data centre. As lots of telephone numbers needed to be ‘ported’ to the new providers, it was important to plan an accurate roll out of the system. With a primary focus on the Head Office, as the existing telephone system in situ wasn’t functioning very well.
“One of things I always appreciate with the web team at ESP Projects is that they use normal understandable language.”
Hancock’s head office required around 80 handsets and therefore it wasn’t going to be a quick change over, even just to deliver phones to people’s desks! We decided on 4 engineers for this job and set to work unpacking all the new handsets. We installed the hardware at each desk, also taking care not to affect the system that was currently in use.
Another important part of this project was to improve the support offered to staff on a day-to-day basis. All staff were provided with access to ESP Projects helpdesk and onsite support team, which operate from 7 am until 6 pm Monday to Friday and for this customer, also on a Saturday.
The ESP Projects helpdesk operates on an unlimited basis, staff are able to contact us as many times as they need to get issues rectified, but not only that, they are able to ask for help if they get stuck with the many different office applications at their disposal, “how do I do…..” type questions are not outside of the scope of our unlimited IT support contracts.
“We’re constantly evolving our ebulletin and they’ve been very responsive to our various ideas; and sensitive to our deadlines.”