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Manchester City Council Allows Contact Centre Agents to Operate From Anywhere

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UK Local Government Authority Keeps Critical Services Running While Keeping Agents Safe During UK Lockdown

8×8, Inc., a leading integrated cloud communications platform provider, announced the Manchester City Council selected 8×8 Contact Centre to keep vital services running safely for its more than half a million residents throughout lockdown.

Supporting one of the largest metropolitan districts in the UK, Manchester City Council commenced a detailed procurement process two years ago, to implement a new cloud-based communications solution in line with its wider cloud-based ICT strategy. Nearing the end of the process, the 8×8 Open Communications Platform had been selected due to its enhanced flexibility and ability to connect contact centre agents across voice, video and chat.

However, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and the UK Government’s mandate to work from home, the council fast-tracked solution deployment in order to keep vital services running while ensuring the safety for both residents and staff.

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During the peak of the pandemic, it was essential the Social Care team was able to continue assisting the city’s most vulnerable residents around the clock, while keeping agents safe, as well as essential Emergency Control and Financial Assessment teams. Additionally, a COVID Hub was also established to answer residents’ queries relating to the Coronavirus. Working to tight timescales, 8×8 enabled 120 critical service agents from these teams to operate from anywhere, including home and other remote work settings, in a matter of weeks. By the end of August, this will have increased to 250 agents supported by the new system.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said, “The safety of our staff has been of the utmost importance throughout the pandemic as we continue to support Manchester’s residents through this challenging time. 8×8 has been the perfect partner as we transitioned to the cloud, and the response from our contact centre agents has been fantastic. We’ve been really pleased with how our staff have welcomed the cloud communications solution and look forward to seeing the benefits that the new features will bring in future.”

“We understand how important it is for councils to keep in touch with the community during these unprecedented times,” said Jamie Snaddon, Managing Director, EMEA at 8×8. “Our dedicated team of public sector experts are proud to have been able to transition Manchester City Council to the cloud so quickly, under difficult circumstances. We’re looking forward to working together as we enhance service levels even further in the coming weeks.”

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“8×8 is committed to delivering the highest levels of service and support for organisations. We are incredibly proud of the speed with which we deployed our platform for Manchester City Council, keeping their critical service teams running during the difficult times we were all facing,” added Rakesh Pandya, Vice President of Professional Services, EMEA at 8×8.

Thanks to the intuitive nature of 8×8 Contact Centre, the benefits of a cloud-based system were apparent straight away. Agents were able to answer inbound calls from residents at home, using just their laptop and a headset, without the need to redirect calls. With the first stage of rollout designed to keep critical services running, the council now plans to roll out a number of advanced features including co-browsing functionality, call back queues and call conditioning in order to reduce call waiting times and improve service for its residents.

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