IoW NHS gains new UC solution

05 October 2023

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has partnered with Cinos to provide and manage its new telephony and unified communications (UC) solution.

The new Cisco Powered sovereign UC telephony service, delivered from the Cinos Cloud, will provide the Trust with a secure and reliable service that delivers the flexibility and robustness needed to adopt new hybrid working practises.

With certain elements of its existing UC platform reaching end of life, the Trust is looking to update its unified communications infrastructure to enable new working and service delivery practices. Cinos will support the Trust to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy that provides a robust cloud service, whilst still maintaining a small footprint of services on-premise.

Due to the Trust’s location on an island, this approach adds an extra layer of resilience to ensure always-on communications in the event of any interruption to the network.

The service will be utilised by the Trust’s 3,900 employees and seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Teams in line with the NHS’ wider adoption strategy. With the Cisco Powered UC platform in place, users will be able to make and receive calls from any location under one single collaboration application, as well as having the reliability of a fully featured hybrid cloud UC platform that provides additional calling services.

“With the increasing need to support our staff in adopting hybrid working practises and the ability to work from anywhere, we recognised the importance of introducing a new telephony and UC solution for the wider Trust. Simplifying the management of our telephony technology will also help to free up the Digital team to spend more time on priorities such as core infrastructure and the user experience,” said Jake Gully, digital operations manager at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust. “Alongside our hybrid approach to telephony, we recognised that we needed help with building resilience into our infrastructure. With Cinos’ expertise in this area and sector, we look forward to working together on the project and fully embedding the new solution as part of our ongoing service.”

“With capital investment secured by the Trust we can now move to a comprehensive resilient voice solution built around Microsoft Teams, which is widely used nationally,” said Marcus Garman, Digital Infrastructure Programme Manager, at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust. “Management of the telephony solution will be simplified, and it will enable seamless scalability to any number of sites and users. We will have the ability to effortlessly add other functionality to improve the end user and patient experience. Once implemented in Q4 23/24, there will be significant recurrent cost reductions of circa £360,000 each year on telephony within our Trust.”

To ensure end user familiarity, the existing call recording and operator console will be upgraded and retained as part of the solution. This not only allows the Trust to retain its licensing investments but also enables a smoother migration path, as user training will not be required for these elements during the on-boarding process. Cinos will also provide the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking service to enable the Trust to migrate away from the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) to and future-proof the service past the 2025 switch off, bringing substantial cost savings on call and line rental charges.

“For hospital departments and emergency services, communications form a vital part of daily activity. Having solutions and systems in place that are both resilient and reliable are of the utmost importance to staff and frontline healthcare workers,” said Dan Worman, executive director of Cinos. “Through our healthcare and emergency services sector experience, we are proud to be partnering with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to ensure it can achieve greater service improvements and experiences for many patients and citizens living on the island.”