Case Study

Black Country Housing simplify remote working with Abzorb

Black County Housing Group manage over 2,100 homes supporting local communities with self-achievement & aspiration through its career development, training & employment services.

Since the pandemic staff from Black Country Housing Group are working at home for part of the week and are based in the office for the other half so it is imperative that they have robust and reliant mobiles and tablets to work from.

Black Country Housing Group reduced their mobile estate as they use Microsoft Teams for internal and external calls but still have a lot of staff who need mobiles and tablets to do their job. A lot of the staff are field workers such as the repairs team and the supported living team who need consistent and reliable connectivity to do their job.

Always Connected

The repairs team always need to be connected so they can find the property, fix the repair and log it on the system or if they can’t fix it then they take a photo of the issue with their tablet and then send it back to the call centre where the repair can be diagnosed and rebooked with the relevant person. They also have residents who need assisted care so the ‘supported living team’ who are either based at the accommodation or visiting need to have network coverage all the time so they can access the services that are required.

The advantage of the mobile solution from Abzorb is that when remote workers have poor mobile coverage or don’t have access to broadband, they can seamlessly connect to another network with a stronger connection from one network to another wherever they are with constant access to Vodafone, O2 and EE.

Steve Kesterton, ICT Project Manager at Black Country Housing, comments,

“All staff now hybrid work and we have a lot of field staff who are out and about at our homes such as the repairs team and the social development team so constant and reliable connectivity is critical to us being able to provide our services. Even though we are in a built-up city there were occasions where we would struggle with getting a mobile signal and this would hinder an employee being able to get on with their work.  

One of the advantages of the Abzorb solution is that it enables us to seamlessly transfer to another mobile network that is stronger, so we never lose coverage. We have done that a couple of times – one of the supported living sites has a dongle for printing because the signal wasn’t good, so we swapped the network and it works fine now.”

Seamless Management

Black Country Housing Group had little flexibility with its previous telephony provider and found it difficult to add or delete users, so our IT team spent a lot of time trying to manage their users. They also had to manage the roll out themselves so when users left it took time to re-allocate phones and when users got new devices they would have to unpack, set up and test the device and then ship it to the user.

Steve Kesterton, ICT Project Manager at Black Country Housing commented ; “We have a small IT team and this use to be a laborious process for us, to set up and ship 150 devices previously it would take us about three weeks and now Abzorb manage and fulfil the roll out of mobiles and tablets so are freed up to get on with other tasks.”

Transparency with Billing

Previously Black Country Housing had limited visibility on their bills, and it was presented by department only. Now, the bills are broken down by department and usage so Steve’s team can quickly identify and deal with any voice and data high usage issues, helping them to control costs more effectively.

Challenges

  • Lack of control over mobile estate.
  • Requirement to grow & manage remote workforce.
  • Lengthy and laborious roll out process.
  • Limited visibility of breakdown of billing.
  • Delivering remote critical services for tenants.
  • A reliable mobile connection free from blackspots.

Solution

  • Flexible contracts on a shared voice & data plan.
  • Updated mobile estate with Samsung devices.
  • Samsung Tablets.
  • 191 Abz Network.
  • 1 O2 connection.
  • Devices delivered to site, ready for the team to use.

Benefits

  • Flexible contract – ability to add or remove users & devices.
  • Managed roll out of devices by Abzorb frees up the IT team.
  • Visibility of bill & breakdown by users helps control costs.
  • Mobile connectivity across Vodafone, O2 & EE to secure the best network coverage for the team.
  • Online portal enables them to proactively manage their mobile estate.

A Trusted Partner

“We selected to work with Abzorb because of their flexible contracts, understanding of the housing market and the mobile challenges we face. They have saved us time and costs and provided us with robust and reliable connectivity with their mobile solution and managed services.

Refreshing and managing our mobile estate used to be a headache but now Abzorb supply and manage it all it is refreshingly simple.”

Steve Kesterton
ICT Project Manager
Black Country Housing