Chestertons not only wanted to find a way to simplify its IT operations, it also wanted to work towards a much larger goal – to enhance customer service experiences by driving greater innovation and efficiency across its business, whilst also reducing costs.
Chestertons was using different providers for its telephony, connectivity and desktop hosting. Supporting disparate technologies was costly, difficult to manage and extremely time consuming. It also caused significant complications when trying to integrate technology with its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform in order to enhance its customer service capabilities.
The decision was made to merge these systems and consolidate the number of IT providers Chestertons worked with by choosing just one technology partner, which would become its single point of contact for anything IT related.
Whilst cost and value was an important factor in choosing the right IT partner, another pivotal element to consider was the capability to support all of the international branches of the business. With offices in 21 countries across five continents, it was vital that any new technology solution would continue to provide the same high level of functionality, reliability and support to each office and its staff, no matter its location.
Following a tender process, Prodec Networks was successful and chosen by Chestertons as its new IT partner. Working closely with Chestertons’ internal IT teams, Prodec’s team of technology specialists designed a solution that met the demands of the business now, and with the future in mind.
To ensure any disruption to Chestertons business was minimal, Prodec installed a whole new network to work alongside the existing one. New fibre leased lines were installed with new Cisco switches and routers at each site, all of which were fully and comprehensively tested by Prodec’s engineers.
To avoid inheriting any potential system errors from Chestertons’ incumbent cloud providers, Prodec built a cloud platform from scratch to host Chestertons’ email, website, all of its desktops and core business applications, including the CRM and a new Mitel phone system.
To simplify the process of migrating these cloud services, Prodec copied all of the required user and application data from the current cloud platform across to its own datacentres to ensure every change made from the initial seeding right through to the deployment phase would be available.
As soon as Prodec and Chestertons were happy that all requirements were in place for a smooth transition, Prodec took advantage of a well-timed bank holiday weekend to perform the migration of over 600 user accounts, across 33 locations, to the new platform.
On returning from the weekend, Chestertons employees were able to log on as normal and access all of their required tools without any disruption. The only significant change from a user perspective was the new Mitel handsets and the Mitel Connect unified communications system that had been installed. Prodec conducted user acceptance testing in advance of the migration to ensure user familiarity with the telephony system.
Chestertons’ new unified communications solution delivers greater functionality to users and integrates seamlessly with the CRM platform. This enables staff to work with new levels of flexibility and provides customer agents with deeper insights into each of its client’s engagement history to enable faster, more tailored customer experiences.
During the initial two years following the migration, Chestertons support call volume dropped by 34% whilst there was a 77% reduction in significant issues (something which affects multiple users or business operations, like phones or sites going down.) All support calls and requests are now channelled directly through to Prodec’s internal service desk and managed by its skilled team of analysts. In addition to this, Prodec introduced a dedicated service delivery manager who performs regular visits to Chestertons’ sites and participates in weekly departmental meetings to provide a critical bridge between the business and Prodec.
As Chestertons’ entire network is now monitored and managed by Prodec, its IT department has the freedom to focus on the strategic aims of the business. This has led to the department winning initiative awards within the business and driving technology, revenue and profit to greater heights.