Case Study – North Bristol Advice Centre

The Backstory

North Bristol Advice Centre

In October 2020 ontel, amongst others, where invited to tender for a new telephone system at North Bristol Advice Centre, a long established organisation offering advice and counselling to those struggling with debt based in Lockleaze, Bristol who occupy 3 buildings within a single block. On our initial site survey we identified that the existing network infrastructure was in need of an overhaul, having been added to piecemeal over time. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic most staff were working from home which provided an ideal opportunity to update the system with minimum disruption.

The Old Way

network switches

The charity where using a legacy ISDN telephone system and an on-site PBX which did not allow for remote working and was cumbersome to reconfigure.  Internet services were provided by multiple vendors with two connections within the main building and separate connections in each of the two other units, the Wi-Fi and network equipment where not managed and patched and administering the systems and managing the costs was difficult and time consuming. Also this solution did not allow file sharing across the 3 buildings.

This Is The Way

telephone systemontel designed and installed a telecoms, internet, network and Wi-Fi solution to provide the client with a single point of contact, avoiding placing the client in a situation where they had to interface between multiple vendors and a simple invoicing framework. Using fixed cabling and wireless bridges we linked all 3 buildings into one network that can be configured into segregated networks are required to suit the client’s needs as they develop. The solution now allows staff to work from home while accessing the main telephone system, and to migrate back to the office as restrictions ease.

In Their Own Words

“When Covid-19 caused changes in our service delivery and working practice, Ontel was recommended to us as a company who could help us upgrade our telephone system. Ontel came to our office for a site visit and discussed our requirements in detail including our current system and costs. They came back with a comprehensive proposal offering different options to reflect our potential needs. They were happy to answer all our questions and offer advice and guidance on the different options. When the solution was agreed upon, Ontel were quick to respond with a timeline of installation and walked us through the cancellation process for our old contracts. As a result of the pandemic, we acquired the use of another building in order to facilitate safe and socially distanced office working and client appointments. Ontel’s expertise meant they were able to recommend a solution that would incorporate this space into the new system allowing continuity across the different offices and, whilst this was not part of our initial discussions, they adapted quickly to accommodate the extra requirements. Once installed, Ontel worked with us to configure the system and were on hand for support when needed.

Our experience of Ontel has been very positive and they come across as a highly customer driven company. They endeavoured to understand our organisation’s needs as well as its limitations and took into account the bigger picture in terms of the solution they proposed. This means that we now have a much more efficient system with great functionality and the flexibility to adapt to our ever changing environment. It’s made a big difference to our work so far even without exploring the full functionality available. As a small organisation which doesn’t have its own IT department we needed”

Jenni Wilson – Manager, North Bristol Advice Centre