Hosted VoIP, Business Mobility and Office 365
For the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, increasing fundraising and awareness was the top priority. With a powerful combination of VoIP, business mobiles, and Office 365 solutions from Redsquid, the charity became a more flexible and connectable business.
The Highlights .
"The majority of our money comes from people in the community. We’re so reliant on them and we do have a huge community out there, but we have to be in touch with them, we have to be connected."
(Lucy Semmen, Director of Strategy and Performance, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust)
Communicating For A Brighter Future
Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-shortening genetic killers n the UK. Each week five babies are born with it and two people die. A devastating condition caused by a faulty gene, it affects more than 10,000 people in the UK and there is currently no cure.
However, with continued research and support from organisations like The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, there are treatments to manage the condition, meaning over half of the UK’s cystic fibrosis population now live past 41, and a baby born today is expected to live even longer.
The Trusts aim is to beat cystic fibrosis for good, and to help people already living with it, to lead a life unlimited by their condition.
This work can only happen with great links to the community, and that means great communications.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust wanted to raise more money and reach more people, by becoming better connected with each other and the community.
Relying heavily on donations, it was critical that the Trust reduced spending and managed resources efficiently.
The Trust wanted to make staff members more accessible and able to work from anywhere, with flexible working and new collaborative technology
Due to the risk of cross-infection between people with cystic fibrosis, those living with the condition can’t come into contact with each other, meaning stakeholders can often never meet.
Redsquid provided The Cystic Fibrosis Trust with Vodafone OneNet Business, with around 100 mobile connections for office staff and regional mobile workers.
Employees can be reached on one number, and can answer this on their fixed phone or mobile, with the same capabilities wherever they are.
With Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, staff at the Trust can now work remotely, and keep in contact with each other and the community.
Utilising better ways of working, the Trust has moved from a large office with fixed desks to a smaller office with fewer desks and a more flexible approach.
Better collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders means an improved physical and virtual presence in the community.
Employees can work from anywhere, creating a fully mobile organisation, with a fluid and positive culture.
People with cystic fibrosis can now attend meetings remotely and be more involved in decision-making.
A reduction in the Trust’s IT spend means more money is available to spend on research and ultimately, find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Something that you are born with, cystic fibrosis can’t be caught or developed. It’s caused by a faulty gene, which today is carried by more than 2.5 million people in the UK.
Affecting salt and water movement in and out of cells, people with cystic fibrosis often have organ problems, in particular the lungs and digestive system. With no cure, the condition can have a huge impact on the lives of sufferers.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust funds research into the illness, and alongside partners, helps raise awareness, improve treatment and increase life expectancy for people living with the disease. “The work of the Trust is to beat this condition and help people with cystic fibrosis live a life unlimited,” says Lucy Semmens, Director of Strategy and Performance.
With little funding from the Government, the Trust relies heavily on fundraising and donations. “The majority of our money comes from people in the community,” explains Lucy. “We do have a huge community out there, but we have to be in touch with them, we have to be connected.”
Due to the risk of cross-infection between people with cystic fibrosis, those living with the condition also can’t come into contact with each other, meaning stakeholders can often never meet. “Telephony is critical for us, but we had issues with telephone conferencing. We were quite unconnected.”
Formerly operating from a 10,500-square foot office in Kent, the Trust wanted to change its location, but more importantly, the way it worked.
“Everyone had a fixed desk with a landline; you couldn’t work from anywhere but your desk,” recalls Lucy. “We wanted to bring people together. To create a space where you could have conversations that really made things happen, and work from anywhere as if you were in the office.”
“Resquid and Vodafone came up with a solution that worked for us and they reduced our budget, which is critical because every penny that’s spent on infrastructure, could have been spent on making that cure happen.”
(Lucy Semmens, Director of Strategy and Performance,
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust)
As part of the move from a large, traditional building on the outskirts of the city, to a smaller and more central workspace at Aldgate, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust did more than reduce desk numbers. Working with Resquid, the Trust implemented a better way of working, supported by Vodafone One Net Business.
“Vodafone had been a past provider, but we needed to use our partners better,” explains Lucy.
“By reducing square footage, we wanted to move to a wireless office, where it feels like you’re in the office no matter where you are, and the Vodafone solution gave us that.”
Using Vodafone One Net Business, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust still has a fixed line, but now all of its 100 staff members have mobile phones. This means staff are no longer tied to their desks. They can work from anywhere and still be reached directly, transfer calls and use hunt groups to pick up other calls.
“It’s brought everything together,” explains Lucy. “Now we only have 10 desks and the rest of the organisation is fully mobile. It’s a lot more fluid.”
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust also gained access to Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, increasing remote communications. “There are so many different devices that people can use and every meeting I attend now, somebody is remote,” adds Lucy. “Resquid made the solution work for us and they made something happen in a short period of time, which is actually having a massive impact.”
With mobile working well and truly established, it wasn’t long before The Cystic Fibrosis Trust started to notice a difference in its workforce.
“There’s different people coming to meetings and people are collaborating in different ways,” explains Lucy.
The approach has even made an impact outside of the organisation, which was recognised when The Cystic Fibrosis Trust was announced as the winner of the Workplace Transformation Project of the Year, at the 2015 UKIT Industry Awards.
“A lot more people comment that they can see our culture at work,” says Lucy. “That’s partly because of the office, and it’s partly because of the technology.”
The solution has also helped the Trust reduce spending.
“Resquid and Vodafone came up with a solution that worked and reduced our IT budget, which is critical,” says Lucy. “Because every penny that’s spent on infrastructure, could have been spent on making that cure happen.”
With added connectivity through Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, the Trust can now bring stakeholders who were unable to meet physically, together for the very first time. “We’ve now got two people with cystic fibrosis on our governance board because one can remotely dial in,” explains Lucy. “People with cystic fibrosis can be more involved in decision making and what’s going on, so it’s really transformed the way we connect.”
With colleagues able to collaborate better using Vodafone One Net Business, they can now be more present in the community, which is where they make the most impact. “We’re getting to meet people that are hard to reach and we can connect with them in the evenings and at weekends,” says Lucy. “We’re not a nine-to-five organisation anymore.”
“The impact it’s having on the community means we can only go from strength to strength. Our people become better, we connect better, and the more we can start seeing our community in a virtual presence, the more of an impact we will make.”