North Warwickshire & Hinckley College

North Warwickshire & Hinckley College is one of the largest and most successful colleges in the Midlands. Its excellent facilities, strong partnerships with major employers and universities, and excellent international relationships have helped make the college a sought-after place to study for thousands of young people and adults.

In January 2013, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College officially joined forces with South Leicestershire College and has since been overseen by one principal. This new federation has allowed the college to expand courses by sharing expertise and resources, and improving support for the students.

The challenge

It was against this backdrop that the college decided to review its communications infrastructure that serves five campus locations. Majid Shaikh, IT Team Leader for the college explains: 

“The first steps surrounded the integration of off-site data backups and having our BT accounts merged in to one – moves that resulted in reducing our costs. 

“We then decided to replace our ISDN lines for SIP trunks to provide greater flexibility and to further reduce costs. The problem, however, was that in order to deploy SIP trunks we would have to individually upgrade all our telephone systems to be SIP compatible. We soon discovered that the cost of these upgrades would be prohibitive and began looking at alternative solutions.”

The college’s communications service provider, Focus Group, recommended the Akixi cloud-based call management and call centre analytics service, enabling the college to manage inbound calls in real time and to log and return any missed calls. Majid explains: 

“Calls by telephone number’, ‘unreturned lost calls’, ‘calls by extension number’ and ‘calls made by any selected time interval’ are examples of the report types that college staff can see, measure and report on when necessary.”

The results

Majid strongly believes that the Akixi service has helped transform the college’s communications infrastructure across the five campuses, as he explains: 

“Akixi allows us to see what is happening in our business. It provides at-a-glance views of our activity, all of which can be reported upon. It also allows us to track customers’ calls that would have been previously missed or lost.” 

Referring to Akixi’s wallboard display, Majid adds: 

“The fact that the information tiles are configurable means that we can tailor the display to show us the key metrics we need to manage and control, such as the number of calls waiting and calls abandoned. 

“The impact of using the application has been highly positive. Akixi lets staff monitor call volumes and flow, allowing us to staff accordingly and cater for peak periods. And since it is a cloud-based application it is always up to date and available anywhere which means disaster recovery is built in.”

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