Starting Point is an inspiring not-for-profit group doing meaningful community-based initiatives in the Reading, England area. A division under The Mustard Tree Organization, the team focuses on giving back. They consist of caring and generous individuals passionate about seeing transformation in the lives of local young people who face disadvantage.
Starting Point focuses on several projects to offer young people a starting point for a brighter and more hopeful future. The goal is to journey alongside and provide opportunities that enable young people to thrive. They do this by delivering programs that facilitate local volunteers to support local young people, equipped by local businesses.
They believe every young person has potential. That through relational, tailored, and holistic support can be unlocked and fulfilled.
As a non-profit, Starting Point had big technology needs but a shoestring budget. With a donated Avaya on-premise digital system, they had several challenges with ongoing operations, growth, and new requirements as the technology was outdated. Although the Avaya system worked for many years, the organization outgrew the system and quickly identified that the technology was dated and urgently needing an upgrade. The system failed at times and didn’t have the feature set or self-administration; this dynamic organization needed to serve the community. With no access to the back-end, they could not do any necessary maintenance or moves, adds, or changes. The extensions were incorrect, and the dial-by-name directory was no longer working, so the system could not auto-answer and transfer calls to the correct department or individual. They could not add or move any phones, which was problematic for this static ever-evolving organization.
Already concerned with failing hardware and lack of control, things were made worse when Covid hit. Calls began to increase, and voicemail messages were going to extensions that could not be answered, so the messages could not be retrieved—putting youth at risk and leaving volunteers and sponsors frustrated. In addition to the number of busy signals that people would often be met with when calling in.
There was no call forwarding, no way to set a timing schedule for calls before and after hours, and no way to support remote workers.
Our contact, Richard Smith, who has volunteered with Starting Point for nearly two years, formally joined the organization full-time in January 2021. With a background in telecom, he realized the situation was escalating, but one that could easily be solved- with the right partner.
THE SOLUTION BY CLEARLYIP
Richard Smith and the Management team chose ClearlyIP for their new telecom solution. Working with Optimal Project Ltd., a ClearlyIP Partner, and Reseller, it was the right choice for a modern hosted self-sufficient solution. At an affordable price combined with local support, it made the decision easy to fit within their tight operating budget. The platform offered powerful features and endless options; it allowed Richard to set up a phone system how he knew it needed to be configured. Working with Optimal Projects for their SIP Trunking connectivity, he had confidence that the compatibility to the FreePBX® based system would be no problem. The solution also included new ClearlyIP CIP deskphones and Clearly Anywhere softphones. ClearlyIP phones were designed to work seamlessly with FreePBX® based systems, allowing for quick provisioning and dependable service. All in all, this total new telecom solution had the perfect combination of functionality and flexibility to support this team with its meaningful work and collaboration.
With the implementation of the new business phone system platform, the team was empowered with new tools for expanded reach. Incoming call handling was improved overnight, with new workflows and seamless department and employee call transfers. The system automation provided regained confidence in the organization’s technology for serving the community.
The staff was back on track with organized employee extensions, department and staff directories, and voicemail mailboxes- leaving everyone more comfortable in receiving and responding to essential calls.
Management was excited to have complete administrative access for ongoing maintenance and peace of mind that the system was stable and reliable. They enjoy the flexibility with the SIP Trunking platform and the added ability to increase or decrease trunks and channels with project demands.
With options such as Time Conditions, Starting Point was able to create a robust telecom solution that not only supported offsite workers but made it easy for people to call into their office. The members of the team quickly embraced the Clearly Anywhere Softphone, on all their devices, being able to answer and make calls when on the move. In addition, they now could grow and have their system grow with them. Best of all, this new solution saved them almost $150 every month, or $1,800 per year!