Berrys is a long-established property consultancy business with a team of forward-thinking chartered surveyors, town planners, architects, business consultants and civil engineers. It has grown significantly over the last decade, organically and through acquisition, and now employs over 125 people with offices in Kettering, Shrewsbury, Towcester, Hereford, Oxford and London.
Berrys was already a customer of Onecom’s mobile services when a decision was taken to update the fixed line systems in the business. Onecom was invited to take part in a competitive process to find a suitable supplier and system to meet the needs of the organisation.
Matthew Hancock, IT Manager at Berrys, led a project to replace the outdated fixed line systems across the organisation with a more flexible, modern solution. The existing phone systems were based on PBX and ISDN technology, and often required an engineer to travel to site to physically carry out maintenance.
The forthcoming switch-off of ISDN and the need to integrate different legacy systems from acquired businesses into one simple to use, centrally-managed platform were key drivers for the decision to upgrade to a cloud-based solution.
The system had to be intuitive to use, set up to the company’s specific requirements, quick to roll out, capable of being managed in-house and fully scalable so users and hunt groups could be easily added as Berrys continues to grow.
The decision to go with Onecom wasn’t just about the system – it was about Onecom’s people. They understand what we do and what we need, know their product inside out, and built a strong relationship with us. The whole process of developing and rolling out the solution was brilliant. Onecom VOX has set us up well for the future.
Matthew and the Berrys team began a competitive process to find a supplier and solution, looking at three different systems for comparison. Competitors showed Matthew demonstrations of their products in action, but Onecom went a step further, working with him to understand the business’s needs and collaborating to build the system from the ground up, creating users and hunt groups to his exact specifications. This level of understanding and the relationships built during the process were key factors in the decision to use Onecom and Onecom VOX for the project.
The implementation of Onecom VOX was seamless, replacing legacy systems with one platform that worked across the offices in a number of ways – through desktop phones, laptops with headsets, and a mobile app. This gave Berrys staff huge flexibility in how and where they worked, using the equipment that suited them best.
When the pandemic lockdown came into effect in March 2020, the system came into its own, enabling Berrys to switch to home working overnight. A simple twinning process meant desk phones could be redirected to mobiles at the touch of a button. Some staff were sent home with their desktop phones, which they could simply plug in at home, using them just as they would in the office. Others used desktop or laptop computers with the Onecom VOX software installed through headsets.
The Onecom VOX soft client – a mobile app – proved especially helpful for people who lived in rural locations with poor mobile signals, as they were able to connect to the phone system over wi-fi.
Berrys people are now working on a hybrid model with time split between home and the office, and the system continues to support them.