Luton Community Housing

Luton Community Housing

The Client

Luton Community Housing is a not-for-profit housing association that has been providing affordable living accommodation to residents in Luton and South Bedfordshire since 1962.

With a proud history to maintain and customers who rely on the telephone as a method by which to seek support, Luton Community Housing (LCH) were in serious need of new telephony and connectivity services.

This multi-site environment and versatile workforce had experienced frustrations and inefficiencies within the business for quite some time, and they could all be traced back to an out-of-date telephony system.

Their patience was eventually exhausted, and a budget allocated to refresh the whole technology infrastructure as part of a new roadmap for LCH to improve customer service.

The LCH estate is wide and varied, and includes a range of hostels and affordable housing across Luton. The staff base is equally diverse, and varies from admin to counsellors, housing managers and maintenance staff, all with their own, individual technological requirements.

For instance, some staff could be situated within any location at any time, and due to the sensitive nature of their work, security is always of primary concern.

The telephony issues they were experiencing (including mobile phones that were end-of-life) were also compounded by a slow and unreliable internet connection.

The ACS Solution

Having gathered the evidence, the acs team suggested that the internet connection be tackled first, with a view to vastly improving connectivity at all sites. This required a new leased line at the LCH head office and upgrading all houses and hostels to BT Infinity super-fast broadband.

This was combined with Cisco hardware that would provide the entire business with a robust, secure wide area network (WAN).

The foundation to install a hosted, unified communication solution was subsequently created, and the 8×8 system a natural fit. This would provide desktop phones for staff in the office, but also the flexibility of softphones and mobile apps to give remote workers the communication tools they need, at all times.

A new package with O2 was also recommended, along with up-to-date smartphone replacements for their ageing mobiles.

ACS partnered with 8×8 during the implementation, and applied a phased approach to the installation.

The internet connection was the first element to go in, and despite some initial challenges with Openreach, the ACS telecoms support team and field engineers were able to deliver ahead of schedule.

The mobile roll-out followed, and through careful planning and tireless communication, this particular element was rolled out in just one day.

Lastly, the 8×8 installation was completed, site-by-site, both swiftly and with minimal disruption to LCH, thanks to a brilliant working relationship between 8×8 and acs engineers. With added support from the acs service desk, the entire solution was fully functional within the agreed time frame.

The Result

Thanks to acs and 8×8, LCH now has a fully flexible and robust communications environment, with all of the previous frustrations completely eradicated.

This has allowed LCH staff to improve their efficiency, raise productivity and feel more inclusive. The support and cost control elements of the business have also benefited from the new environment, with both now fully centralised.

It was important for LCH to be kept up-to-date with advances in the technology they’re now using, which is why ACS will provide quarterly reviews of the new environment. This provides the opportunity to assist directly with any challenges they may have, answer questions and help them plan for future growth.