Gateshead-based Executel beat off stiff competition from communication giants BT and ntl:Telewest to be awarded the service provider contract which covers the provision of a phased IP telephony roll-out to link Mills’ headquarters in Whitley Bay with its 73 stores nationwide. The net result being that all sites will be seamlessly connected to a single voice and data network, which in turn will enable them to operate and communicate in a cost-effective manner as if under the one roof.
Phase one of the project is recently complete and has equipped the firm’s head office with a state-of-the-art IP communications platform to serve some 65 users with phase two planned for the coming months.
Established in 1986, Mills Group Ltd is Tyneside’s leading convenience store chain with 73 stores nationwide and a 1,148-strong workforce.
Of the investment in new technology, Mike Hodgson, IT Director for the company said: “Because we are planning to implement an MPLS Broadband Wide Area Network linking our stores, we required a state-of-the-art, centrally managed IP based telephone system to sit alongside with standardised handsets across the whole estate.
“Executel’s solution has provided exactly the system we were looking for and as a result, all users now have direct dial, speed dial, voicemail and call redirection available to them.
“The system was installed in the required timeframe with minimum disruption to our business and feedback from colleagues is that they are delighted with the new technology.”
Account Manager for Gateshead-based Executel, Marcus Ayres, added: “From small beginnings, the Mills Group has grown steadily to become a leading regional retailer with turnover in excess of £100m. Continued company growth and acquisitions over the years had resulted in the need for a scalable communications solution that would grow and evolve to meet requirements.
“We have therefore provided Mills Group with an IP backbone at its Whitley Bay site and with it laid the foundations for future deployment and growth. Phase two of the project will equip all 73 Mills stores with remote extensions which in turn will enable free internal calls between all sites as well as fewer line rentals and reduced maintenance for outdated systems.”