Charles Stanley & Co. Ltd has saved more than £100,000 after investing in a Unified Communications Solution based on Systems Initiation Protocol (SIP). The company is anticipating continued savings of £100,000 year-on-year. The project, which went live in July 2012, was completed in just six months by Advanced 365 (Advanced), which specialises in providing managed services and converged voice and data networks.
Advanced was first approached by Charles Stanley for telecommunications support three years ago when the investment company was facing the challenge of moving offices and retiring a legacy dealerboard system. Leveraging the existing investment in Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), Advanced replaced the system with a SIP-based IP Trade dealer board for use in its London and Manchester dealing facilities.
Advanced has since completed several key projects, including reducing Charles Stanley’s voice recording estate from 36 to just two recording servers whilst providing a more reliable system.
Mark Smith, ICT Manager from Charles Stanley says, “We were impressed with Advanced’s specialised knowledge of the finance sector and the fact that the company built a thorough understanding of our exact needs before submitting its proposal.”
The latest and largest project has already saved the business more than £100,000 in line rental alone. This project involved replacing old phone circuits with SIP technology compatible with CUCM. 481 ISDN channels have now been reduced to 100 and 5,200 DDI numbers have now been reduced to less than 2,500, which has contributed to cost savings whilst also providing a more robust, secure and future proof telephony platform.
The investment firm now owns its centralised SIP platform and has full control of its telephony estate, rather than having to rely on the previous provider to carry out maintenance and porting work. All dealing room and back office telephony has all been brought together under a single platform, which simplifies day-to-day call management and upgrades. The new platform also encourages more efficiency and enables the business to continue to deliver a high quality service to its private investors.
Smith says, “The roadmap for the SIP project was well thought out and was delivered in a very quick timeframe. In fact, it only took a couple of minutes to switch the numbers over during trading hours allowing our traders to continue with business as usual with absolutely no disruption.”
Charles Stanley has the challenge of moving some of its trading offices every year, which involves ordering new circuits and new phone numbers. This is never ideal for stockbrokers. With the new SIP platform, brokers can keep the same numbers wherever they move to, meaning that there is no interruption to business and the company is no longer reliant on the previous provider to carry out porting requests to meet tight deadlines.
Smith adds, “We were especially impressed when Advanced managed to port four branches per week over a three month period. This all happened quickly and seamlessly and is just one of a series of successful projects that has saved us a great deal of time and funding over the years.”