Wormald and Partners are an independent firm of chartered accountants based in Bristol, providing professional accounting services, probate administration and financial services to UK and overseas clients. One of their key differentiators is that they’re a full training accountancy firm who have been in business for over 50 years, which reflects their commitment to developing excellent senior accountants of the future.
It was becoming increasingly apparent that their legacy telephone system was no longer fit for purpose, both operationally and financially.
During the pandemic, when the office was closed, the receptionist would pick up answerphone messages and relay them to employees, who would then have to communicate with clients via Skype calls or on their personal mobiles, which was a laborious, time-intensive, and expensive way of talking to clients.
Wormald also had two separate internet connections from two different providers, landline calls from another provider and phone system support from another – all with separate billing, which was a drain on resources and very inconvenient.
Wormald initially spoke to several suppliers, but Blackstar Solutions (Blackstar) was the only one who showed them a variety of options, explaining the benefits of each one in-depth and demonstrating how the software actually worked.
Blackstar listened to Wormald’s requirements, then advised on the most appropriate solutions for them. Wormald were going to deploy either Microsoft Teams Business Voice or 8×8’s ‘X1’ business telephony with desktop app and softphones.
Wormald chose the 8×8 all-in-one cloud solution because of its simplicity, multiple features and cost-effectiveness. The 8×8 solution is able to offer everything Wormald could want from a phone system. By integrating voice, video, chat and MS Teams integration, Wormald now have a secure, reliable cloud communications platform, allowing their employees to be more connected and productive, no matter where they choose to work.
Blackstar initially spoke to Wormald and Partners in September 2020 but they were still bound by contracts with incumbent suppliers until March 2021. They placed the order in April 2021 and Blackstar knew that they were up against challenging timescales to deploy the new cloud solution, port all the existing numbers and also deal with a global hardware shortage including desk phones, all in a matter of weeks.
Blackstar deployed the cloud telephony within the tight deadlines and Wormald were surprised at how smooth and trouble-free the deployment was! Blackstar had contingency plans if the number porting failed, which it didn’t, and they ported the numbers during office hours, ensuring that the phone lines were only down for about half an hour.
The 8×8 solution also has a competitively priced ‘lobby license’ feature, meaning that Wormald have the option to sub-let office space with a multi-tenancy license if they choose to. There are currently 35 users, with the potential to add 30 or so more phones for potential tenants, if necessary.
Blackstar delivered end user training to Wormald’s phone users, which was extremely helpful. One of Blackstar’s trainers came into the office and sat with everyone to talk them through the new telephone system.
Blackstar replaced an old analogue business phone system with a secure, cloud managed service, and now provide dedicated support for Wormald; they just have to put in a call to Blackstar or raise a ticket and they sort out any problems.
As well as phones on desks, every user has access to the 8×8 app on their mobiles and their desktop, so they can work from anywhere, from any device.
Sam Alker, IT Manager at Wormald and Partners, commented,
“Wormald now has the best of both worlds: we have a resilient, secure cloud telephony service which delivers the feature-rich capabilities and home-working flexibility that we need, all competitively priced. The system will have paid for itself in a couple of years, offering great return on investment.
Blackstar excelled themselves – they delivered the project on budget, on time and advised us wisely. We now have the right technology to cope with whatever comes our way. It is also so much easier and simpler having all of our telephony and cloud services from one expert, trusted supplier who are always helpful and responsive.”
Elliot Mace, Sales Director at Blackstar Solutions, added,
“8×8’s X Series is a highly secure, robust and easy-to-use cloud phone system. It’s ideal for an organisation like Wormald and Partners as it includes useful features such as auto-attendant, call handling, voicemail, recording and reporting. It’s easy to set up and there’s no hardware to install or maintain.
The all-in-one capabilities of 8×8’s X1 platform will enable Wormald to spend less time managing their communications and more time serving their customers.”
Blackstar Solutions will soon be installing a 200 MB internet leased line connectivity for Wormald, which will have twice the bandwidth that they have now, but it will actually be cheaper to run.