Frankwise School is based in Banbury in Oxfordshire. The school occupies a large Victorian building that dates back to the 1800s, which was previously owned by the Gillette family. Over the years, it’s been used in numerous ways, including as a bank and a secretarial college. The school was established in 1961 and moved to its current location in the 1980s. Since then, the building has been added to, with the post-16 building being completed in 2016. The school serves special needs children from the ages of 2 up to 19. This includes an assessment nursery and vocational education for its post-16 students.
As with any school, Frankwise School faces tough budgetary constraints. Over 85% of its budget is allocated to staff costs, as they are a special needs school. This means that the school has to be very careful with what it spends.
The school works with local companies, such as ProDrive, who help with IT support. Other local businesses help the school to raise the vital funds it needs. With this in mind, reviewing the school’s telephone provision became a priority for Chris Aherne, Site Manager, and it just so happened the school knew the perfect person to help them. The school runs a programme called Friends of Frankwise and one of the committee members, Ian Webb from Auditel, introduced Frankwise to MPS. Chris wanted to reduce telephony costs, as well as the time he had to spend managing issues with the existing service. “Every time I called the provider I would speak to a different person with no knowledge of our position and so I would have to explain our situation from the beginning every time”, said Chris.
After meeting with Chris, a consultant from MPS Networks recommended the school upgraded from the current BT ISDN 2e lines, an old technology and soon to be obsolete and upgrade to IP telephony with new SIP trunk technology to future proof the school’s communications. In addition, the MPS consultant
recommended an upgrade from the Avaya office system to a new Panasonic KXNS700 IP telephone system. MPS felt this combination was the solution for the school to achieve efficiency with its communications across the school. Whilst talking through the proposal, the MPS consultant also demonstrated that the school would achieve savings with this solution, whilst ensuring the technology would serve it well in the future. Chris was very impressed with the proposed solution and having explained the options, MPS quickly came forward with costings that Chris could present to the Head Teacher. “The process of getting a recommendation to the Head Teacher was really easy. MPS provided everything that was needed for him to make a decision”, Chris added. The whole installation was completed in a few days and the engineer was on site the entire time, even returning a few days later to ensure everything was operating well. He dealt with any issues immediately, which gave Chris huge peace of mind.
The immediate impact of moving to MPS was the cost savings the school made. With budgets so tight, every penny really does matter. In total, the solution implemented achieved a 65% reduction per year, this meant that the school saved around £20,000 over three years. “We couldn’t believe how much the school would save by working with MPS,” says Chris. “It really opened our eyes and we are so happy that the money we save can go towards providing an engaging and rewarding environment for our students.”
In addition to the cost savings, working with MPS has had a considerable impact for Chris. “If there ever is a problem, I have one point of contact at MPS. This has made a dramatic difference to my workload”, says Chris. Another aspect of the service that’s helped Chris is the straightforward invoicing from MPS. “The invoices are so easy to understand. It never takes me very long to look at them. This means I can get on with the other jobs I need to do as Site Manager”, Chris added.
In summing up working with MPS, Chris says, “Don’t hesitate! MPS are great to work with, trustworthy and always go that extra mile. Once, we had an issue that wasn’t even related to the service provided by MPS. They got involved on our behalf and resolved it. That’s what I call customer service!” Working with MPS has made life easier for Chris, but it’s also had a great impact on how the school communicates with its parents and teachers. “MPS has provided us with a solution that has so much more functionality than we had previously. We can leave overnight messages and manage staff and student absence. This is all controlled by MPS and it’s only a phone call away”, Chris added.