The Prince’s Trust has deployed a new communications infrastructure worth more than £100,000 at its headquarters in the City of London.

Extending its eight-year relationship with Siemens Enterprise Communications, the Prince’s Trust implemented the OpenScape Office LX unified communications (UC) platform at its office near Liverpool Street, which is home to 321 employees. The Trust plans to rollout the platform to more than 60 sites and 2000 employees in the UK by the end of next year.

OpenScape Office collates voice and conference services, voice mail, messaging, mobility, a multimedia contact centre and presence functionality into one single platform.

It allows users to see emails, calls, faxes and vital business information in a single location; check on team member availability and contact preferences; and launch conference calls from the desktop with a couple of clicks or drag and drop.

It also aims to help organisations improve their customer service by routing calls to the best available person; linking relevant client information to incoming calls automatically; using social media to extend reach and relate to customers; help customers get through first time with one-number reachability; and aid customers easily via remote control or desktop sharing.

The Prince’s Trust hopes that the platform will deliver the flexibility, mobility and security that its employees require to effectively help disadvantaged 13-30-year-olds gain the skills and confidence they need in order to get them into work or training.

Gordon Mead, deputy director of IT at the Prince’s Trust, told Techworld that the charity moved to a more mobile way of working last year, with an increasing number of remote users.

“We needed a system that would integrate everything for mobile users,” he said. “We needed something that had a web-based front end that people could use to say whether they were in the office or out of the office. The Siemens system does all of that automatically through our core email system, Outlook.”

Mead said that OpenScape Office LX allows employees at the Prince’s Trust to access the location and diary schedule of all the employees across the organisation with callers given real-time information, enabling them to leave more informative and actionable messages for the person they’re trying to reach. Mead said that it’s now very easy to see if someone is online, out of the office, travelling, or if they don’t want to be disturbed.

The communications infrastructure completely replaces the existing telephone network and was implemented in four days by Siemens Enterprise Communications’ accredited partner, Active Voice and Data.

Prior to the move, when the Prince’s Trust had its headquarters located in West London near Regents Park, a standard system that enabled voicemail and call routing was used but there was no integration with Outlook.

The rollout cost upwards of £100,000 but contributions from Siemens and other partners meant that the Trust only paid a fraction of that. The charity expects to get a return on its investment within three years, according to Mead.

Trevor Connell, Siemens Enterprise Communications managing director of Northern Europe, said: “An increasing number of the Trust’s staff are now required to be mobile throughout the day. They need to remain visible to colleagues and be responsive to the young people they work with. Our UC technology will greatly enhance their ability to work collaboratively.