JCB Finance


As we transition to become a more digitally integrated business, it is vital that we have a futureproof IT infrastructure. Microsoft Azure provides us with the flexibility, scalability and resiliency we need in order to deliver a great IT experience to our employees and customers. This has been a true digital transformation, and the support provided by Daisy throughout the process has been invaluable.
David Smith, Head of IT, JCB Finance

The Background

JCB Finance is one of the UK’s leading asset finance companies. With 50 years’ experience in providing asset finance for customers in the construction, agricultural and industrial sectors, JCB Finance offers fast and flexible finance solutions. Its offerings help companies preserve their working capital whist spreading the outlay on new assets in a cost-effective and tax efficient manner.

With a national field force, supported by a direct sales team at its head office in Rocester, Staffordshire, JCB Finance aims to provide JCB customers with access to state-of-the art finance options anywhere in the UK. Central to this approach is high-speed, efficiency and fairness, making JCB Finance a valued sales-aid partner to JCB and its dealers.

With an increasingly digital footprint, JCB’s customers are changing their buying habits – wanting to apply and manage their finance applications online and in real-time. This has required JCB to change a core element of its business model and become an integral part of the online JCB sales process, with customers being offered finance during their web transaction.

The challenge

JCB Finance customers previously had access to a 24/7 portal to view historical account information such as their current agreements and scheduled payments. However, the portal was limited to historical activities. To generate new agreements, customers needed to contact their dedicated relationship manager who would begin the paperwork before passing it back to JCB Finance to complete the process.

JCB Finance operated its own data centres, however this didn’t offer the scalability or resiliency required to support this new 24/7 business model. In addition, JCB Finance’s IT department was already spending a significant amount of time maintaining and patching its existing IT infrastructure.

As a result, JCB Finance made the decision to move its entire IT infrastructure and supporting applications to the public cloud. This would provide JCB Finance with a more dynamic and futureproof infrastructure, which would be responsive to any changes in the company’s strategic direction. By working with a managed services provider, JCB Finance was also aiming to reduce the time its internal IT team was spending “keeping the lights on” – allowing the team to focus on delivering new solutions to meet business needs.

The Solution

After evaluating its requirements, JCB Finance selected Daisy as its partner of choice due to its extensive experience in cloud, data centres and networking. Acting as JCB Finance’s Cloud Services Partner, Daisy helped transform the company’s existing IT infrastructure and applications to make them cloud ready. Then over a 12-month period, services were migrated away from JCB Finance’s old legacy infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure.

As part of the migration, Daisy worked closely with JCB Finance to test all disaster recovery plans, including ensuring that all previous bottlenecks and single points of failure were removed from the newly designed infrastructure. Daisy also helped to ensure that JCB Finance’s security posture was correct, which included the provision of a managed firewall service.

The Result

JCB Finance now has an evergreen and modern solution, with no legacy products being utilised within the business. In addition to supporting JCB Finance’s new online business model, the new IT backbone has also supported its move to remote working by improving the performance of applications being accessed by iPad users.

By moving to the public cloud, JCB Finance can now right-size server capacity in line with demand, something that simply wasn’t possible before. JCB Finance has also benefited from increased security as a result of moving to a SaaS and PaaS model. There are no longer delays in patching systems, and the internal team now spends significantly less time managing the new infrastructure, with Daisy on hand to provider third-line support if and when required.

mothercare logo

Mothercare Global Brand

Moving away from traditional phone handsets to softphones for Microsoft Teams was a major part of our strategy as an organisation
to become flexible, agile and collaborative – work on anything from anywhere with anyone and that includes accepting phone calls on the move.

Ricky Harding, Head of IT Service Delivery and
Infrastructure, Mothercare Global Brand.

The Background

Mothercare Global Brand (MGB) is a B2B retailer whose products are sold through
more than 1,000 stores and franchises across 40 territories worldwide. Its UK-headquartered operation employs 200 people in two locations; the main office in
Hemel Hempstead and a satellite office in Northampton.

The Challenge

Looking to relocate its headquarters to new offices in the summer of 2020, MGB was already assessing its communication strategy to support a more flexible working environment. As part of that assessment, Microsoft Teams had started to be deployed for internal company communications but in line with a more traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) platform for voice calls.

However, due to the need to pivot all employees from an office-based model to a homeworking model as part of the UK’s response to COVID-19, this assessment was accelerated. This left MGB with a disparate mix of communications platforms including Microsoft Teams, mobile phones, video conferencing systems, and a traditional telephony system.

The Solution

The solution was to consolidate this mix to a single communication and collaboration platform, and Microsoft Teams was seen as the natural choice.
This decision was driven by MGB employees’ familiarity with the system since the beginning of the COVID-19 – who were already using it daily to work together safely from home.

