Bron Afon Community Housing has implemented ultra-thin SunRay desktop clients and 5i’s BeAnywhere IP-telephony system to give its staff freedom to work where they want while ensuring they were easily traced to deal with inbound phone calls.
Bron Afon is the result of the transfer in 2008 of 8000 homes from Wales’s Torfaen County Borough Council, with 450 permanent staff working from 36 different offices and housing schemes. Following the stock transfer, Bron Afon needed to build a new IT and telephony infrastructure, with its ‘greenfield’ status giving it the opportunity to implement the latest technologies.
With 5i in partnership with Central Network Technologies, Bron Afon decided to install a new IP-based telephony solution at its head office that extended to remote offices and other locations such as sheltered schemes, with the provision of contact centre technology to support 24-hour operations. The voice systems also needed to integrate with Bron Afon’s SunRay thin-client technology which delivers desktop computing to users without the equipment and management costs associated with deploying fully-featured PCs on their desks.
While the SunRay thin clients introduced significant employee flexibility by allowing users to effectively take their desktop with them wherever they needed it, there were a number of practical issues that needed to be addressed. The main problem was ensuring that phone calls reached the right end-users when they were working away from their desks. Users either logged out of the Cisco telephony system, resulting in the call diverting to their voicemail but at least their ‘logged-out’ status meant customer requests could be re-routed or, more commonly, users forgot to log out with the result that the call still went into their voicemail but without any way for the call to be re-routed.
By integrating the IT and telephony systems, 5i solved this problem with its BeAnywhere solution which automatically logs in and logs out the Cisco IP phone when the user logs in and out from their Windows session. This allows users to ‘hot desk’ between different areas in Bron Afon without needing to continually login and out from their desk phones. The BeAnywhere solution also integrates with the Java smartcards which allow users to move their active profiles and authenticate themselves between desktops.
Ian Taylor, head of ICT, Bron Afon, said, “Through a combination of 5i BeAnywhere, team broadcast groups and team voicemail accounts, the Bron Afon helpdesk now has much better visibility of their colleagues’ presence, and can connect the caller to the appropriate team much faster, typically providing first-time resolution of issues and delivering a much better service to our customers.”