Believe Housing modernise ways of working with Teams and Telephony

Believe Housing is an award-winning not-for-profit housing association, which provides more than 18,000 affordable homes in communities stretching from the rural north Pennines to the Durham coast. A £70m project to create 700 new homes throughout the region is well underway, alongside a £138m programme of improvements to existing properties.

Believe Housing’s aim is to create a life without barriers for its customers; offering extensive support in everything from employability to welfare benefits and an extensive community investment programme supporting grass roots initiatives such as sports clubs, healthy eating programmes and arts projects across the area.

About Exactive

Exactive is a Unified Communications specialist and is one of a small number of Microsoft Teams Voice Partners operating in the UK.

Gamma Communications plc (“Gamma”), a leading technology-based provider of communications services to business markets in the UK and the Netherlands, acquired Exactive Holding Limited (“Exactive”) in March 2020.

This acquisition builds on an existing partnership to bring customers a complete range of services for Microsoft Teams.

The Challenge

Believe Housing was planning an office move but they had a traditional desk-based telephony system in place which they couldn’t take with them. Users had one desk, one phone and almost everyone returned to the same desk day-in-day out. In essence, it worked for them in a way, but they realised it was quite limiting in many ways for a modern business.

IT Service Delivery Manager, Graeme Clark, said “we certainly knew that we could be doing a lot more to facilitate the direction that the organisation wanted to go in. Our people cover a huge area of nearly 900 square miles, so it’s important for them to be out and about as much as possible.

900

Square miles covered

The Solution

Believe Housing began looking at Microsoft Teams as a solution while reviewing their office portfolio. They completed a small-scale trial within the ICT Team first, to test its functionality and suitability. By the time the plans for their new offices were firm, they were confident that Teams was definitely the right choice for them.

Exactive was recommended to them by their Microsoft retailer as being one of the leading Teams telephony partners. Graeme commented, “finding the right partner to work with, and implementing an early trial, were the biggest plus points of the project for me. The process fitted together well with our roll-out of Office 365 services and the agile ways of working we wanted to achieve.”

It took about two months to get a full Teams telephony system in place for the whole organisation.

2 months

To implement a full Teams telephony system in place for the whole organisation.

The Results

Teams made the changes to their office accommodation possible and staff can now work from anywhere. Moving to Teams when they did, allowed them to get ahead of the curve. Graeme commented, “the events of the last few weeks have proven we made the right choice. When we needed to be able to let our staff work from home due to the COVID-19 situation, we could with very little difficulty.”

Teams also allowed believe housing to move to new ways of working for their contact centre very quickly. When the COVID-19 restrictions were implemented, they could continue to help their customers on a day-to-day basis.

Testimonial

For any business considering Teams telephony, I would say go for it, you might think it’s an overwhelming change. But it was surprising how well our staff adapted to it and how well they responded.

Graeme Clark
IT Service Delivery Manager, Believe Housing