23rd November 2020 F&R Report 5.5

Purpose of report: to provide 3 quotes for the provision of telephone and broadband

Background

The Town Council’s current contract for telephone, broadband and Wi-Fi solution ends in January. The current provision has not been effective in adapting to a different way of working and has caused some operational difficulties. We are unable to easily manage where the calls to the office and the Princess Theatre are directed to and there is no facility to transfer a call. The current mobile app is useful but requires staff to use their personal mobile phones & has limitations. The call quality/connection isn’t reliable.

Financial implications (see attachment) and options

£595.08 a month current provision = £21422.88 over 36 months

£260 a month, £705 set up fee provider A = £10065 over 36 months

£182 a month, £782.50 set up fee provider B = £7334.50 over 36 months

£226 a month, £1200 set up fee provider C = £9325.20 over 36 months

Policy implications

Financial Regulations 10.3 All members and officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times. An officer issuing an official order shall ensure as far as reasonable and practicable that the best available terms are obtained in respect of each transaction, usually by obtaining three or more quotations or estimates from appropriate suppliers.

Options

The need for an actual desk phone has changed and a softphone application can be installed on all laptops and workstations. This means staff will be able to access the main phone system wherever they are working. Headsets replace the need for actual phones and these can be used for video calls too.  Calls can be transferred when answered and there is the ability to record calls for training and quality purposes.

The background portals from all of these providers allow us to manage how are calls are handled. A main line auto attendant can be put in place so that callers can select the right department. There is the ability to change the main answer messages at a click of a button and answerphone facilities for everyone. There is call reporting and analytic information available on each option.

Each contract is based on a 36-month term.

Options A and B offer mobile apps as standard for each user.

Option A cannot support the current Wi-Fi provision at the Princess so new access points would need to be installed and paid for at £60 a month, included in the price.

Option B cannot support the current Wi-Fi provision, but the company offers an option to set it up with its router for a one off fee of £82.50.

All the options can adapt to staffing numbers and the additional options, such as call recording can be changed throughout the term, if and when needed.

I have had demonstrations on all of the systems and they are all user friendly.

It is recommended that the Council changes its phone system to that offered by option B. It is the cheapest overall and it provides everything that the Council offices require.

5.5-Telephone-contract-comparison-figures.pdf

Report author:          Sally Jones

Report Date:               9th November 2020

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