Accord Multi Academy Trust manages four different academies across five sites in Wakefield, as well as the trust’s head office. This means they need to keep 450 trust staff, over 3,500 pupils and roughly 7,000 parents connected – no easy task.
The trust aims to lead, secure, develop, support and achieve success in everything it does. From the education standards in each academy, to the technology employed by the trust to keep everyone working effectively.
Until recently, the trust was running multiple phone systems across its sites, with zero insight into performance due to a lack of reporting. It was time for an upgrade – which is where Daisy Communications comes in.
To support and achieve success as a trust, the team at Accord knew it was vital that stakeholders like parents and staff could contact individual academies and the trust easily. And, as an education provider, they know there is always room for improvement. However, the trust’s existing system posed a challenge to this improvement – there was no way to know what wasn’t performing.
“We had no view at all of what was going well or where there were potential issues due to a lack of reporting with our old system,” said Steve Thompson, Director of ICT, Accord Multi Academy Trust. “We couldn’t evidence demand levels, peak times or dropped calls. We had three different phone systems in place with three different vendors and none of the systems gave us any sort of reporting that was useful to us. We knew this had to be addressed.”
Daisy Communications had been providing connectivity to several of the trust’s sites, and a good relationship had developed that Accord knew it could rely on.
“We’d heard of suppliers of phone systems like 8×8 and Gamma, but there are a lot of different solutions on the market,” said Steve. “We had a vision of what we wanted, but it was difficult for us to know which solution would give us everything we wanted. I knew that Daisy would have the expertise to advise us. Not only is it a massive organisation with a lot of expertise, it also had a view of the entire market and worked with a range of suppliers, rather than just having a single product and no other options.”
Daisy works with several suppliers to provide its customers with the best Daisy Hosted Voice set up to suit their specific needs. In this instance, Daisy worked with 8×8 to build in all the features required to unify Accord’s voice system.
“After a great consultative approach from Daisy, they were able to find the ideal set up for us that met the needs of reporting and functionality,” said Steve. “Not only does Daisy Hosted Voice do everything we wanted and more, it’s also very straightforward to use. It’s built very much around people and ease of use rather than putting complicated functionality first. Every member of the Accord team that must use the system has been able to get to grips with it very quickly.”
With the new system, live reporting allows the trust to keep track of peak times, staffing levels and a range of other useful insights to support success. In addition, features like call queuing have been a great benefit to Accord.
“Call queuing with Daisy Hosted Voice allows us to set up as many as we want, which has been a great benefit. With our previous phone systems, we’ve had one call queue that we could use without having to purchase additional licences,” said Steve.
Another incredibly useful feature that has been of great benefit to Accord has been voicemail transcription. This converts a voicemail message into text sent to reception staff via email, something that is of particular use to save staff time and improve management of things like attendance. Rather than spending a long time listening to voicemails, reception staff can quickly scan and action emails.
Simply moving from multiple systems to one set up across all sites has also been a great benefit. Silos of information caused difficulty for the trust calling different schools, with staff having to call through to reception just to be forwarded to the right person. Now it’s a simple case of finding the person’s extension or searching their name and you can call direct. In addition, the mobile app feature means that when trust staff are moving between schools, they are reachable and connected to the phone system from wherever they are.
“One of the biggest focuses in schools at the minute is staff workload,” said Steve. “There’s been a big growth in demand from parents and students since the pandemic, so we’ve got a big priority on being able to support that level of need without placing undue pressure on staff. This has been made much easier with the Daisy Hosted Voice solution.”
All of this benefit is on top of the ease of implementation of a plug and play solution that replaces the need to keep and maintain any onsite hardware cabinets.
To find out how you can benefit from Daisy Hosted Voice, you can read more on our website here – or just get in touch today!