So, MGB turned to their long-standing partner Daisy Corporate Services to help
them evaluate the requirements and to design a solution that gave them the ability to use Microsoft Teams as their core communications platform.

Daisy worked with the MGB technical team to assess the functionality that was immediately required and to also ensure that when their new office was able to be occupied, that the investment that they had made worked for them.

The current MGB telephony system had features, like a reception team, that MGB would no longer need in the long term, so stripping that out of the scope helped to simplify the overall project.

One of the key recommendations was to add Daisy’s Direct2 for Microsoft Teams product to allow external calling functionality to MGB’s platform. This not only gave MGB the true functionality of an enterprise-grade communications platform, it also future-proofed their communications by migrating their soon-to-be defunct PSTN connectivity to up-to-date session initiated protocol (SIP) connectivity. This means that their Microsoft Teams platform is ready, built and designed with 2025’s PSTN switch-off in mind, whilst still giving the MGB organisation all the functionality it needs right now.

The Result

The Microsoft Teams deployment for MGB has given the organisation a communications platform to run their business from wherever their employees are – both now and in the future. Scoped to fit the new Hemel Hempstead headquarters, and the intent to allow a flexible working environment, physical handsets are now a thing of the past.

By utilising the full capabilities of Microsoft Teams, and Daisy’s Direct2 for Microsoft Teams product, MGB can now not only collaborate internally, but with their whole supply chain as well. Manufacturing partners can now join calls and collaborate in meetings using Microsoft Teams; they can dial in from anywhere and even participate in face-to-face meetings creating a new, and more collaborative way of operating.

MGB and Daisy Corporate Services have also worked together to ensure that the Microsoft Teams deployment can be used with the video conferencing equipment installed in their offices, meaning that virtual meetings enjoy the same connected experience wherever the participants are.

An unexpected benefit of the deployment was that mobile phone usage decreased by around 50%, this is something that will be evaluated when the company’s mobile phone contract is up for renewal and will help drive cost and efficiency savings.

The Future

As a long-standing and trusted partner for MGB, there are several infrastructures and upgrade projects currently being both scoped and delivered with Daisy Corporate Services.



Written by Richard Forrest, Company Secretary, SSP Business Continuity Sponsor – a customer’s perspective on Daisy services…

The Background

SSP is a leading global supplier of technology systems and services to the insurance industry. With more than 35 years of industry experience, and with a highly-motivated, experienced and talented workforce comprising more than 700 employees, we help shape the industry by enabling insurers, brokers and financial advisers to serve their clients more efficiently.

The Challenge

Over recent years, SSP’s operating model has significantly increased in complexity and the associated risk and impact profiles has also changed dramatically. Our business continuity management system needed an overhaul if it was to keep pace with our risk appetite, and the demands of our stakeholders. We decided to upgrade our business continuity management system to support the evolving requirements of our investors, our strategic objectives, our risk landscape and our customer base.

As an existing customer of Daisy’s business continuity and maintenance services, we approached our Daisy account manager to discuss the ways in which Daisy’s Business Continuity offerings could help us operate a robust, intelligent management system that would give us increased continuity competence and resilience across a growing organisation. We needed to increase our ability to respond successfully to disruptive incidents, as well as assuring ourselves and our stakeholders that we understood our operating model within our threat landscape. We also needed to know if we had sufficient controls in place to continue our business, to protect our customers’ businesses and to minimise the likelihood and impact of disruptions. And for competitive advantage we required demonstrable certification of management to international standards (ISO 22301).

Daisy met with us at our offices in Solihull and listened to the challenges we faced in relation to business resiliency. Over a period of time we had tried to put in place a business continuity system, however, without the luxury of dedicated resources this was problematic with key staff always being re-focussed onto more immediate priorities. Lack of consistent resource availability and experience in business continuity planning meant that results were inconsistent across the business and keeping things properly up to date was a real headache. Daisy consultants, using their Business Continuity as a Service (BCaaS) model, put together an initial scope of works which broke down the necessary activities so that with input from SSP, a programme of works could be developed.  This was further refined to balance requirements with budget and to create a fixed scope of service with a fixed price.

The Solution

We chose Daisy’s BCaaS solution which included design and implementation of an economical business continuity management system tailored to our strategic objectives and risk appetite. Owned and steered by us, the management system would be administered and improved by Daisy’s industry-leading consultancy team. This service also utilises Daisy’s business continuity software “Shadow-Planner” in two main ways. Firstly the mobile app would put key responder guidance available on our mobile phones and within reach at time of need, and secondly the Shadow-Planner management tool would be used to gather and analyse risk and continuity data, and to track and monitor the business continuity management system (BCMS) and its outputs against our strategic risks and objectives.

