Higgins Group’s incumbent (CISCO) telephony system had been installed in 2008 but was proving inadequate for the Group’s growing employee numbers and more sophisticated communications needs. In short, it was coming to the end of its life, and was also proving expensive to maintain as time went by. As the issues with the existing system became more acute, Higgins Group commissioned Transputec to provide a recommendation for a more compelling and effective solution.
Higgins Group is one of the UK’s most successful private companies, (with a turnover of around £230m) with its operations split primarily between the New Homes and Construction Industry sectors. Higgins Group’s HQ is located at Debden in Essex and is housed in a cutting edge contemporary building that it constructed itself. The Company operates largely in the South of England with a total of some 400 employees spread throughout the organisation.
Higgins Group HQ’s CISCO telephone system had been installed in 2008 (replacing the original BT system), but as the company grew the network was unable to keep pace with demands made upon it. Maintenance costs were rising swiftly as original parts supply was dwindling to become non-existent and the ‘mini-exchange’ hardware was proving complex and diffcult to repair. Landline communications had moved on dramatically since 2008 and the Group wanted to make sure any updated system had the ﬂexibility to move forward. This required consultation with external specialists who could provide an objective recommendation.
Group Services Director, Martyn Waller, had prior experience of working with Transputec and in early 2015 asked it for an assessment of Higgins Groups’ telephony needs along with a recommendation for a potential replacement system.
Process & Results
Transputec was briefed on Higgins Group’s need for a telephone system that incorporated ﬂexibility and low maintenance along with swift and simple installation. Many replacement options the Group had considered previously seemed to be expensive and not particularly suited to its needs.
Transputec, however, answered the brief with a recommendation for a Windows-based 3CX exchange system. The 3CX was competitively priced and able to be installed by Higgins Group’s own team with supervision from Transputec’s Case Officer over the course of two months. 3CX was trialled by limited users over a three week period before the whole system went live in October 2015. The 3CX’s lower running costs have already resulted in some 60% savings over the previous system and will also allow for an easier upgrade if and when required.
Higgins Group’s previous high opinion of Transputec has been borne out by the results of its work on their new telephone system and they plan to continue to work with Transputec on further projects going forward, with no hesitation in recommending Transputec to others.
Higgins Group is working towards integrating a ‘soft-phone’ facility with its ‘hard-phone’ system to allow landline calls to be routed direct to mobile handsets for convenience and features such as ‘video calling’ between sites and headquarters