Future voice delivers accessible, cost-saving comms solution for sight charity

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The Customer

Vision Foundation is a London-based charity, with 45 employees and 55 volunteers, that empowers blind and partially sighted people living in the capital through funding and support projects from inception through to delivery.

The charity also operates 9 retail stores across London, as well as an eBay store, to raise funds for its projects, as well as giving grants for Funding to other London-based sight initiatives.

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The Challenge

Vision’s telephone system was causing problems. Not only was it getting complex, combining multiple solutions from various providers for each site, increasing cost but they weren’t fit for purpose either, as they were unable to flex to the homeworking challenges of the pandemic.

Especially given Vision’s focus on empowering those with sight challenges, including many of its volunteers and staff, their hybrid-hosted, ISDN-based PBX phone system at Head Office was not at the level of accessibility they wanted.

Given the age of the system, hybrid working was simply not an option. And the advances in technology since the solution was installed (approximately 10 years ago) too, Olly knew there were more cost-effective and solutions out there, but the sheer volume of options was confusing in itself!

Chatting to their IT hardware supplier, they were advised to contact Future Voice, as the two businesses worked very closely together and the supplier completely trusted their expertise…

“Considering their individual challenges, some of our employees and volunteers could only answer calls and chat. As soon as they needed to transfer a call or anything else, they’d need the help of another team member, which wasn’t anywhere close to the experience we wanted for our team.”
– Olly Minton, Director of Finance and Resources

The Solution

From the first conversation, Olly was incredibly impressed by Future Voice’s expertise and ability to translate all the complex technologies and acronyms into real-world terminology.

But that wasn’t the deciding factor. What made Olly sure that Future Voice was the right partner was how they kept on asking for more info about the ‘perfect solution’ they wanted and ensuring the new system was as accessible as possible for every member of Vision Foundation’s team!

Future Voice went away and explored solutions from all their suppliers, before coming back to recommend Avaya Cloud Office from RingCentral.

Not only would Vision save a considerable amount of money compared to their previous solution, but the cloud-hosted solution would enable staff and volunteers take their work numbers with them wherever they went, preventing staff from having to give out their personal details.

Team members could use apps on their phones (combined with the native accessibility capabilities of the device), but they could also use apps on computers with JAWS (a screen reading app) to ensure every member of the team could use the platform to its fullest, no matter which device they were using.

Future Voice also negotiated three months at no cost, and free deskphones for members of staff that wanted to keep a physical phone at their workspace, getting the absolutely best-possible deal for the charity…

“Having understood our more basic goals, they kept on digging into how we could customise the system for our partially sighted and blind team members. They saw it as a challenge to relish, genuinely wanting to make a difference and help us be more inclusive.”
– Olly Minton, Director of Finance and Resources

The Results

Given Olly’s role as Finance and Resource Director, he was more than pleased by the 50% saving they’ve made over their previous system. He’s already looking to push the new Head Office system out to all 9 retail sites too!

And while there hasn’t been a single issue with the platform since it was deployed in June, Olly and the team know they only have one number to call for help with any issues they face.

Every step of the journey has been a pleasure. They even stay in touch and make sure we’re getting on with the new system. We know they’ve got our back and we can go to them for anything in the future – problems or questions!”
“Almost every area of the business has improved. Staff can work from home, we can stay in touch better with volunteers and everyone, no matter their challenges can use all the functionality that’s there. We’re already preparing to roll it out across our warehouses and shops so everyone can take advantage.”
– Olly Minton, Director of Finance and Resources

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