The Result

Most recently, the BCMS proved its worth in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, when we used our well-rehearsed command, control and communications framework and our BC intelligence to implement staff relocation and work transfer strategies to keep our business going despite denial of access to buildings and absences of staff caused by lockdowns in all of the territories in which we operate. We’re quite proud that we achieved it within 72 hours of the point of invocation. Earlier continuity risk analysis generated by the Daisy-administered BCMS had already allowed us to boost our command, control and communications capabilities and showed where we needed a range of mitigations for our risk scenarios of concern. Subsequently we used our BCMS and risk management system to put those mitigations in place, so when COVID-19 hit we were already ready to deploy a number of the necessary strategies.

Thanks to the structures, strategies and plans developed jointly over the last few years by SSP and Daisy and specifically our BCMS, we have successfully expedited responses to a number of other disruptions. Training and rehearsals have prepared our teams to more confidently take command and control of incident responses and to make faster and better-informed decisions so the outcomes of our real or rehearsed incident responses are improving.  Daisy’s Shadow-Planner mobile app has helped responders to access the guidance and contact details they need in the immediate term, and we’re now looking to extend its use by making technical recovery guidance and contacts available via the app too.

But it is the repeating lifecycle of BCMS activities that keeps awareness of threats and vulnerabilities on the management agenda and works to embed key management principles into SSP’s DNA. We saw immediate value during the first lifecycle as Daisy worked with us to standardise the approach to continuity risk management across our changing organisation. Standardisation allowed us a more consistent analysis of continuity risks and impacts and to access, leverage and spread responder and continuity expertise across the whole organisation. Daisy’s Shadow-Planner administration software does most of the administration for programme scheduling, document control and number crunching so our BC budget and people are released to focus on preparedness.  As a result, we have increased our control of continuity risks and improved our conversations about it. These conversations have matured over time and now form part of wider conversations about, for example, emergency preparedness, command, control and communications, crisis management, disaster recovery and risk management. Daisy’s promotion of group-wide understanding of these wider disciplines has improved our adoption of key principles of organisational resilience into our daily thinking, and we believe Daisy’s management systems approach has provided us with demonstrable improvement of our system, competence and capability to meet international standards (ISO 22301).

NHS Orkney

Our staff and students can now get access to their email, their Twitter accounts, whatever they need – and that has quite a big impact on morale.

David Cowan, IT Manager at NHS Orkney

The Background

Orkney is an archipelago of over 70 islands which lies off the north east coast of Scotland – but just 17 of these are inhabited, with a population of around 22,000 people. For NHS Orkney, the challenges of being the smallest health board in Scotland are immense. Not only does it have to adhere to the same guidelines as other larger territorial boards, but there are also many limitations on flexibility due to its extremely tight budget and remote location.

Based within the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, NHS Orkney also provides services to 10 of the other ‘isles’. The organisation offers a range of care delivery options to these islands including general surgery, general medicine, anaesthesia, obstetrics and gynaecology – all operated via a consultant-led medical model.

The Challenge

NHS Orkney’s main objective over recent years has been to deliver top quality patient care under severe financial constraints. A new CT scanner has just been installed at Balfour Hospital and, despite being geographically isolated, excellent communication links have been developed within the islands and with other centres on the Scottish mainland, as Chief Executive Cathie Cowan outlines: “We are really trying to invest in healthcare on the island. If there is a bad car crash for example, patients will come in to us initially and our team will stabilise, resuscitate and prepare for them to be airlifted off to the mainland. To help with this, we now have digital technology which enables us to actually bring the specialist ‘virtually’ into the room, to support our staff – and also a nurse or a GP can do this as well if they are out in one of the islands.

The management team at NHS Orkney has been working to enable both staff and patients to communicate more effectively, and recently turned to longstanding technology partner Daisy to help them upgrade their WiFi infrastructure. IT Manager David Cowan explains further: “Our most recent issue involved our WiFi network within Graham House, which is a staff residential block. This is a building which is mostly inhabited by student nurses and doctors, but we also have some staff doctors that stay here, and visiting locums. It’s quite an old style building – two floors with two separate wings – so in effect we had four discrete quadrants, separated by fairly thick walls. This meant that WiFi access was limited, as we only had a wireless router that was covering a small part of the building.”

The Solution

At the beginning of the year, David asked Daisy to come in and do a detailed survey of Graham House, and to then make a recommendation for how WiFi access could be improved for both students and staff. After carrying out the survey, Daisy installed a managed WiFi solution which involved re-cabling the entire building and providing Ubiquiti access points, to allow access throughout.

