PHSO, the body responsible for considering complaints made by the public against government departments, public authorities and the National Health Service in England, is now saving over £50,000 each year in telecoms costs because of the switch to a cloud phone system supplied by Foehn.
The PHSO previously had a traditional phone system in place that covered two sites and around 500 seats at the Millbank Tower in London and an office in Manchester. However, that system had become increasingly vulnerable to power outages and did not provide the modern functionality that the PHSO needed to best serve those using its services.
“We needed to change because the phone system we had wasn’t robust and lacked any capacity for growth and flexibility,” explains PHSO IT Services Manager, Nicky Dowland. “Also it didn’t have any modern features such as detailed reporting & analysis, nor call recording, and didn’t integrate with our case work management system. The phone system is pivotal to the operation of the PHSO because we rely on it for incoming calls from people wishing to learn more about our service or to begin the process of making a complaint.”
The PHSO selected open source cloud phone specialists Foehn to design and deliver a new system which has been running since the beginning of 2016. It comprises 500 seats, 300 at its London Millbank office and 200 in Manchester, as well as two call centres with 24 and nine seats.
The cloud phone system has the ability to integrate into the PHSO’s new case management system providing call recording and accurate call reporting and analysis. “Where previously we could not record calls, we will be able to attach call recordings which will be particularly helpful when handling cases and staff need to check back,” explains Dowland. “Where before we had no idea how many calls investigators were making, now we will have complete visibility. Overall the new phone system has enabled us to improve productivity, increase efficiencies and enable us to deliver a more reliable and better service to people.”
Whilst not the main driver for change, the solution provided by Foehn has enabled the PHSO to significantly lower its telecoms costs and deliver better for less. Apportioning costs is also now much simpler, with each extension and call cost associated with that extension invoiced monthly and directly to the relevant cost centre.
As well as being a G-Cloud supplier, Foehn is a provider of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services as part of the Network Services Framework that replaced the Public Sector Telecommunication Services (PSTS), Public Services Network Connectivity (PSNC) and Public Services Network Services (PSNS) frameworks.
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Established nearly 50 years ago, PHSO comprises the offices of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (PCA) and the Health Service Commissioner for England (HSC). The PHSO was initially set up to investigate complaints that individuals had been treated unfairly or received poor service from UK central government departments and agencies. In 1993 complaints about the NHS in England were added to its remit and now make up almost 80% of the organisation’s work.
Foehn is a leading communication systems integrator, delivering IP telephony and contact centre solutions to the private and public sectors. We are an innovative, flexible and attentive SME and what also makes us different is that we are passionate about Open Source technology. It enables us to provide innovative solutions that are more feature rich, easily integrated and cheaper than the proprietary platforms from legacy multi-national vendors.
Foehn is proud to be a member of the Government’s G-Cloud and Digital Marketplace framework, as well as being selected as provider of IP telephony services on the Government’s new Network Services framework. Foehn can transform IP telephony for public sector organisations, improve efficiencies and reduce fixed telephony costs by as much as 40%.