Leading education provider makes huge cost savings and improves working practices with Evonex hosted telephony.

About NCC Education

NCC Education is an internationally recognised awarding body and a global provider of British education in Computing and Business.

Working with a network of accredited partner centres, in more than 50 countries, NCC Education provides an affordable route for students to obtain a UK university degree and access to British education without leaving their home country.

Originally a division of the National Computing Centre, NCC Education was established as an IT initiative by the British Government in 1966. It started offering IT qualifications in 1976, and from 1997 developed its higher education portfolio to include Business, English language and Foundation level qualifications. In 1997, NCC Education was incorporated as an awarding body of British qualifications.

NCC Education aims to maintain its position as a global leader in the assessment and certification of recognised quality British qualifications and teaching programmes and the first choice examinations board for IT and Business. Its goal is to improve an individual’s future prospects and opportunities by providing quality qualifications that are widely recognised and valued by employers and universities worldwide.

The Challenges

NCCEducation was acquired by Singapore-based Infomatics Education Ltd in 2016. The takeover saw the workforce at the NCC Education’s Manchester office streamlined from 70 to 33. A number of the staff lost in the reorganisation were those most familiar with the existing server-based telephone system, which was complex and not particularly user friendly.

As part of the reorganisation, the business was set the challenge of reducing the amount of hardware on site. Another objective was to find a replacement for the existing telephone system that was easier to use yet delivered some additional features. Naturally, NCC Education approached their existing telephone provider, but were disappointed by what they had to offer. It was not immediately apparent how their proposal would provide the kind of solution NCC Education had envisaged.

NCC Education also contacted one of the largest telephone suppliers in the UK, with whom they had some dealings. To their surprise, NCC Education found them unwilling to help with the project; in fact, they seemed unresponsive, inflexible and uncompetitive. Plus, they were suggesting the installation of additional equipment onsite, which was precisely what NCC Education was keen to avoid.

We are delighted with Southern Communication’s customer service and attention to detail, from first contact, through the quotation process, installation, and after-sales support.”

The SCG Solution

Southern Communications approached NCC Education and suggested a hosted solution, which would accomplish everything they were hoping to achieve. Switching to a hosted telephone system would mean less hardware onsite. The system would also offer the flexibility to operate more efficiently. Inbound calls would be routed directly to the appropriate department, eliminating the need for a central receptionist. Several useful additional features – such as, hunt groups and pick-up groups, to enable call distribution within the individual departments – would also be included.

NCC Education liked what Southern Communications was suggesting. The proposal was comprehensive and the sales representative explained clearly what would be delivered.

The Benefits

Steven Bettoni, IT Support Manager at NCC Education, is clearly delighted by the change to a hosted system, and by the service that Southern Communications has provided: “We were unhappy with what our previous supplier was proposing. It was unclear precisely what they were offering and how it would work for us. By contrast, Southern Communications were on the ball, knowledgeable, and made every possible effort to help us understand how their proposal would improve what we already had and the benefits we would gain from that. Their representative made sense of the hosted offering. They were also price competitive, easy to work with, and gave us the feeling of being valued and helped.

“They kept us informed all the way, over and above expectation. The engineer set up the system at the weekend, which meant there was no disruption during our working hours, and remained on site from Monday to Wednesday to check that everything went smoothly when the system went live. Training was very thorough, making sure that everyone knew exactly how to get the best out of the new system. “We’ve been very pleased with the service we have received from day one of dealing with Southern Communications. Their commitment to provide the highest level of service has been clearly demonstrated throughout. This is the sort of customer service we were looking for.

“Moving to a hosted system has meant dramatic savings compared to the old system. We’ve seen a reduction in costs in licenses, maintenance, achieved our overall aim of reducing equipment footprint and shown a saving of 30% on our telephone running costs.