In addition to this, the Daisy Engage product was configured to enable a customised registration experience and to provide user behaviour information. Daisy Protect was then also installed, to provide safe surfing for all users. David continues: “We contracted Daisy to come in and install the new system in the spring and it’s been working great ever since. Daisy now provides full support for this service, so WiFi is available throughout the building and we have a good strong signal in all of the bedrooms.”

Daisy has also recently installed the Mitel telephony system for NHS Orkney’s new disaster recovery (DR) site, which is a couple of miles away from this main site. This is all linked back to the main Balfour switch, so that users who are working in the DR facility just appear as an extension on the main Balfour Hospital switchboard.

The Result

The flexibility of the WiFi solution which Daisy deployed will allow further parts of NHS Orkney’s estate to be connected in future, allowing additional users to enjoy a similar, consistent experience to those who reside in Graham House – as David continues:

“Our staff and students can now get access to their email, their Twitter accounts, whatever they need – and that has quite a big impact on morale. It also means that staff who are staying there, clinicians and so on, can access the NHS email system from the building, without having to go across the road into the main hospital to do it, as they used to.”

The Future

NHS Orkney is in the process of building a brand new hospital – so Daisy will continue to play a key role in NHS Orkney’s future, as David concludes:

“Daisy has been supporting us with our telecoms system for some time now, and will be doing so for the coming few years – to advise us and to help us to move that system into the new hospital building in 2019.”

“I think we’re definitely a test bed for new technologies – and certainly in the new hospital, we would want to invest significantly in what we call ‘technology-enabled care’. And for inpatients, having access though technology, Skype or whatever, would be really significant. People are at their lowest when they are unwell and it’s really good to keep in touch with family. If you’re a mum coming in to have a baby – and though I know they are not in for a long time – but you might have kids that you want to say hello to, say goodnight to, so I think from that point of view that would be significant, particularly in this location.”

University of Southampton


Every year, the clearing process becomes more intense. With competition fiercer than ever, our telephony infrastructure was leaving us behind. Daisy designed a cost-effective solution that enabled us to handle calls efficiently and improve the quality of the service to our prospects. Because of this. we are now able to use the data generated by the solution to inform staffing levels and marketing campaigns for future years and are assessing how else we might utilise the solution to benefit both applicants and current students alike.

Nick Hull, Associate Director (Head of Admissions), University of Southampton.

The Background

The University of Southampton is a world-leading, research-intensive institution. Ranked as one of the UK’s top 20 universities and recently securing a position as one of the top 100 in the QS World University rankings for 2019, the university boasts more than 150 years’ experience in delivering world-class education.

Each year, starting on the morning of A Level Results Day, the University of Southampton’s phone lines can receive in excess of 10,000 calls during a mass call event known as “clearing”, where prospective undergraduate students yet to secure a place on a higher education (HE) course wait to be matched with places that the institution hasn’t yet filled.

In order to deliver the high-quality and stress-free service that prospective students expect, the University needed a robust, reliable, high-performance telephony system that could easily cope with the surge in demand come results day.

The Challenge

The institution’s method of call handling during the clearing process relied on a traditional “hunt group” – a method of distributing phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several ISDN phone lines where a number of people are then are set up to handle the incoming calls.

Scaling their infrastructure during peak periods was proving to be both difficult and costly;requiring significant investment in physical ISDN hardware in order to meet only temporary demand and leaving little room for the flexibility needed to meet any additional capacity requirements on the day. This meant that many calls were not answered and there was no facility to leave a message leading to frustration and a level of service below that which the university strived to provide.

Recognising the limitations of its existing infrastructure, as well as the limited access to key marketing data and with a desire to enhance customer service, the University contacted their incumbent unified communications suppler, Daisy, keen to explore a simple yet effective entry into the cloud.

As well as ensuring that any inbound calls during clearing were answered as quickly as possible, the ability to gain visibility of the quantity and timing of calls, the success of various marketing campaigns, and the ability to direct queued callers to the online form was of paramount importance to the business. Therefore, any proposed solution would need to facilitate measuring the success of any marketing activity, enabling them to better understand their student population and their origin.

The Solution

Facilitating the University of Southampton’s need for increased capacity and improved efficiency during clearing, Daisy proposed “Clearing in the Cloud”, a solution that leverages cloud technology for the processing of calls and mitigating bottlenecks caused by existing equipment and ingress.

After undergoing a detailed design and consultation stage, Daisy’s dedicated team set about implementing and testing the new platform, ensuring call flows would work for the desired outcomes.

By moving to a cloud-managed solution, the university would mitigate the costly and labour-intensive process of installing additional hardware and instead benefit from a solution that can scale both up and down as demand changes.

