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Redbridge College benefits from cloud-based comms

Vocational higher educational establishment, Redbridge College, has achieved significant cost savings by replacing its outdated traditional

Vocational higher educational establishment, Redbridge College, has achieved significant cost savings by replacing its outdated traditional phone system with an cloud-based solution from Via, a business telephony and communications specialist.

The college deployed Via Voice to enable its workforce to communicate more efficiently while avoiding the substantial up-front cost of upgrading its legacy phone system.

Redbridge College wanted to replace its telephone systems, from Avaya and Alcatel, that were being used by more than 300 staff across the educational establishment’s campuses in Chadwell Heath and Ilford, as well as its offices in Kent and Hertfordshire. The existing systems had reached capacity and were lacking in support, and the college was facing an extensive investment to upgrade to a new ISDN solution that would fit its growing requirements.

In a bid to modernise its communications system whilst reducing costs, Redbridge College instead opted to implement Via Voice. The solution operates over the internet and replaces the need to have a traditional phone network. It allows employees to talk, instant messaging, email, video chat or take part in conferences across a variety of devices, such as landlines, smartphones, PCs, and tablets. This helps the workforce to stay continuously connected and reachable even when they are on the road or working from home.

In addition, the new platform provides the ability for staff to hold online sessions with students, who do not need the Skype for Business tool to partake, instead using a web client.

The solution has also enabled Redbridge College’s various support teams to streamline their operations and provide instantaneous support to staff that are in need of assistance, regardless of location. This has led to a reduction in response times across the organisation, as well as substantial cost savings.

Via Voice also includes additional bespoke functionality that is being used to drive further efficiencies across the organisation. This includes Via’s advanced call routing solution which effectively directs incoming phone calls to the correct departments. This functionality has also modernised the way students can report any absences.

In addition, Redbridge College is using Via’s unique real time management portal which allows the organisation to observe trends, evaluate the usage and productivity of employees, monitor costs, and add new users. Employees joining Redbridge College previously travelled to its site at Chadwell Heath for a one day training course, however by using Via Voice the training can now be delivered remotely, leading to efficiency gains.

The switchover was handled proficiently by Via’s team of inhouse experts using its Via Sync functionality, which allows existing staff to be automatically uploaded onto the new platform. The college was also provided with up to date telephony equipment on a lease basis to ensure overheads were kept to a minimum.

Costas Calcanis, director, e-learning, innovation and ITNS, Redbridge College, said: “Redbridge College is reaping the benefits of switching to a cloud-based communications solution. We now boast a highly innovative system that is easy to use and helping to reduce costs on a day to day basis. Staff are able to communicate with one another more effectively, whilst we have also seen a reduction in unnecessary email traffic and mobile phone usage. VIA ensured the installation of the new platform was both seamless and painless, whilst also dealing with any support or training issues very quickly.”

While Alex Tebbs, director, Via, said: “Our Via Voice solution boosts workforce connectivity and is therefore the perfect fit for Redbridge College who employ a large number of staff across multiple locations. The functionality of the solution continues to promote efficient, unified communications across the organisation. Moving forward, colleges and universities could also use Via Voice to deliver classes and lectures remotely!”