HQ Building Twickenham
HQ Building Twickenham. Inset: Paul Bradford of Southern Communications


Reseller Southern Communications provided a complete communications upgrade for Richmond Housing Partnership based upon the NEC SV8100 platform and their Unified Communications for Business (UCB) solution.

Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) Group is a dynamic, innovative and customer focused organisation, that owns and manages over 10,000 properties in South West London. It is focused on providing excellent customer service and constantly monitor performance against service promises.

Originally, Dummer, Hampshire-based Southern Communications had won a tender for a new communications solution in 2004.

CEO Paul Bradford explains. “At that time we provided RHP with an NEC Aspire system configured for around 150 users at their Twickenham, Middlesex headquarters. The partnership had two other sites that were linked via IP handsets. As part of the overall solution we provided call recording, call logging, a voicemail system with 12 ports and a 28 agent NEC call centre application.”



The following year Southern Communications installed another NEC Aspire into the RHP’s repairs office, again configured with a call centre application which overflowed calls to the headquarters.

Paul Bradford, “Two years later RHP took on a subsidiary housing association with the result that the new, enlarged group purchased a further NEC Aspire for that site configured for around 40-users and linked to Twickenham via VoIP.



RHP is always striving to provide better communications for their housing tenants and is leading edge in its use of technology. In 2008 it implemented OCS (Microsoft Office communications Server) and gave limited presence across its corporate LAN/WAN using OCS.

Jonathan Creaser of RHP, “We also outsourced an external application that provided a call back service to our customers. If a call was not answered after a period of time a network based service intercepted the call and offered the caller the option to be called back. If accepted it would create a call back a few minutes later linking the call centre 68•CASE STUDY Partnerships Reseller Southern Communications provided a complete communications upgrade for Richmond Housing Partnership based upon the NEC SV8100 platform and their Unified Communications for Business (UCB) solution. and the customer. This was valuable service, however it was also very expensive and call back was not available on the Aspire call centre solution.”

In late 2009 having examined their call centre requirements, and on the recommendation of Southern Communications, RHP upgraded the NEC Aspire to the Sv8100 system and implemented UCB (Unified Communications for Business)

Paul Bradford, “Effectively the reason behind the upgrade was that the RHP call centre had evolved into a contact centre as tenants used and desired to use communications media other than just the telephone.

It expanded its customer contact centre to 40 agent licenses, although 28 are full time and had the full agent desktop application on their PCs the other 12 could still operate as agents but in an overflow capacity. The routing capabilities of the UCB contact centre software made this viable.”

Jonathan Creaser of RHP “The UCB software also allowed us to have call back with the system and therefore replace our expensive third party application (a saving of c. £8k p.a.). UCB is also key in providing expected answer time and position in queue information to callers. In conjunction with call back feature and the last call agent feature, which meant a call would be connected back to the last agent if possible, service levels to tenants was on the rise. The other key features of UCB we implemented were web call back and web chat, all linking to UCB agents.”

Using the NEC UCB software also brought the benefit of integration with and enhancement of the already implemented Microsoft OCS


Wider Roll Out

In January 2011 RHP moved to a new purpose built HQ in Teddington and, as well as relocating the Sv8100 and the UCB contact, it also rolled out UCB knowledge workers (embedded in Outlook) to all non-contact centre employees. This provided all users across the corporate LAN/WAN full presence (phone, keyboard and mouse monitoring) with calendar integration and bespoke UCB voicemail for all users together with full unified communication for voicemail and emails.

Paul Bradford concludes, “RHP also used the UCB custom reporting module to feed SQL KPI information into a SQL reporting tool that they had developed which provides real time KPI information on all aspects of their performance from multiple SQL based systems.

Overall this is a real showpiece implementation of an NEC SV8100 and how an organisation can use the NEC’s UCB across all aspects of the business to improve and measure customer service levels.”

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