Covering an area of more than one thousand square miles and serving a population of over 870,000 residents, Staffordshire County Council (SCC) is keen to provide its local residential and business communities with the best facilities it can.
This means keeping abreast of technology and taking advantage of the most effective solutions.
Communications, Telephony and Call Centre Dilemma
Staffordshire County Council’s legacy unified communications and call centre platform comprised several disparate products and applications that were reaching obsolescence and would soon be outside the supplier’s support lifecycle.
This was posing a costly and unacceptable risk to customer care and collaboration.
At the beginning of Forfusion’s engagement SCC were considering two or three different proposals for a replacement solution, but in an environment where there were multiple groups of constantly changing users, all with different requirements and levels of urgency, it was a challenge to see a clear way forward.
Requirement for greater workforce mobility and agile working
Ultimately SCC wished to identify partners who would assist in the long-term integration of emerging communications technologies to support greater mobility and agility in their workforce. SCC also wished to identify greater organisational efficiencies and cost savings in their communications suite.
Their immediate requirement however was to carry out a strategic review of their on-going existing system audit. They also needed support in evaluating the quality of the replacement proposals they were considering.
Forfusion’s vendor-neutral expertise
Stephen Long, Forfusion’s project lead for SCC, explains: “SCC were already committed to replacing their comms and call centre platforms.”
“They needed an independent consultant with the relevant technical expertise, certification and sector knowledge who could advise strategically on the options they had.”
“They found Forfusion via the public sector procurement portal G-Cloud. With proposals on the table from both Cisco and Microsoft, SCC liked the fact that we have expertise in both. This meant we could identify and document all the wrinkles that would need to be ironed out to achieve a successful outcome.”
“We undertook a review of work to date and made our solution recommendations for a hybrid environment integrating both Cisco and Microsoft products. This approach took into account the existing and sunk investments SCC already had in the technologies of both vendors.”
“It was the ability to remain impartial and offer advice and challenge that most appealed I think.”