Prospect Union Case Study

Requirement: WAN, Skype for Business, Enghouse Contact Centre, PCI Compliance, Rapid Network Deployment and Flexible IT Support

Prospect Union instructed trusted Microsoft and Enghouse Interactive partner, GCI, to assist with a number of technical solutions to help “future proof” its IT systems, as well as drive greater communications efficiencies.

The Client

Prospect is the independent trade union for professionals, with more than 142,000 members spanning engineers, scientists, managers and specialists. It advises, defends and supports its members on various work-related issues - including career development, contracts of employment, pensions, performance pay, privatisation and company takeovers - and is headquartered in London, with additional offices across the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

With a rapidly-increasing number of members to support, Prospect Union required more modern IT services that could support its growth, including an upgrade of its network to improve security and quality, a new communications and Contact Centre solution to replace a complex assortment of phone systems across 8 locations, and equipment to keep the organisation connected during a site move. Most importantly, Prospect Union was looking for an IT Services Provider that it could partner with who could not only support its growth strategy, but also matched the organisation’s passion for quality and service. The union selected GCI thanks to the Converged ICT Services Provider’s wealth of experience and demonstrable capabilities across multiple different technological solutions, as well as elite accreditations with industry-leading vendors and the ability to provide a complete but flexible support service during the projects.

Technical Solution

GCI provided a new Wide Area Network for Prospect Union, delivered over GCI’s privately-owned MPLS core network which fully supports Quality of Service to best protect critical traffic from key network services and applications at busy times. To ensure the smoothest transition possible, GCI provided a Flexible Managed Support Service for Prospect Union, meaning that the organisation could be certain that it would have access to round-the-clock support during the project’s lifecycle, but only pay for any time actually used.

GCI also disposed of Prospect Union’s various legacy phone systems and installed a Microsoft Skype for Business solution for all 250 staff. The best-of-breed Unified Communications platform allows employees to collaborate quickly and easily irrespective of location, with users benefitting from Presence, Video Conferencing, Instant Messaging, document sharing and much more at the touch of a button. Skype for Business is also highly flexible and scalable, making rolling out the solution to new offices or staff members quick and easy as the organisation continues to grow. This deployment paved the way for a cutting-edge Contact Centre solution based on Enghouse Interactive Communications Centre (EICC). Natively integrating with Skype for Business, the platform ensures that 25 expert staff can be assigned to a virtual, omni-channel Contact Centre to help its members as and when needed, offering quicker and more tailored answers as well as a more personal service. The solution includes Enterprise-grade features - including call queuing and intelligent routing – and ensures that members can contact the organisation in any way they choose, whether by phone, email, live chat, social media or a combination. The Contact Centre replaces a system of regional helpdesks and means that, instead of members calling the regional centre nearest to them, they get routed straight through to one of 25 specialists depending on the nature of their query. Additionally, GCI provided consultancy on PCI Compliance to help Prospect Union ensure it was able to securely take membership payments within the Contact Centre environment, whilst ensuring that sensitive card data was not shared with agents.

Prospect Union also asked GCI to assist with short-term connectivity when the organisation was moving to a new site. With the complexity of the infrastructure needed by Prospect Union, lead times were unfavourable, and a temporary solution was required to ensure it could operate as normal. GCI provided a Rapid Network Deployment device that offered Enterprise-grade internet access by combining multiple 4G and fixed-line connections to create one virtual IP connection, allowing Prospect Union to remain online for a fortnight before the permanent circuitry was installed.

Success and Company Benefits

Prospect Union now has a number of modern IT systems and services in place that allows it to better connect with its members to provide an enhanced level of service, as well as scale up as its employee and membership numbers grow. Thanks to GCI’s advanced accreditations and wealth of experience with both Microsoft and Enghouse, the deployment was straightforward and non-disruptive to the Union’s day-to-day business. Best of all, it has already improved time efficiencies - not only allowing staff to help more members more quickly, but enabling them to concentrate on other work-related tasks and collaborate more easily than ever before. The organisation’s network is also more resilient and secure, future-proofing its systems and reducing costs, with GCI successfully keeping Prospect Union connected during its site move.

Paul Xuereb, Head of Information and Website Systems at Prospect Union, said: “GCI has helped us transform the way we work. Our network performance has greatly improved in addition to being more secure, and being able to continue with “business as usual” during our site move was crucial. Additionally, the previous combination of phone systems meant that internal communications were challenging, and we could not run an integrated Contact Centre. By deploying Skype for Business and Enghouse’s Contact Centre, it means that we have just one system that all our staff use. We think it will give our helpdesk staff 20% of their time back, and means they can work on other parts of their job when not on calls.

 

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