Lead forensics Script

Salisbury Cathedral School

Salisbury Cathedral School is a co-educational independent school for three to 13-year-olds, founded in 1091 by Saint Osmund.

The issue:

The school had a 21-year-old Centrex phone system. When their supplier contacted them to let them know it was going end of life and would no longer be supported, the school wanted to futureproof their main form of communication so looked to the marketplace for a replacement cloud-hosted solution.

The solution:

After several fact-finding meetings and a demonstration, we were chosen to install an Alcatel-Lucent OXO Cloud Connect telephony solution for 25 users. This is a private hosted solution that resides in our data centre in Exeter rather than on the school’s site or in a public cloud environment. This meant the school benefits from a cloud solution but knows exactly where their telephony hardware is hosted.

By replacing their incumbent system that used ageing copper phone lines, they successfully beat the Openreach PSTN and ISDN switch-off deadline. As Openreach’s first full fibre city, this deadline was the end of 2022 in Salisbury, compared to 2025 for the rest of the UK, so timing was critical.

The OXO Cloud Connect uses SIP channels, which are the most up-to-date voice services available and are run on internet connections, so eliminates the cost of separate phone lines.

Just like a public cloud service, the OXO Cloud Connect is paid for on a per-user subscription, so can easily flex up if required. Calls to UK landlines and mobiles are free, and support costs are included so the school can confidently budget for their telecoms each year.

The OXO Cloud Connect offers a perfect blend between traditional office-based requirements and mobility options. Admin and teaching staff can utilise user-friendly handsets for handling calls, with receptionists using more advanced models to give them extra features, such as visibility of the availability of colleagues.

For staff who roam the school or need to work from home, OXO Cloud Connect offers the Rainbow unified communications app that can be used on desktops and mobile devices. These connect seamlessly to the school’s phone system so staff can handle calls wherever they are working, whether they are away from their desks or off site.

Incoming calls will ring desk phones and apps simultaneously, so staff never miss a call or they can forward calls to voicemail. They can also use Rainbow for video meetings with colleagues, to send instant messages or files, or to share their screens during a meeting.

To alleviate the strain often felt by receptionists, especially at the start of the day, the OXO Cloud Connect supports an automated attendant that greets every caller before offering them routing options, such as “Press 1 for reception, press 2 to report a student’s absence, press 3 for admissions,” etc. The school can use the automated attendant as and when they need it.

Similarly, they can use a voicemail service out of school hours. Welcome messages can be changed to suit term-time and holiday periods and can even informs callers of upcoming events, such as sports days or parents’ evenings, to prevent receptionists being overloaded with multiple questions about the same topic. Calls can also be routed to other staff members if reception staff are busy.

Voicemail is used to record messages about student absence. Rather than speaking to a member of staff, parents leave a message, which is then sent as a sound file by email. This serves as a very convenient way of collating these messages to update registers.


We deployed basic handsets in the classrooms to meet safeguarding requirements. In an emergency, teachers can press one button to alert all other handsets. They do not even have to lift the receiver to relay the message. Similarly, reception staff can broadcast a message via these handsets too.

Our project manager led the deployment of the solution with the aim of minimising disruption to the school. Staff also received training to ensure they were comfortable using the solution from day one to ensure a smooth migration from the old system to the new.

Their care has been handed over to a dedicated account manager, who will keep in regular proactive contact with the school, but also to our team of Alcatel-Lucent-certified engineers.

The OXO Cloud Connect solution is accompanied by a managed support service that provides the school with unlimited remote programming, so they can rely on us to makes moves, adds and changes while the IT team gets on with more pressing tasks.

Salisbury Cathedral School has replaced an end-of-life phone system on ageing phone lines with the very latest in cloud-hosted voice technology to futureproof their telephony for many years to come while meeting the needs of on-site, mobile and remote members of staff and remaining contactable to parents and other callers.

The testimonial:

“Having used the Centrex system for a long time, we were aware that technology had moved on and that a modern solution would benefit the school. swcomms provided us with a resilient and private cloud solution that would update our communications infrastructure by giving us more flexibility while providing the features a school relies on. It was a pleasure to work with swcomms and we know they are just at the end of the phone if we need anything.”

Duncan Hodson, IT strategy lead


Download the full case study

More information:

Read our guide: Communication and IT solutions for primary schools
Watch our video: Video guide to Connect the Classroom
Read our brochure: Connectivity 

Contact us directly on 0800 054 6789 or via email to education@swcomms.co.uk to find out more and a quote from our consultants.

Contact us now

Send us a message