Clearing in the Cloud allows callers to dial one of 10 local rate 033 numbers each linked to a specific marketing source. These calls were then presented to the Daisy system and delivered to one of 90 agents. From here, calls are processed within the cloud and callers are either held in a queue or played a series of messages highlighting key marketing messages or, more importantly, urging callers to complete the clearing process online rather than wait in a queue.

Daisy were available throughout the clearing process in the event of any issues and are now looking to assist with the evaluation of data now on the system.

The Result

Today, the University of Southampton is able to see how many students called throughout the clearing process, with added visibility on how many calls were queued. This means that next year’s staffing levels can be aligned well in advance.

What’s more, the reporting functionality enables staff to determine the success of certain marketing streams, enabling them to focus on and, where necessary, realign marketing tactics for the coming year.

In addition, the university saw a 56% increase in online applications which they attribute to the promotion of online applications via the queue messaging function played to callers waiting to be transferred to an agent.

As a trusted partner, Daisy are looking at evaluating the service and enhancing it further for 2019. In addition, as part of university’s unified communications strategy, SIP trunking is to be deployed on campus.

Menzies Distribution


The integration of our call handling services is good news for our customers and will further increase the level of service we offer. By having one larger customer service department we can invest in the latest facilities and technology. We can also better flex staffing levels through the day to meet demand.

Terry Dunning, Manager, Menzies Distribution

The Background

Menzies Distribution is a leading provider distribution and marketing services to the UK’s newspaper and magazine supply chain. It handles 4.5 million newspapers – rising to 6 million on Sundays, and 2.5 million magazines each day, with deliveries made to more than 21,500 customers. Menzies’ UK market share is now an estimated 26% in newspapers and 29% in magazines. The company has more than 25 distribution depots, 50 locations in total and over 4,000 employees.

The Challenge

Menzies understood that in order to continue its growth and remain the most efficient and reliable newspaper distribution business in the UK and Republic of Ireland, it needed to invest in a highly effective, scalable and resilient communications infrastructure.  The company also wanted to sharpen its competitive edge and invest in a system that would enable innovation in its services and ensure that warehouse efficiency and sales revenues were maximised.

The Solution

An IP telephony and contact centre solution was proposed by Daisy. Other solutions from rival suppliers were considered but Daisy’s solution provided the superior resilience and scalability that Menzies’ needed in order to meet its evolving communications requirements; both within its headquarters and throughout its national network. The Avaya Intelligent Communications solution replaced the previous multi-site network based on Avaya INDeX switches with a centralised configuration based on Avaya Communication Manager (ACM) using Avaya’s Flatten, Consolidate, Extend (FCE) approach.

This solution enabled Menzies to rationalise its customer services operations and build a resilient infrastructure with full business continuity for voice services, available at two locations that could act as disaster recovery (DR) sites. It also gave an ideal platform for further growth and the introduction of new services and technology innovations. Various Avaya IP telephony solutions were provided for different Menzies locations, while Avaya’s CCE Contact Centre Express and CMS Reporting were deployed within the two call centres and the two acting DR sites.

The Result

With the presence of the 24/7 network operations centre team both Daisy and Menzies have visibility and the ability to react as soon as issues are raised with the systems at any time of the day. Menzies has been assigned a service manager and dedicated desk-based support manager. This team ensures that Daisy remains accountable for the project deliveries throughout the life of the contract.

As a result there was improved customer service, a scalable platform for growth, a faster return on technology investment, enhanced efficiency and a huge saving on costs. There was also improved resiliency and business contingency, with enhanced management control and reporting.


Today, to manage the built environment effectively, you have to digitise it in some way. We’re training drone pilots to give us digital images of areas… putting GoPro cameras on the front of trains to survey lines. It’s becoming much more of a digital environment. For us, it’s about using tools to get a better view or control of scope and scale.

Bill Price, Systems and Technology Director at Costain

The Background

Costain is one of Britain’s foremost engineering solutions providers, working to improve the nation’s quality of life by delivering integrated consultancy, asset optimisation, technology and complex delivery services, in vital areas such as rail travel, energy, water, highways and more.

Costain provides a complete end-to-end offering, encompassing all aspects of design, construction, engineering, maintenance, facilities management, integrated consultancy and innovation across the life cycle of its clients’ assets.

Harnessing digital technology is central to achieving this vision. Through the effective capture and analysis of data, Costain generates vital insights that allow it to optimise clients’ infrastructure usage, respond to challenges quickly and deliver outstanding results for UK citizens.

The Challenge

Daisy’s deep, all-round expertise in complex IT integration makes it a natural partner for Costain. The relationship stretches back over a decade, during which Daisy has progressed from supplying relatively simple break-fix telephony services to the operation of a full IT service desk, which combined 25% cost savings with improved SLA delivery.

