Top Of The Class

The installation of a new SpliceCom Maximiser OS based IP PBX has helped Derby based Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy to unify their communications infrastructure, increasing staff efficiency and effectiveness, whilst simultaneously shrinking their telephony bills.
Saint Benedict is the only Catholic secondary school in the area, educating over 1,400 students and employing more than 100 teachers, in addition to non-teaching support staff and ‘one to one' tutors. Having utilised two existing NEC Aspire PBXs as the basis for their telephone system for well over ten years, the Academy desperately needed to replace it.

The Academy's ICT Manager, Michael Hilton, takes up the story. "Having recognised that our existing system was fast approaching the end of its effective life we put together a list of key requirements for a new system before we started scouring the market. Top of that list was the need to consolidate our two existing systems into one to simplify daily management tasks and investigate how we could reduce call charges and line rentals by moving away from the traditional ISDN30 circuits to SIP. In addition we wanted to explore how the features delivered through modern telephone handsets could make our working lives easier. The telephony functionality delivered across the Academy was very limited due to the huge level of disparity between the analogue, digital and IP handsets we had deployed, with the vast majority being analogue handsets with very basic functionality."

Despite strong competition at the point of sale from the incumbent NEC alongside Avaya, Mitel and Samsung, the decision to choose SpliceCom was very straightforward. "It offered the best integration of software and hardware," explained Michael Hilton. The Navigate desktop software for our Windows PCs, alongside the web based Vision wallboards and historical reports offered greater added value than the other manufacturers. The IP handsets are also well designed, with consistent operation across the entire range."
With a smooth, well-planned install handled by local SpliceCom Community Partner Voice2Voice, Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy is now enjoying the benefits of their SpliceCom telephone system. With around 110 extensions connected to a single Maximiser OS based hard PBX the rollout is almost complete subject to some minor handsets changes and the addition of a couple of additional handsets.
And how's the new system been received? "It's improved staff productivity across the site and enhanced our customer service," reports Michael Hilton. "Missed calls, call history and voicemail are all easy to access, as is the ability to facilitate conference calls. In the longer term will be able to use the data and reports produced by Vision to analyse call patterns and adjust the system accordingly, helping us to be more pro-active at peak call times."

Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy is already enjoying significant cost savings on calls through their SpliceCom system having moved to SIP trunk services. "We also have lower maintenance costs as several aspects of the SpliceCom system are now managed internally by our ICT helpdesk. This means handset adds, moves and changes no longer require an engineering visit making them quicker to implement in addition to saving us money," says Michael Hilton. "The new system also utilises existing Cat5e data cabling for phone extensions, so as we add more classrooms and offices in the future they will be much easier to accommodate.
In the short term future there are plans for several staff to trial SpliceCom's iPCS mobility app on their SmartPhones, enabling them to make and receive calls wherever they might be on the campus. "We're also planning to investigate how we can integrate our MIS database (Facility from Advanced Learning) so the callers name and their contact records will automatically appear on the PC screen, thereby enhancing our customer service levels," concludes Michael Hilton.

By replacing their two existing telephone system with a single SpliceCom solution supporting 110 extensions, Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has;

  • Unified their communications infrastructure
  • Transitioned from traditional ISDN30 trunks to SIP Services
  • Slashed on-going call, system management and maintenance costs
  • A clear management perspective of how the telephone system is being used
  • Simplified and standardised everyday telephone use, whilst delivering significantly more features and benefits
  • Provided a flexible platform able to support future communication needs