Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council: Ensure call care alarms are always answered, no matter what happens

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Overview

Northampton Borough Council provides Callcare, a community alarm service providing general support and assistance for anything up to an emergency. In such situations Callcare customers initiate an alarm that connects them to trained agents in a Northampton Borough Council call answering centre. The service provides a critical lifeline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ensuring that calls are always answered is crucial; it can literally be a matter of life or death.

BT’s smartnumbers ensures that all calls will instantly reroute in the event of a business continuity or disaster recovery situation. Now Alan Kench, his colleagues and vulnerable Callcare users have added re-assurance knowing that, almost whatever happens, emergency calls will always be answered.

BT’s smartnumbers provides a resilient service that ensures that genuine life or death calls will always be received and answered.”
- Alan Kench, Telecoms Officer, Northampton Borough Council/LGSS

Challenge

As part of an estate consolidation strategy, Northampton Borough Council made the decision to close one of its sites. The site was the base for NBC’s Callcare service – a community support and emergency call answering centre.

NBC’s ICT Services are looked after by the LGSS, one of the UK’s largest public sector shared service ventures in the UK. It was imperative that during the relocation, disruption to the Callcare service was kept at an absolute minimum. The LGSS ICT team had significant responsibility for relocating and upgrading the Callcare ICT, including telephony.

The physical migration of the main local 01604 telephone number that the Care alarms dial in emergencies was deemed in the project planning phase by all parties to be too risky due to possible outage times. Therefore a solution to seamlessly divert calls at a specific date and time was required to coordinate when the new office became active.

In addition, Alan Kench, Telecoms Officer at Northampton Borough Council/LGSS, was keen to improve the business continuity service.

Alan explains: “Whilst we previously had the BT Smart Divert product that would divert calls to a disaster recovery site, it had to be manually invoked and didn’t provide the guarantees the Council needed for such an important service such as Callcare.”

Solution

Northampton Borough Council deployed BT’s smartnumbers, its flexible number management and call redirection solution. Delivered by BT, in association with Resilient plc, smartnumbers is the perfect solution that provided Alan and the NBC LGSS team control where to divert calls during the project whilst also improving business continuity.

Before the relocation of the Callcare team, the critical local 01604 number was ported from BT’s local exchange into the smartnumbers cloud and diverted incoming calls to the new location. Using smartnumbers, both the LGSS and Northampton Borough Council staff now have the necessary control to manually divert calls to any location in situations like system upgrades or system maintenance.

As the telephone number is hosted in the smartnumbers cloud, it improves business continuity as Alan explains: “With smartnumbers, Northampton Borough Council has a significantly improved resilient telephone number that will automatically switch calls to the disaster recovery site if the local destination lines should fail.”

Value

This major LGSS ICT project proved a success all round with Northampton Borough Council. The Callcare customers did not encounter any disruption of the service they rely on and the impact on the Callcare staff was minimal. Alan adds: “Northampton Borough Council and LGSS staff now have increased confidence in a much more resilient service that is ultimately a more effective and reliable solution for our customers.”

Core services

  • BT Assure Voice Continuity proactive recovery featuring smartnumbers delivered in association with Resilient plc

Resources

Case study