Phone system saves college thousands a year

01 May 2018

When Wiltshire College merged with Salisbury College it grew to four campuses in Chippenham, Lackham, Salisbury, and Trowbridge. Now it has around 10,000 students and 1,000 staff.

Each of the four sites had its own telephone system which the college wanted to replace with a single, 1,000-extension platform that would be robust, simple to install, and easy to administer from a central location. Its requirements included core telephony features, such as call pickup, forwarding, hunt groups, etc., as well as presence, a softphone option, and call logging and reporting.

Furthermore, college ICT support staff would manage the system, so its interface had to enable day-to-day telephony tasks such as adding new extensions, staff relocations, routing rules and voicemail without calling in engineers. Plus, the college wanted the ability to add features later, including on-screen call control, conference calls, call recording, hot-desking, CRM integration and mobile integration.

The tender for the project was won by Reading-based Tri-Lan IT which proposed a Windows-based system from 3CX. Tri-Lan was responsible for all software installation – running on a Microsoft Hyper-Vserver – and configuration, together with new Patton ISDN-SIP gateways. Meanwhile, the college ICT team carried out the physical rollout of 650 SIP handsets which support features such as PoE, system directory, conference calls, etc. It also accommodates college offices where part-time staff members share a single phone.

Staff can now additionally make calls via Wi-Fi and 3G, and those on the go can now login at multiple locations, including from home. The ICT team uses the 3CX Call Centre Module to view and manage features such as real-time queue strategies, agent statistics, call-back and SLA alerts. They can also manage workflow and track how many staff members are logged into the system at any one time.

Since installation, the college has added 75 more extensions, to make a total of 1,075, and more than 15,000 calls are handled each week. 3CX adds that the system has helped the college to reduce its phone related IT cost by 70 per cent, saving £70,000 per year.