Empire Cinemas Gives Hosted VoIP the Red Carpet Treatment

“This offering gives us a flexible, fully-managed, cost-effective unified solution.”

Julian Timm
Head of IT, Empire Cinemas

The Background

Established in 2005, Empire Cinemas is the largest private movie-theatre operator in the UK with a portfolio of 17 cinemas and 146 screens. Its flagship and namesake site is the world famous, The Empire, Leicester Square, which is synonymous with glitzy premieres and red carpet photo-shoots seen all round the globe.

The Challenge

As with many retailers, Empire Cinemas has specific communication requirements in three main areas:

  • Customer facing and servicing
    The chain deals with thousands of customer enquiries and bookings every week and easily makes up the bulk of telephone traffic. A centralised solution, tailored to individual theatres is therefore required. The solution also needs to offer high levels of automation, which can be changed easily, frequently and quickly.
  • Back office
    Administrative and management dealing with suppliers, deliveries and everything it takes to run a national cinema network.
  • Front of office
    Employees need to be able to make inter-department calls, to contact other theatres within the UK network and to deal with a proportion of outside customer calls.

The Solution

Empire Cinemas were interested in understanding the capabilities of a hosted VoIP telephony solution with particular focus on achieving the following:

  • Centralisation of the Network
  • Easier communications between satellite offices
  • Revenue generating numbers
  • Cost reductions on all calls

It was felt that a PBX could not effectively achieve the main requirements in a cost effective way. Empire Cinemas invited 8x8 Solutions to demonstrate their product.

The new solution aimed to give Empire Cinemas greater control and flexibility when dealing with customer calls as well as the opportunity of implementing new revenue generating number systems within the network. In addition, the solution enables sites to manage tasks more efficiently with easier communication between all the nationwide locations and the head office in London. This centralisation of communications enabled greater control for management as well as enhanced communications between staff.

The solution was implemented in all 17 of Empire Cinemas’ retail sites across the country and put to task to deal with the thousands of enquiries and bookings the chain receives every week.

The Result

The solution fulfilled all the main requirements whilst making significant savings for the movie theatre network. Revenue streams were opened and internal call costs cut to almost zero. Plus it was felt that the offering had superior functionality to their previous PBX system and enabled all offices to work smarter as one centralised network

“This offering from 8x8 Solutions gives us a flexible, fully-managed, cost-effective unified solution. The financial benefits speak for themselves and were certainly a factor that could not be ignored. We calculated we would save almost £100K over the first 12 months which includes substantial line rental, maintenance and call cost reductions.”

Julian Timm
Head of IT at Empire


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