The National Archives steps into the future with 8x8

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Formed in 2003, The National Archives is the
Government department responsible for making sure that a growing collection of over 12 million historical, official and public records are stored securely and kept accessible within England and Wales. This unique collection of photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings tell the nation’s story. Records range from the Doomsday Book and Shakespeare’s will, through to today’s electronic documents and websites.

The National Archives

The department operates from a single site at Kew in South West London which had a traditional onsite PBX phone system with 280 endpoints around the premises. However, there were challenges in providing IT services. The concrete building — with its cavernous storage areas and metal racks — severely impacted mobile phone coverage and wi-fi.

The-National_Archives.png

The challenge: Keeping everyone connected

The National Archives recognised that as part of their IT strategic plan, its 500 staff needed better and more flexible ways to communicate with each other — and to serve other government departments, the public and organisations. 

The department operates from a single site at Kew in South West London which had a traditional onsite PBX phone system with 280 endpoints around the premises. However, there were challenges in providing IT services. The concrete building — with its cavernous storage areas and metal racks — severely impacted mobile phone coverage and wi-fi.

The-National-Archives-customer-quote-2.png

Employees found it tricky to stay in contact. Some staff were office-based and moved around the building, taking documents to and from the public reading rooms. Other staff travelled around the UK and abroad but needed a way to stay in touch. Some staff were equipped with Blackberry handsets but most were not voice enabled.

The lack of direct dial capabilities and mobility placed a heavy burden on the organisation’s switchboard, which handled 40,000-plus calls of all types annually.

“Evolving what we had wasn’t really an option,” explains Julian Muller, who heads the organisation’s 35-strong IT Operations team. “As a pillar of our IT strategy to support the corporate goals, we adopted a ‘cloud first’ approach to deliver services in new ways and create the best working environment. There was also a greater expectation from our staff for mobile-friendly, digital technology — the kind of tech they used at home.”

The solution: innovation and flexibility in one package

The National Archives identified its requirements by focusing on five different ‘personas’ within the organisation and their individual needs. From here, the organisation could see it needed a flexible, cloud-based telephony system with a DDI capability for up to 800 extensions.

Following a four-month tender process, The National Archives selected 8x8 for the project in December 2016. The 8x8 solution fit the bill perfectly with its Virtual Office to keep everyone connected — as well as a Contact Centre solution to improve call handling.

“8x8 was the only company able to deliver the kind of cloud-based solution we needed,” recalls Julian Muller. “They had what we needed — the innovation, flexibility and integration capabilities we needed for our legacy DECT infrastructure, as well as a strategy that matched our goals for the future”.

“It was also comforting to know that 8x8 is used by other Government departments and had the right accreditation.”

The benefits: Better collaboration and faster responses
The-National-Archives-customer-quote.png

With the 8x8 solution, The National Archives is helping to keep the past secure — while leaping forward by decades in technology terms. The new solution has delivered significant advantages through digital transformation.

Greater Collaboration: Staff can now work far more effectively and communicate easily with colleagues within the building and off-site. The 8x8 Virtual Office mobile app, registered and ready-to-go on the smartphones provided by 8x8, is a real game-changer for senior managers in particular.

Call volumes: Instead of a traditional switchboard fielding enquiries, The National Archives now benefits from a multi-skilled contact centre equipped with a full suite of omnichannel capabilities such as instant messaging, video calls and webchat. Many questions are resolved at first point of contact, with staff referring to the organisation’s in-depth knowledge-base as well as being able to consult colleagues in seconds across multiple channels.

Increased flexibility: With the intuitive tools now available, it’s simple- to onboard and train new contact centre staff. Agents can rotate easily between the contact centre and other roles across the department to maximise flexibility. The 8x8 solution also provides call recording and full reporting to maintain quality and
performance levels.

Robust security: As a custodian of the past and all manner of valuable records, The National Archives puts a high priority on security. In response, 8x8 has provided
the assurances needed for its cloud service, as well as the business continuity capabilities that its software-asa-service delivers.


Looking ahead: Continuing the digital journey

“The 8x8 solution has put us firmly on the pathway to
digital transformation,” says Julian Muller. “For other traditional organisations such as our own, I’d advise that it’s a journey requiring care and caution in the way everything is delivered. Be mindful of organisational culture, network complexity and performance issues along the way. I’m happy with 8x8 and how they have supported us. They have very capable employees — and there’s always someone to help, from technical queries through to training.”

AUDIO PRODUCTION STORE

Get professionally-recorded greetings and auto attendant menus!

Visit the store

8X8 WEBINARS

Learn from 8x8 experts and industry leaders how global cloud solutions from 8x8 can help your business and improve your customer service, all while saving you money and time.

View all webinars

webinar-opp-tile-image-2.jpg