About Catapult Cell Therapy

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is a centre of excellence in innovation, with the core purpose of building a world-leading cell and gene therapy sector in the UK as a key part of a global industry. Supported by Innovate UK, their mission is to drive the growth of the industry by helping cell and gene therapy organisations across the world translate early stage research into commercially viable and investable therapies. They are based on the 12th floor of Guy’s Hospital in central London, with over 120 cell and gene therapy experts, state-of-the art development and viral vector laboratories. They are also building a £55m large-scale GMP manufacturing centre to help bring cell and gene therapies to market in the UK and internationally.

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

We needed a telephone, a network, office applications, office space, desk space and storage and all in a very quick timeframe”

Solar's Challenge

As a newly formed company, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult wanted a holistic internet and telephony service when they moved into their very own base in the heart of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in central London. 

We were a start-up company sourcing everything from scratch. We needed a telephone. We needed a network and we needed office applications, office space, desk space and storage. We also needed to be up and running in a very quick timeframe.”

Chris Mills, Consultant IT Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The business needed speed, reliability and scalability in their internet solution. It also needed a managed, highly-available service with all the business’ data and communications located in the cloud.  

Other providers, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult looked at, didn’t deliver true carrier diversity. Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult needed high availability to access all of their data and applications via the cloud. They required carrier diversity so that if one carrier had a major outage, at least they could still gain access through the other. 

Return On Investment

Remote and mobile workers:Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s base at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is made up of office and lab space, but many staff are mobile or remote workers. With the Gamma phone solution, the ability to divert work phone calls to a home phone has proved very popular with users – particularly one team member who works remotely from Scotland. She simply switches on remote office and diverts all incoming calls to her phone line at home. If she wants to make outgoing calls she can do that via the web portal. The home phone rings, she picks it up and it connects to the portal. 

This allows people the flexibility of being able to work in different locations without them being fearful of the cost to themselves. We have 2,000 landline and 2,000 mobile minutes per connection which we’re never going to use up. Plus, there is zero cost to talking internally and to different sites. If we decide to set up a site in the future, anywhere in the world, talking to one another will be free. The only thing we have to do is buy extra handsets.”

Chris Mills, Consultant IT Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

Hosted phones/ No equipment:  There was nowhere to put an expensive physical telephony system. There were also no resources to maintain it. Solar’s Gamma Horizon being hosted was the solution they needed.  

It met the business’ internet needs and offers a feature-rich, flexible and mobile-friendly communications solution. Growing from eight staff in 2012 to over 80 in 2014, scalability was a key consideration for the firm – and it’s a requirement Solar has more than satisfied. 

Full management of phone system:

We wanted our own dedicated numbers and answering service and now we’ve got that. If we were to have used the hospital’s telephones, we would’ve been another small number within that whole system – and they’re pretty crowded anyway. We needed the flexibility to quickly manage our phones, with features such as roaming profiles, and being able to link up our mobile phones to keep costs down.”

Chris Mills, Consultant IT Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

Why Solar?

Solar is on-the-ball in terms of maintenance. If there is ever a problem such as a cable being knocked out, they are on the phone immediately to sort it out – even before we have noticed an issue.” 

“We were introduced to Solar and found the solution extremely competitive. Hosted services are typically considered small-scale systems used by one-man bands, but we’re finding ours exceptionally scalable,” enthused Chris. “We’ll be up to 100 people in the next few months and this system scales very well. We plan on having 200 people by 2017 and expect to still be using the same telephone service. 

“As we expand geographically, we can quickly add to the system. As long as another site has internet and somewhere to plug a phone into, we can access telephone communications. Simply put, with Solar’s phone offering, we haven’t been disappointed.”

Chris Mills, Consultant IT Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult