In 2019, we worked on a large-scale project with Blue Diamond to unify their telecoms systems. The result of streamlining their operations was a huge success, significantly affecting the lives of all their staff and the workplace efficiency of all their locations. Continue reading to find out how the Blackbox UC team was able to help Blue Diamond get their communications on the right track.
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Blue Diamond is one of the UK’s largest garden centre retail groups, with over 30 centres located across the UK and Channel Islands. This includes some of the largest outdoor garden centres in Europe, the biggest one spanning over 70 acres. When they approached Blackbox UC in 2019, it was because they had acquired seven new independent garden centres to join their fleet, as well as a further nine brought on through another company. With their business growing, Blue Diamond suddenly found themselves facing unprecedented telecoms issues.
With an array of new garden centres acquired, Blue Diamond was presented with a range of disparate communications systems. With different telecoms operations running on each site, influenced by both location and the systems in place by previous owners, there was an urgent need for a unified way to channel communications between all Blue Diamond centres. The fragmented operations were causing issues with efficiency and productivity across all sites, as well as significant financial strain from trying to manage all these different communication platforms.
Beyond that, the various remote and island locations of several Blue Diamond centres posed difficulties with Broadband and network coverage. Efficient communication with these locations was proving to be an issue, on top of the already-present problem of keeping up effective connectivity as staff roamed outdoor centres that span dozens of acres. This caused strain for customers and staff alike, with productivity and performance negatively affected by the struggle to stay connected.
Here’s where Blackbox UC stepped in. Collaborating with TelcoSwitch, we set up a team to work with Blue Diamond’s project management to find the perfect solution to unite their 39 centres under one unified communications system. Aiming to quickly implement a brand-new system for all their centres, we focussed on ways to provide seamless communication with these new, and often remote, locations.
Working with TelcoSwitch allowed us to design the perfect solution to cover all the bases Blue Diamond needed, using their multi-site systems to replicate a signal phone and telecom operation across every single centre. We were able to take these fractured and disparate platforms and transform them into a whole new operation that could be effectively implemented into every single centre – from the remote locations in the Channel Islands, to the largest outdoor garden centre facility in Europe.
Our Blackbox UC and TelcoSwitch team implemented MPLS, installed cohesive cabling systems, and secured WIFI across every location. The freedom to tailor this system to Blue Diamond’s unique needs allowed us to ensure that what we built was able to support remote centres with the same efficiency.
What we created was the perfect solution for Blue Diamond. What they were left with was a total connection between every faction of their business. 3400 staff, 39 locations, 1400 phones – all interconnected through a unified telecoms system that works perfectly for them. Not only are the different centres able to call one another and effectively communicate, but the daily on-site work environment for each location has improved significantly.
Staff can roam their entire facilities with clear signal. With multi-cell access points all over the garden centres, employees experience total freedom and mobility with their handheld sets, able to go about their day-to-day work unhindered. These garden sites were able to receive the reliable, full outdoor coverage needed, even in those remote locations with weakened network connection. Plus, Blue Diamond were set up with a 24-hour, secure helpdesk – ready to provide triage services whenever required to keep business running at top capacity.
This streamlined phone system was able to make a significant change for Blue Diamond and is now implemented across each new garden centre they acquire.