PSG Networks, independent systems integrator for the construction industry has designed a bespoke hosted IP telephony solution for Lovell, the country’s leading provider of affordable housing, using AlwaysON hosted IP telephony. The hosted IP telephony system has been installed at the site of a major housing scheme: Yallops Yard, in Bow, East London.
This is the remaining major site of Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust
(THHAT) urban redevelopment programme, part of a phased renewal of old council estate land. It forms part of the strategically important Leaside Regeneration Area: with London having won the 2012 Olympics bid, the whole area is undergoing massive, high profile redevelopment.
Early in the Yallops Yard project, there was a single site management office with telephony provided by a traditional switchboard (PABX). As the site developed, so did the need to relocate the site office – often at short notice, and typically over a week-end. Before long, numerous temporary offices were serving up to 300 contractors, project managers and site staff at any one time. The limitations of the single switchboard became apparent.
With the Olympic connection meaning the potential for a lot of public interest should costs escalate or things go wrong, effective onsite communications are essential to the project management of Yallops Yard site.
They have a vital role in ensuring smooth and effective supplies, particularly delivery of goods and materials to the right locations. Arriving supplies need to be checked and signed off by appropriate personnel who must be located immediately. Furthermore, these arrivals – often over 100 a day – need co-ordinating with other onsite activities.
By choosing a hosted IP telephony service, all site offices, extensions and staff are effectively connected to a single ‘virtual PABX’ (virtual switchboard) with a range of extra functions. Key Lovell staff are now directly contactable on their personal direct dial (DDI) numbers, or on any phone, anywhere, using the “Reach me” function.
Changes can be easily made by site administrators, without needing to call on Lovell’s IT team, through COMPASS (Combined Order Management Provisioning and Support System), AlwaysON’s web portal , with PSG always on hand to help out. This results in substantial cost savings and reduces delays. Another popular facility is unified communications, offering notification of voicemail messages and unifying all voice and email messages into the user’s Outlook inbox.
Using AlwaysON’s hosted IP telephony service over Lovell’s Cisco based network (LAN), PSG has delivered Lovell improved internal communications, and the overall phone bill for the site has reduced by at least 15%. And in an industry where all of the costs are traditionally ‘up front’, a flexible hosted IP telephony solution with very low set-up and running costs was highly attractive.
Lovell’s Head of IT, Dave Weaver, commented: “The massive reduction in time and effort spent on site telephony management is really appreciated. It has freed our internal resources for more important work.”
PSG ensured a smooth transition to the hosted IP telephony solution, from project management through to implementation. Staff moved onto the new system with a minimum of fuss over a period of 24 hours. AlwaysON worked closely with several telecoms providers to port telephone numbers already in use to the new service.
“I know it’s a seemingly small detail but being able to keep the existing external telephone numbers was vital” said Rob Dowsett, Sales Director, PSG, “Losing them would have been a real showstopper.”