Case Studies


Cognitive cuts costs with new telephone system

Upgrading to an Avaya IP Office telephony system has cut call costs by nearly 40% at Manchester-based Cognitive Business Media whilst giving the fast-growing company a feature rich and scalable solution.

When specialist trade publisher and event organiser Cognitive Business Media was looking to move offices it faced a telephonic dilemma.

“Our incumbent telephony provider advised us that our existing ‘phone system was end of life and that if they moved it there was a possibility it might not come back on line,” explains Business Development Director, Roy Rowlands. “The telephone is the life blood of the business so rather than run the risk of it failing and us then having to look for a new system, we decided to upgrade.”

Having made that decision Roy then threw the upgrade contract out to a three way tender, before awarding the business to Pennine who had proposed a solution based around Avaya’s IP Office platform, an impressively flexible system which can support desk, mobile and softphones and is capable of unifying calls, texts, emails and instant messages. He puts the Bury based telecom and data specialist’s contract success partly down to price but puts much weight by the trust he had in the company’s Enterprise Account Manager, Nick Simister.

“All three companies quoted the Avaya IP Office solution and different alternatives and price was therefore a factor but it was more about the relationship we had with Nick, we felt we could trust him and that he’d sell us a good system that would do what we wanted it to do.”

Liking a presentation that was heavy on system capabilities and benefits, whilst decidedly light on “pressure tactics” Roy selected Pennine. It was a decision he needed to make fast as he had only around three weeks to specify, order, install and train Cognitive staff on the new system. Of course he also had to simultaneously manage the office move itself.

The untroubled nature of the installation further convinced him that he’d made the right choice of supplier. “The engineers were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble and they dealt with the installation very calmly, taking it in their stride amid all the pandemonium created by lots of different suppliers being on site, doing different things and wanting everything done yesterday. For me that just confirmed we’d made the right decision in choosing Pennine.”

He added: “They were also really helpful because the timescales in which we had to move meant we didn’t have the necessary lead time to get broadband installed. Pennine recommended a wireless connection operated by a company called Metronet. They really helped allay any fearsabout the quality of a connection from a wireless network running across Manchester city centre to a hard wired system. They were right too, the broadband service easily and reliably meets Cognitive’s needs.”

If Roy was happy up to this point the smile on his face was about to get wider as bills from Pennine’s single billing platform started to land. These showed that thanks to the routing of outbound calls via SIP trunks the publisher’s call costs had been cut by 38 percent, slashing thousands of thousands off its telephony budget.

The system itself has also impressed with Roy reporting it is laden with features, intuitive to use and scalable so “it suits a small or medium sized business and a large corporate organisation.” Cognitive bought a 35-user system in anticipation of the growth which helped inform its move to its new offices on Manchester’s prestigious King Street.

“The new office gives us the opportunity to expand and take us up to about 35 people, ready for when we find people lucky enough to work for us!”

Whilst a forecast doubling of the workforce is impressive should Cognitive’s expansion prove even more explosive the Avaya system can easily cope, with IP Office able to support as many as 2,000 users on a single server.

This is an impressively high tech solution, but its Pennine’s values of integrity and customer service that has most wowed Roy.

“It was the relationship we’d had with Nick that first made us entertain Pennine but the guys on the install team, the training and all the support we’ve had have really emphasised that we made the right decision. We feel comfortable that we’re in safe hands.