swcomms remotely deploys a temporary Microsoft Teams phone system to enable the West Devon Business Information Point’s homeworkers to effectively handle calls from concerned businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown.
West Devon Business Information Point, based in Okehampton, is a not-for-profit enterprise that has offered advice to small businesses for more than 20 years.
swcomms had been speaking to them about upgrading their old telephone system before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but there was no time to set them up with a new on-premise system and our engineers would not have been permitted to enter their offices under social distancing rules. Meanwhile, their staff were inundated with calls from small businesses that were concerned about the effects of lockdown and they needed to be able to answer all these queries while they worked from home.
We upgraded their existing Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) licences to incorporate Teams as a foundation for a temporary telephony solution. We re-directed their existing ISDN phone line and number to their new Microsoft Teams telephone system. They then used headsets via their laptops, PCs or mobiles to make, take and transfer calls as if they were still in the office. This meant they could still offer their usual advisory service at a very important time.
The staff also benefited from the unified communications features that are a part of the Teams suite, such as presence, video calls, screen sharing and instant messaging with both individual colleagues and groups. This meant all 10 members of staff could effectively stay in touch despite being geographically dispersed.
To deploy this temporary solution, we migrated their Microsoft 365 licences to swcomms. We could then carry out the remote work required to set them up on Teams. We did not have to visit their office and we rolled out the solution in a matter of days.
West Devon Business Information Point will continue to effectively use this solution while staff remain working from home. We will upgrade them to a new on-premise solution when they all return to the office, as this will give them enhanced flexibility that was not available on their old system. The new solution will also use SIP trunks, which are supported by internet connections, rather than outdated ISDN lines to give them enhanced business continuity options for the future.
“Just as we were heading towards lockdown, swcomms got in touch to let us know about the temporary solutions they had available to help keep people working. They talked us through the offer, how it could be implemented and the cost implications. From the moment we placed our order, they worked quickly and efficiently to get everything set up within a matter of days. They trained us on its use and tested the new connections thoroughly. They really did enable us to stay open and available to our clients.”
Dee Gill, contracts manager
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