Over time, the partnership has expanded to include several upgrades to Costain’s IT hardware and systems (covering more than 3,000 assets and accompanying software) and a combined IT support contract with its own full-time service manager and on-site support teams at the business’ Manchester and Maidenhead offices.

Costain has always been forward-thinking in its approach to IT and data systems. As the group has moved towards an end-to-end, data-driven and holistic approach to infrastructure management, it has been quick to draw on Daisy’s knowledge to facilitate the delivery of crucial applications and maximise the effectiveness of its offer.

The Solution

To meet the demands of Costain’s new technology-intensive working methods, Daisy has helped the group’s internal IT team migrate much of its digital estate to Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform.

This allows Costain to deliver complex technology in a new and seamless way to the whole of its business – a total of 5,000 users. Meanwhile, the adoption of Microsoft 365 has helped to enhance data sharing and collaboration across the organisation.

In addition to managing its own internal applications, the group has been able to use the Azure platform to provide key solutions direct to its customers. These include document management, project controls and access to public enquiry information.

In addition, Daisy has also taken on the management of Costain’s mobile telephony requirements, including the provision of Microsoft 365 for phone to 3,500 individual users, ranging from office-based support staff to engineers in the field.

The Result

“Today, to manage the built environment effectively, you have to digitise it in some way,” said Costain’s Systems and Technology Director, Bill Price. “We’re training drone pilots to give us digital images of areas… putting GoPro cameras on the front of trains to survey lines. It’s becoming much more of a digital environment. For us, it’s about using tools to get a better view or control of scope and scale.”

Daisy has played a central role in changing Costain’s business to a technology-driven, end-to-end model that fully supports its brand. The migration to a cloud-based delivery approach will reduce the need for future large-scale systems upgrades, while hardware outlay is also likely to reduce.

Operational efficiency, by contrast, is undergoing a transformation.

The relationship is founded on trust, and a shared commitment to service excellence. By building a deep understanding of Costain’s business and future strategy, the Daisy team can contribute in an empirical, ongoing way to the planning process, keeping the business where it wants to be – at the forefront of technological innovation. Continuity of personnel has enhanced this atmosphere of collaboration, with Daisy’s account director having worked with Costain from the earliest stages of the relationship. Daisy’s service manager takes regular part in senior management meetings and members of Daisy’s on-site team are known at all levels of the organisation, from chief financial officer to security staff.

This is not a project-based or sales-based relationship. Instead, Costain views Daisy as a strategic partner for IT, technology innovation and ongoing business support. This puts Costain, and by extension a vital swathe of UK infrastructure, in a position to thrive, well into the future.


New City College London

The Background

New City College (NCC) is the fourth largest college group in the UK with campuses across Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Epping Forest and Havering. Employing around 1,800 staff, serving more than 20,000 students, and having increased in both size and scale over recent years, the college retains its strong local identities. In addition, having campuses in each borough continues to provide a strong choice of courses for the communities it serves.

The Challenge

With a mix of obsolete and out-of-support phone systems and a complex set of ways for students to contact the different college sites, the college started to look at methods that would allow it to consolidate disparate systems into a single solution; one that would address obsolescence and enable a better student experience – particularly concerning student admissions.

It was also important that any new solution would provide staff a better platform in which to communicate – regardless of location – whether inside or outside the college campus environment.  And this infrastructure had to be implemented within secure, on-premise data centres.

The Solution

Having taken the time to fully understand the unique pain points of the customer, Daisy Corporate Services and key stakeholders at the college developed a flexible relationship built on trust. This relationship allowed Daisy to deploy a design, development, consultancy, training and support service that would provide the college with a Unified Communications (UC) and multimedia contact centre solution using vendor partner Mitel. When completed, this will include MiVoice Business for telephony, MiCollab for unified communications and MiCC for the contact centre element.

With such a large transformation, the solution was split into multiple phases which deal with each pain point in terms of priority.  Phase 1 has a provided a contact centre service to act as a single point of contact for admissions and improving the ability to deal with student enquiries.

This improved student experience will also mean that the existing multiple lines for contacting the college’s advice teams using different phone numbers and different sites have been consolidated under one contact centre. Customer Service team members will be provided with real-time and historical information re: incoming calls so that the best possible student experience can be provided at all times.

For New City College, a cloud-based or externally-hosted data centre were considered too high a security risk, so Daisy’s ability to provide a unified communications and contact centre platform within a secured internal VMware environment was a critical factor in the decision-making process, and so phase 2, which is currently underway, will consist of migrating all campuses to a common infrastructure implemented within data centres on-site.

Phase 2 will also see the rollout of contact centre services from voice to omnichannel. This will allow the college to provide all students with their platform of choice for communication, reflecting that the student body might see web chat for example as their preferred media as opposed to a conventional telephone calls. This will further enhance the college’s ability to meet student recruitment targets and offer an enhanced student experience in the highly-competitive further education (FE) field.

