Move consolidates legacy phone systems to improve working environment and provide a better service to patients
Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has been working with Cinos to consolidate and modernise its existing legacy telephony estate in order to improve the working environment for staff and provide a better service to patients.
The new Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) service is enabling staff and clinicians to work more flexibly, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
The scope of the deployment by Cinos included installation of 1,500 Cisco handsets, setting up Cinos connectivity services, provision of SIP channels, and delivery of professional services.
David Lawrence, associate director of IT strategy for technical projects at the trust, said: “Having multiple legacy services made things difficult.
“For example, if employees wanted to place a call from one site to another, in some instances they would be able to do that as an extension call at zero cost – as it’s on the same network.
“But, at other sites, calls would be placed between different networks, meaning they were off-net and incurring charges.”
By bringing all services onto the existing in-house platform, based on Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager, the trust has been able to expand on the existing investment.
As part of the deployment, Cinos retired the traditional Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and BT Featurenet lines and replaced them with two new SIP channels, delivering enough capacity to allow the trust to migrate away from ISDN services altogether.
Lawrence said: “With the majority of the organisation now on the Cisco UC Manager system we’re able to route more calls over our IP infrastructure and employees can make calls to each other’s extension lines at zero cost.
“The combination of lower line rental costs and reduced call-per-minute charges has generated savings.”
The new telephony service has enabled the trust to consolidate and centrally manage connectivity, reducing the number of dedicated telephone lines and enabling significant cost savings.
It has also given the organisation the additional resilience to ensure constant connectivity in the event of an outage and carry out upgrades with minimal impact to end-users.