The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. It campaigns to protect ancient woods, improve woodland biodiversity, increase native woodland cover and improve everyone’s understanding and enjoyment of woods.

The organisation currently looks after 50,000 acres of woodland at over 10,000 sites, has over 194,000 members and over 200,000 additional supporters.

Ageing systems

The Trust was established in 1972 and an ageing phone system was struggling to cope with the demands placed on it by the organisation. This included an increasing number of employees in a wide range of departments, a high number of home workers, and an increasing number of calls, both inbound and outbound, for the company’s on-site call centre.

The Woodland Trust recognised that its telecoms system needed overhauling to cope with the increasing demand and more importantly to improve customer service. The new system would have to be fast, easy to use, flexible, efficient and as green as possible.

IT Manager Richard Otter commented: “We knew the time had come to update the phone system and we’d looked into a number of ‘green’ solutions. As we are green by nature, it was essential for the new system to have a minimum effect on the environment.

We were also looking for a company that could build us a bespoke system and be on hand to fully maintain it – all within a very limited budget.”

Key experience

Armstrong demonstrated that it could meet all of the Trust’s demands and after winning the contract the first task was to remove the existing hardware and dispose of it responsibly. This involved recycling much of the waste and donating the old equipment to other enterprises.

Armstrong then installed the new system, consisting of low power and low emission Mitel handsets containing no hazardous substances and designed and manufactured to strict government standards.

Feature rich

The cornerstone of the new system is a Mitel 3300 unit which can handle up to 200 users. The new system has been designed for any user to log on to a phone wherever the LAN/WAN extends, and provide links to 100 remote teleworkers, including phones in rangers’ offices in woods throughout Britain.

A live business gateway provides integration with Microsoft OCS and Nupoint Messenger converts voicemail into email.

The practicality of the system is completed by a mobile extension system which links a desk phone to a mobile phone to provide a single contact number and single voicemail.