Procurement for Housing has launched a new telecommunications agreement covering the procurement of calls, lines, data and unified communications as well as mobile communications, training and consultancy. The EU-compliant framework offers housing providers three lots which can be used at the same time or individually for both new and existing contracts.
Six telecom providers will supply services through the framework for four years – Britannic Technologies, ConvergeOne, Daisy Communications, Gamma Network Solutions, Social Telecoms and Updata Infrastructure.
The calls, lines, data and unified communications lot covers voice services such as traditional calls and lines, IP telephony, networking for voice, video and data applications, unified communications, datacentre services and hardware. The mobile communications lot includes mobile voice and data, mobile broadband and associated hardware such as smartphones and tablets. The telecommunications consultancy lot covers systems design, data analysis, strategy development, funding options, regulatory compliance, digital inclusion, and staff and tenant training.
Andrew Carlin, commercial director, Procurement for Housing, said, “We set up a telecoms product group including ten housing providers to ensure this agreement covers the latest technology and meets the sector’s requirements. With national supplier coverage, wide choice and opportunity for further savings through mini-competitions, this deal will generate significant efficiencies for housing providers.”
Britannic Technologies was awarded contracts for calls, lines, data and unified communications and for telecommunications consultancy services, achieving the top ranking for technical provision in both lots.
Commenting on Britannic’s PfH performance, Saul Stevens, IT director, Family Mosaic, said, “All suppliers give a good service these days, but finding a supplier who really understands our business and has the strategic vision to work with us to support and develop a long term plan is not so easy. From day one Britannic was 100 per cent engaged from engineering, account management and senior management.”
Simon Penaluna, head of ICT, Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust, added, “Since 2006, Cheshire Peaks & Plains Housing Trust has worked with Britannic Technologies updating and replacing the telecoms infrastructure throughout the company. Britannic has provided an end-to-end solution that has helped us in improving customer care and access to our services.”
ConvergeOne was awarded contracts for all three lots, including top ranking for the telecommunications consultancy lot.
Tony Beddows, commercial director, ConvergeOne, said, “Combining our expertise in the housing sector with a strong client services team and excellent technical capability, ConvergeOne can provide the highest quality of service delivery expected by PfH members.”
Social Telecoms, which reinvests its profits in the communities it serves by offering low-cost ways to access the internet for social housing tenants, was awarded a contract for the supply of calls, lines, data and unified communications.
John Clarke, managing director, Social Telecoms, said, “It’s a remarkable achievement for a small company like us to win one of the biggest housing framework agreements and we have done it in the face of competition from some of the biggest operators. And although we won on quality and price, the housing providers we deal with attach equal importance to the social value built in to our contracts.
“With the introduction of universal credit, and the migration of benefits services to online portals, it’s vital that tenants can access the internet for the most basic transactions such as paying their rent. Housing providers need to ensure they address this issue for the long-term sustainability of their business and to ensure their tenants aren’t excluded economically and socially.”