Seamless Telephony Rollout – Combat Stress

Seamless Telephony Rollout Provides Greater Visibility and Control

Combat Stress Helping Veterans For Over 100 Years

Expensive mobile contracts and an ageing telephony system drove Combat Stress to review new communication suppliers. Having had Welcomm recommended to them, Combat Stress were delighted by how seamless the project rollout was – entrusting Welcomm with more services along the way.

Customer Overview

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. For over a century they’ve been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. Today they provide specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues related to their military service.

Established in 1919, Combat Stress provides a range of online, community, outpatient and residential mental health services to veterans with complex mental health needs.

Hear from Gordon Taylor, Head of Information Technology and Information at Combat Stress, as he shares his experience of working with Welcomm.

The Challenge

1. Existing contracts were unsuitable and expensive

When you start in a new job, one of the first things to look at (as a quick win) is to assess your existing contracts/suppliers – especially when you work in a charity. Having dived into our existing mobile and telephony contracts, I found that they didn’t suit our needs and were very expensive.

2. Sub-par service increased the volume of help-desk queries

A lot of the calls to the help desk were related to phones not being delivered quick enough, or issues with numbers and devices not working – all problems that were outside of our control. Reducing the number of calls on the help desk was key to better managing all IT requests, and removing the frustrations (and heartburn) caused by this poor service.

3. Changing supplier after years of working together was difficult

Having worked with our incumbent supplier for so many years, we got used to the level of service they provided. And as it turned out, our expectations weren’t high enough. Coming in from outside, I knew to expect better from the service – that is why we choose to work with a partner and not directly with the network after all. We weren’t getting any of that benefit, but our contracts were costing the same…

4. Out-of-date telephony system wasn’t fit for purpose

Our previous phone system was out of date, it had some interesting quirks and we couldn’t fully understand the configuration that had taken place over the last 10 years – it was such a hassle. You even had to go into the office to make any telephony changes! It just wasn’t working. When we originally started diverting phone calls to mobiles, we were getting a lot of problems with voicemails, resulting in 20-30 calls a month to the IT helpdesk. This is what prompted us to bite the bullet and start to review the solutions available to us.

The Solution

  • O2 Business Mobile Tariffs

  • Nokia Mobile Handsets

  • Hosted Telephony

Why did you choose Welcomm?

A Welcomm customer, Bournville Village Trust, recommended Welcomm to us.

Having known Richard, the Procurement Manager at Bournville Village Trust for a long time, I had confidence in his recommendation – I knew he would’ve performed due diligence, so it was a good referral that I trusted. 

The selection process

You don’t work in IT for this long, without picking up a few contacts. We looked at a cross section of suppliers, including networks directly. We also asked our incumbent to re-quote and I went to a previous supplier too, to ensure we conducted a broad search. 

We had a high hurdle to cross, as if the business mobile experience wasn’t good, we wouldn’t have considered using the same supplier for our hosted telephony. However essentially, whilst we weren’t looking to pay peanuts because we wanted a better service, by going with Welcomm we still managed to get a great deal.

Welcomm Combat Stress Mental Health Awareness Session 2021

Collaborating with Welcomm across multiple departments has built a strong partnership.

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, Welcomm and Combat Stress teamed up to deliver a live-streamed mental wellbeing webinar. Learn more here.

A Word From Welcomm

Through happy customers referring us, we are able to grow our business. With over 180 mobiles being migrated from another partner, we were able to consolidate all contract end dates to make it easy for the charity to manage their contracts in future – and all with no disruption to the end user.

Rolling out new Nokia mobiles to remote users was easy for everyone thanks to embedded zero-touch enrolment and android enterprise. This means that by the time the handset arrives with the new user, they put their email address in and it’s ready to go (no need to phone the help desk). This means phones go nowhere near the IT team for a seamless experience.

Gareth Beecham

Account Development Manager

What was it like transitioning to a new phone system with Welcomm?

“Surprisingly easy! This has been the best project that I’ve been involved with in 25 years.”

With a COVID pandemic on our hands, IT departments across the world suddenly got pushed to the forefront – we became absolutely crucial for our people to deliver any sort of service. Getting people out of the office and working remotely was a challenge and Welcomm really supported us to work from any location.

We were informed about what was available to us, but we didn’t want to be prescriptive about what we needed. So we explained our issues and waited for recommendations – Welcomm were 1 of 5 we asked to quote. Welcomm came up with a flexible, cost-effective and sensible set of ideas that fit what we needed.  

Not something we went into lightly, I was originally wary about the cost, but I really shouldn’t have been as there are so many flavours to meet different circustances and you can choose an option that suits your budget, as well as the functionality you want.

With such a flexible solution, it seemed to be a bit of a no brainer to go with Horizon Hosted telephony! Why hadn’t I made this decision before?! The solution Welcomm put forward seemed to be much more targeted at what we needed – they spent time understanding what we wanted to get out of the telephone system, before making a recommendation.

Solution Outcomes

“Before, our aged telephone system was essentially just a headache. Your system is like the aspirin.”

Less Issues to Resolve

With the IT team freed up from handling mobile phone issues, including voicemail queries, call volumes to the help desk became much more manageable.

Control & Visibility of Telephony

With greater visibility and control over their telephony system and mobile fleet, Combat Stress are able to make remote changes and have greater flexibility than ever before.

The IT Team Look Really Good

With the IT Team able to focus on resolving help-desk queries and servicing the wider business, the IT department received fantastic feedback and praise!

Would You Recommend Working With Welcomm?

“I would recommend Welcomm absolutely. However I’d only recommend Welcomm to the people that I like! Welcomm gives our staff confidence in their tools.”

A Word From Welcomm

The success of this project came from working with a customer that was fully engaged to work with us, to achieve the end result together.

For me, on a personal level, it’s been a pleasure working with Gordon and Tom. We’ve got our own vested interest in motorcycles and we understand each other – I think it helps to have something in common! 

Tom has experience working in communications – so if you’ve got someone with a communications background saying we’re doing a good job, then you know the solution fits the bill.  

Shaun Clayton

Solution Sales Consultant

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