Case study title

Skype for Business - Public Sector - Rochdale Council

Client Name

Rochdale Council



Buisness Type

Local Government

The Overview

Skype for Business solutions for the Public Sector by GCI, providing brand new network infrastructures with efficient routing and security.

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council serves a community of over 200,000 residents, providing a wealth of services to enable the borough to thrive and improve the lives of local people. The Council is committed to a vision of ‘building success and prosperity with citizens and partners, whilst protecting vulnerable people’.

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  • Increased Efficiency
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Cost savings
  • Enhanced communication

The Challenge

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council were placing an increasing importance on improving efficiencies, an objective made all the more challenging against a backdrop of shrinking Public Sector funding. Additionally, the Council required an updated communications strategy, including an improvement to internal culture, in order to make the required changes to the way it operated.

To achieve increased efficiencies, the Council rationalised its estate, reducing the number of buildings for its 3,500 staff from 150 to 130 and moving 1,800 employees into one new office.

The Solution

Each employee was provided with Skype for Business and the appropriate handset, feeding into a brand new network infrastructure with efficient routing and security, as well as a guaranteed Quality of Service and performance.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging Server, providing users with subscriber access to their voicemail and Outlook Voice Access.

ForeFront Threat Management Gateway to handle web access and online meetings.

Three Front End Servers providing IM and A/V conferencing interface as well as two Mediation Servers responsible for handing inbound and outbound calls.

Two Edge Servers providing remote worker with access to Skype for Business and facilitating federation with third party organisations.

Disaster recovery is enabled through a Standard Edition server which hosts all roles on a single physical box, used in the event of the loss of primary datacentre.
Three virtual servers were also implemented:
Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging Server
Single Edge Server
ForeFront Threat Management Gateway

Expert consultants and engineers from GCI managed the migration, giving expertise on the design, installation and technical aspects. GCI, a Microsoft Gold Communications Partner, is one of only a handful of Skype for Business Partners (SfBPs) in the UK. Crucially, this ensures that Rochdale have the security of working with a partner that are able to provide the highest standard of Skype for Business support backed by Microsoft expertise, which is only available through accredited SfBPs. Employees were also on-boarded with tutorials, training and floor walking guidance sessions.

Achieving Increased Efficiency

The rationalisation and newly adopted Unified Communications strategy acted as the catalyst for the Council to enable new and improved ways of working:
Hot desking – enabling anyone to work anywhere at any time at the 1,500 desks in the new office.

Remote working – employees working in transit, from home or at partner or satellite offices now able to access the same applications and services as those in the new building.
Virtual collaboration – enabling the 3,500 staff to communicate and meet online, promoting seamless communication between departments, colleagues and with citizens.
Enhanced communication – Providing employees with the ability to find information and people effortlessly, whenever they want and wherever they are.
Streamlined support – reducing support and administration costs.


Skype for Business has transformed Rochdale Council into a modern place to work, where collaboration and real-time communication drive productivity and high levels of service to residents and businesses across the region.

Employee satisfaction – Adoption rates of Skype for Business are high, with users embracing the SfB client and the improved staff directory, presence information and tagging status changes, which together are making communication and collaboration easy and seamless.

Cost savings – Virtual meetings have reduced travel expenses, while efficient communication over multiple communication channels has cut mobile phone costs.

Site rationalisation – Thanks to the migration to Skype for Business and management of the deployment, the process of moving half of the workforce into a new office did not decrease productivity and employees quickly embraced the more efficient ways of working.