Future Voice ensures fareshare gets its fair share of value from 8×8 solution

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The Customer

FareShare is the UK’s biggest charity tackling hunger and fighting food waste, taking good-to-eat surplus food from across the food industry and delivering it to 8,500 charities and community groups.

FareShare distributes the equivalent of nearly 128 million meals a year – that’s 4 meals every second. The 55,000 tonnes of food they redistributed in the last year stopped 95,000 tonnes of COe2 going to waste.

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The Challenge

Pre-Covid, FareShare’s Head Office leveraged a traditional on-site PBX and desk phones to facilitate communication with partners and charity customers. After experiencing significant growth at the end of the 2010s, with nearly 30 Regional Centres and each with its own phone systems, the team needed a more efficient and inclusive communication solution.

Having expanded rapidly, the sprawling telecoms estate had become complex to manage with no accurate list of lines or which users had what account privileges. Plus, a new cloud-based solution would also benefit the business by ensuring remote staff, volunteers and office teams could all collaborate more effectively.

Then Covid hit. FareShare reached out to 8×8 directly and agreed a 1-year contract for its Virtual Office solution, with the contract ending early in 2022. Then the team realised that Future Voice already provided the landline services for one of its satellite offices, and would be perfectly placed to enhance and manage the entire solution.

The Solution

As the 8×8 solution had already been deployed before Future Voice was tasked, most of the relationship was consultancy, rather than engineering-based, leveraging Future Voice’s experience and expertise to optimise the solution and cost.

Justin organised meetings with each department and stakeholders separately, uncovering individual teams’ needs to fine-tune the 8×8 platform to streamline performance, liaising with the technical team where necessary to implement and customise various features.

As a third-sector organisation, making the most of FareShare’s limited budget was a key deliverable. As was ensuring that all staff and volunteers that used the system were proficient, given the different levels of technical proficiency generally found across most charitable organisations.

A multi-tier approach to licencing was enacted, with Future Voice managing the entire comms estate, and deploying regular security updates, bug fixes and optimisations. Not only did this ensure that all staff were on the correct user tier for the feature set they required, but also reduced the number of premium licences without removing any required functionality.

“Justin worked really hard to ensure we had the right licences for our remote staff. As our main contact, he’s always been ready to help and incredibly reactive to any emails we’ve sent or action points we discussed.”
– Rachel McLean, Senior Operational Development Manager, FareShare

The Results

By consolidating all communication services into a single solution, FareShare enjoys more predictable billing and control over its expenditure. Combined with Future Voice’s effort to optimise the licencing tiers of team members, the charity is now saving hundreds of pounds per year!

Having Justin act as FareShare’s single point of contact helped ensure nothing slipped through the net, and all depots can quickly raise get answers to questions about their services. In fact, the personal touch of the Future Voice team has been a key benefit for FareShare.

“Justin and the rest of the team at Future Voice truly act as an extension of our IT team, they don’t feel separate to us, mostly because of how friendly our interactions are and how they take a personal interest in our success.”
– Rachel McLean

FareShare is so pleased, it’s already looking at the next step, incorporating 8×8 deeper into the organisation through integrations into Salesforce, and other internal systems, to deliver even greater optimisations and functionality in the future!

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