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Manchester City Council moves to cloud to keep critical services running

8x8, an integrated cloud communications platform provider, was selected due to its platform’s enhanced flexibility and ability to connect contact centre agents across voice, video and chat.

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Contact centres have been vital in keeping services running during the pandemic
Contact centres have been vital in keeping services running during the pandemic

Manchester City Council has implemented a new cloud-based communications solution to keep critical services running by enabling its contact centre agents to operate from anywhere while helping to keep them safe during UK lockdown.

 

Supporting one of the largest metropolitan districts in the UK (with more than 500,000 residents), Manchester City Council commenced a detailed procurement process two years ago, to implement a new communications solution in line with its wider cloud-based ICT strategy.

 

Enhanced flexibility

 

Nearing the end of the process, 8x8, an integrated cloud communications platform provider, was selected due to its platform’s enhanced flexibility and ability to connect contact centre agents across voice, video and chat.

 

But, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak and the UK Government’s mandate to work from home, the council fast-tracked deployment of the 8x8 Open Communications Platform in order to keep vital services running while ensuring safety for both residents and staff.

 

During the peak of the pandemic, the council reports, it was essential the social care team was able to continue assisting the city’s most vulnerable residents around the clock, while keeping agents safe, as well as essential emergency control and financial assessment teams.

“The safety of our staff has been of the utmost importance throughout the pandemic as we continue to support Manchester’s residents through this challenging time”

Additionally, a Covid Hub was established to answer residents’ queries relating to the coronavirus. Working to tight timescales, 8x8 enabled 120 critical service agents from these teams to operate from anywhere, including home and other remote work settings, in a matter of weeks.

 

By the end of August, this will have increased to 250 agents supported by the new system, according to the council.

 

“The safety of our staff has been of the utmost importance throughout the pandemic as we continue to support Manchester’s residents through this challenging time,” said councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council.

 

“We’ve been really pleased with how our staff have welcomed the cloud communications solution and look forward to seeing the benefits that the new features will bring in future.”

 

Critical services

 

With the first stage of rollout designed to keep critical services running, the council plans to roll out a number of advanced features including co-browsing functionality, call back queues and call conditioning in order to reduce call waiting times and improve service for its residents.

 

“We understand how important it is for councils to keep in touch with the community during these unprecedented times,” added Jamie Snaddon, managing director, EMEA at 8x8.

 

“Our dedicated team of public sector experts are proud to have been able to transition Manchester City Council to the cloud so quickly, under difficult circumstances. We’re looking forward to working together as we enhance service levels even further in the coming weeks.”

 

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