The Result

Daisy successfully met the college’s budgetary constraints to deliver powerful new Unified Communications (UC) applications and desktop services as well as delivering a UC platform residing within the college’s internal, secure data centre.

With phase 1 completed, NCC are able to enter busy admissions periods with a new, single point of contact for students. A secondary benefit is that having all the enquiries channelled into in one location allows for greater synergy, data collection, and identification of arising issues and opportunities.   In addition, projected cost savings will arise from reduction in support costs, reduction in telephony call charges via migration to session-initiated protocol (SIP), simplification and cost reduction in moves and changes in administrative costs.

The strong relationship that exists between the two parties has seen Daisy serve as a sponsor for the Apprentice of the Year category at NCC’s student awards that took place in October 2019. Paul Hadaway, Sales Specialist at Daisy Corporate said: “We worked closely with the college’s project leads to deliver a cost-effective solution which will improve the communications experience for both staff and students. Thanks to the relationship we have built with the customer, I was delighted to attend the college’s annual student awards dinner. As a sponsor, Daisy were able to contribute to the provision of recognition and rewards that these students deserve.”

The Future

Phase 3, under discussion currently, will see the rollout of a mass notification platform which will deliver a secure instant message notification system across a range of desktop and mobile devices.  This will provide enhanced duty-of-care capability for staff and students alike.


RSA Insurance Group

“Support from Daisy has made us feel very confident about the solution we’re getting. Consistency of service is key, and whichever recovery site you visit, you know that’s exactly what you’re going to find.”
Paul Rose, UK Head of Business Continuity Management at RSA Insurance Group

The Background

RSA Insurance Group is one of the world’s oldest general insurers. With a 300-year heritage and the capability to write business in more than 100 countries, it provides a range of vital services
to help businesses and individuals protect themselves against life’s uncertainties and enjoy peace of mind.

As a complex business that specialises in managing risk, RSA unsurprisingly considers business continuity a key priority. With customers often needing help at a moment’s notice, the group’s contact centres need to be up and running. Meanwhile, other vital business functions must be quickly recoverable to ensure claims can be processed seamlessly in an ever-tighter regulatory environment.

As a result, RSA boasts an advanced and energetic business recovery function, with dedicated teams allocated to each of the group’s 100+ business areas.

The Challenge

Effective work area recovery is central to RSA’s business continuity strategy. Prior to 2017, the group was able to meet its requirements largely in-house, using its large property portfolio to provide alternative workspaces if one of its main sites was compromised.

However, after rationalising its property holdings and calling a review of its business continuity management (BCM) strategy, RSA decided that a third party solution would be a better way of meeting its work area recovery needs. As well as providing flexibility and value for money, the solution had to be second to none in its effectiveness, ensuring staff welfare in the event of an incident and allowing the business to manage its existing obligations to customers.

During the tender process, it became clear that Daisy’s network of workplace recovery sites had the best geographical fit for a UK-wide business like RSA. Daisy had also been supplying RSA with business continuity planning software for some years.

The Solution

Working with Daisy allows RSA to meet its recovery time objectives via a syndicated model, rather than relying on dedicated recovery seating. With a syndication ratio of less than 10:1, the solution offers considerable efficiency and a substantial risk-managed cost benefit, while ensuring fit-for-purpose workspaces are always available if an incident occurs.

Before implementation, the solution was rigorously tested in close collaboration with the RSA team and key external suppliers, such as Vodafone, which provide RSA with network and phone connectivity. In the event of an incident or test, Daisy deploys the customer’s IT “image” to computers at the relevant recovery site, while connectivity is supplied by Vodafone between RSA and Daisy’s own premises.

This allows business-critical applications to be up and running in accordance with RSA’s recovery time objectives. The contract is designed to offer maximum flexibility and value, with a simple flat rate charged “per desk, per year”, regardless of how many incidents actually occur. Ongoing testing is also built in, allowing RSA’s Business Continuity team to conduct regular preparatory “dry-runs” and inspect all aspects of each recovery site when required.

The Result

“We were pretty impressed by how logical it all was,” said Paul Rose, RSA’s UK & International Head of Business Continuity Management. “It was great how flexible Daisy was prepared to be in allowing people to come and look and test. The team let us use their meeting rooms free of charge when we visit, are always accommodating and keen to help.”

The work area recovery solution has already been tested over seven times by the RSA workforce. As well as making sure colleagues are comfortable with the work-specific aspects of each site (desks, phones, IT), the team ensures all other practical facilities like kitchens and washrooms are fit for purpose. After each test, users are asked to complete a survey, and the results have so far been overwhelmingly positive.

