Shepherd Construction Case Study

Requirement: Voice and Network Infrastructure Services

Shepherd Construction required a future-proof Voice and Data infrastructure, providing a solution with the ability to support a large, dispersed workforce.

The Client

Shepherd Construction is a privately-owned construction company with a wealth of experience across the public and private sectors, including education, health, science and technology, residential, commercial, retail and energy. The company employs over 1,000 employees spread across its headquarters in York plus three regional offices in Leeds, London and Milton Keynes.

Shepherd Construction was facing a number of challenges relating to its Information Services (IS) and communications infrastructure, as well as its ability to support a large, dispersed workforce. Its once-excellent telephony equipment and wiring had become outdated and inconsistent, meaning it was difficult and costly to add, move or change phone numbers, and investment in engineering to re-wire and re-programme the switch was required. The Leeds office had a complex system of different model phones and wiring around the building, including a system with a mixture of analogue, digital and IP phones which made desk moves very difficult to facilitate. Additionally, many staff in the London office would only be working for short periods or be visiting from other offices, making it difficult to keep track of extension numbers.

The company needed to standardise its Voice and Data infrastructure with a multi-site, centralised platform that could deliver state-of-the-art IP telephony services and enable the company to embrace state-of-the-art Unified Communications technologies. Following a competitive tender process Shepherd Construction selected GCI, recognising the Converged ICT provider’s ability to deliver a future-proof and cost-effective solution.

Technical Solution

GCI installed a complete Voice and Data solution across Shepherd Construction’s York, Leeds, London and Milton Keynes sites, using cutting-edge Unified Communications technologies and Data Networking infrastructure. At the Head Office in York, GCI installed a centralised switch and management platform - enabling the system to be easily managed from any location - with a model of each of the different handsets used across the system to allow easy support for users by the IS Desk. This would ensure that the IS team could make moves and changes to the telephony system in-house irrespective of location, with no additional cost or engineering expertise required. GCI also replaced all wiring in the Leeds office with Cat6e structured cabling.

The new VoIP system also gives Shepherd Construction's employees the freedom to move between offices and work remotely; before switching desks was an issue but the new system allows them to “plug and play” from wherever they need to work.

Success and Company Benefits

Shepherd Construction now has a future-proof Voice and Data infrastructure that enables the company to easily expand the IS infrastructure over time. Whilst initially the new UC solution was designed to fix existing problems, its clear product road map enables Shepherd Construction to take advantage of trends such as video conferencing and many more flexible and collaborative ways of working. Feedback from employees has been that the new system is easy to use and manage; staff are happier, and the solution has enhanced the productivity of the workforce as they have been able to communicate more fluidly.

Neil Tennant, IS Site Support Supervisor at Shepherd Construction, said: “The decision to work with GCI was an easy one as the company clearly demonstrated its ability to deliver a state-of-the-art voice and data infrastructure that could support our multiple sites and drive efficiencies into the business. The plug and play scenario we now have with GCI's IP telephony solution allows people to move between offices seamlessly and provides us with the platform to embrace new applications and services in the future.”



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