Going the extra mile is part and parcel of Daisy’s approach. A site can be ready within just four hours, giving ample time for connectivity to be established and fine-tuned by RSA’s IT and BCM teams. What’s more, Daisy makes each recovery site available for 14 weeks in the event of an incident – far in excess of what RSA plans for as standard. An emergency hotline is also available for extreme situations, with callback guaranteed within 30 minutes.

Because the contract is flexible, RSA can increase or reduce the number of recovery site desks to fit changing business needs and workloads – essential in an industry that’s undergoing extensive change. Daisy also offers RSA a “FlexPlace” service, where recovery centre desks can be hired for requirements other than business continuity – for example during an office refurbishment, or to accommodate temporary staff for a large marketing campaign.

In an evermore regulated industry, RSA can demonstrate a leading-edge, award-winning work area recovery solution to customers, senior leadership, regulators and auditors.

Manchester City Council

Manchester aims to be a city that is well connected.
A city with ultrafast broadband and free WiFi in public places. A city with enviable digital skills.
A city of open data where citizens can develop the apps to make data not only available, but usable, and create a more openly democratic city.

– Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council*

The Background

Science, technology and innovation have long been part of Manchester’s DNA.

As the first region to secure devolved powers from Westminster, Greater Manchester, specifically Manchester City Council, has redoubled its commitment to making the city one of the most forward-thinking in Europe, investing strongly in digital industries and putting the public at the forefront of its strategy.

Promoting “digital inclusiveness” is central to this vision. In its drive to become a truly-connected city, Manchester has sought to harness the benefits of ultrafast broadband for the benefit of its citizens whilst offering free, high-quality WiFi in many public places. As well as improving the overall quality of life, a key aim was to bring internet access within easy reach of new, previously excluded groups and communities, thereby enhancing democracy, opportunity and social cohesion.

Led by CIO, Bob Brown, Manchester City Council has developed “Our ICT Strategy” which details ICT as a key enabler to transform the organisation, deliver new technologies to Manchester’s residents and act as the vanguard to the digital revolution in Manchester.

The Challenge

To realise this ambitious vision, Manchester City Council needed to install fast, reliable and user-friendly WiFi across a comprehensive array of public buildings. These ranged from libraries and leisure centres to historic buildings, heritage sites, sheltered housing, Sure Start centres, health and social care facilities, homeless shelters and many more – a total of almost 130 sites around the city.

At the time Daisy took on the project, WiFi was only available in a few larger libraries. The existing infrastructure lacked the necessary scalability to support further development, while the user interface varied across locations, offering little scope to capture and understand user data or improve their experience. This meant that a comprehensive redesign was required.

Time proved to be another critical factor. In order to meet eligibility requirements for a vital tranche of funding, working WiFi had to be delivered to all 130 sites within a short three-month period.

The Solution

Daisy’s state-of-the-art solution was based on a proven, resilient and scalable Cisco infrastructure housed in two separate data centres. Where possible, existing infrastructure was integrated into the design to provide fast, consistent and reliable WiFi coverage across all sites.

The team designed a single proprietary portal, delivered via the Daisy Engage platform, to work across all locations, carrying the council’s Busy Bee brand and greeting returning users with a “welcome back” page that remembers them by name and invites them to reconnect without the laborious process of entering usernames and passwords.

To ensure the project’s exacting timescales could be met, the surveying of each WiFi location was carried out in parallel with the ordering of hardware, cabling and other equipment – an approach that needed careful coordination and oversight. When lead times for installing some ASDL cabling proved too long, Daisy made innovative use of 4G technology to provide high-quality interim connectivity and meet the completion deadline.

The Result

Greater Manchester’s public WiFi infrastructure has enjoyed a steady increase in usage, celebrating its 100,000th unique user in June 2017 and achieving more than a million logins. Meanwhile, the core platform has functioned with 100% reliability across more than 400 access points.

Most importantly, the project has enabled Manchester City Council to offer free and seamless internet connectivity to more than a million citizens, including underprivileged sections of the community who may previously have lacked internet access. This has helped to promote digital inclusion whilst encouraging the widespread development of IT skills.

Daisy’s Engage solution has added further value by offering the Council a bundled price for all services. This includes a sophisticated range of analytics that provides insight into every user interaction, capturing a variety of data from names, postcodes and email addresses to the time spent online and the site at which the WiFi was accessed. This gives the Council an unprecedented understanding of user needs and habits, highlighting locations or time periods when usage is especially high and allowing it to provide the best possible service to each and every user. It also facilitates planning for the future stages in Greater Manchester’s digital transformation.

*First published in Manchester City Council’s Digital Strategy, 2012