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Knightstone Housing Group enlists Sennheiser to provide headsets for company-wide Lync implementation

Telecoms Presence UC

Telecoms Presence UC

Sennheiser, leaders in premium headset and UC solutions, has been chosen by Knightstone Housing Group to supply a total of 550 headsets to its office-based and contact centre staff, contact centre supervisors and mobile-based staff in a complete refit of the organization. Sennheiser was chosen due to the premium quality and reliability of its devices as a cost-effective alternative to its previous models.

The Challenge

Knightstone Housing Group made the strategic decision to invest in a complete Microsoft Lync 2013 implementation to replace its existing Cisco Call manager setup, and opted to replace the Cisco 7940 phones and Plantronics headsets it had been using for nine years in order to improve mobility and provide a greater service. Its aim was to deliver a brand new centralised multi-channel customer contact centre and it required a range of headsets to improve staff efficiency and comfort when dealing with customers.

The solution

Knightstone trialed multiple headsets from all major manufacturers during the pilot phase of the new project, with the aim of selecting the most appropriate models for each department.

Sennheiser’s SC 660 and 630 range was chosen for the contact centre staff due to its quality, robustness and comfort. As a critical part of the organisation, the contact centre needed a device that was second to none on these factors, being required to wear headsets for long periods during the day. Staff were given the option of either the single sided monaural 630 or dual sided binarual 660 depending on their preference. Due to exceptional voice quality these headsets are also used to record training videos and audio for the organisations training needs.

When asked about the benefits of the SC 660 and 630, staff claimed they provided “Sound quality that is far superior to other brands, comfort, remote control, ease of use and portability”.

It also chose the premium DW Pro 1 for its contact centre supervisors, allowing them to maintain mobility when managing a busy contact environment. According to Chris Mocock, UC Consultant at Xpertlink Solutions: “This is my personal favourite, which I use for my own business needs. These devices provided second to none sound quality and comfort. Battery life is also excellent and paired with the dock you could not get a better device.”

Finally the Presence UC Bluetooth headset was chosen for its mobile and semi-mobile based staff. These users spend around 90% of their time on the road and need a device that is robust, portable and with a good battery life in order to be productive. The qualities of the Presence were listed as “build quality, Bluetooth range, battery life, robustness, and a case that provides excellent protection during travel” by the mobile staff.

SC 630 USB CTRL

SC 630 USB CTRL

It also provided the Presence to office workers, which left a lasting impression.

“Initially thinking that these devices would be too small and expensive for a standard office user, I was surprised to gain feedback that staff loved having the flexibility of roaming the office with their Bluetooth headsets” said Chris Mocock.“Staff have the freedom to leave their seats and still be available to receive calls as the range of these devices were excellent.  As a result the default for all staff is the Sennheiser presence UC.”

Overall the new implementation of the Sennheiser headsets has been a complete success, with each member of staff enjoying the quality, flexibility and additional benefits on offer, such as superb voice clarity due to ultra noise-cancelling microphone filters that help to eliminate unwanted background noise and Sennheiser HD voice clarity with wideband sound for the most natural listening experience.

“Build quality, sound quality and comfort make these the best headsets available for a Unified Communications environment. Having used all other brands not a single one comes close to the Sennheiser products” said Chris.“Whenever staff are asked about their devices they are full of praise and certainly would not give them up for any other product. I personally use only Sennheiser products as I travel across the country and need to be available regardless of my location and make and receive calls with no disruption from background noise. They are also extremely sturdy and can be carried around on a daily basis without being damaged.”

When asked whether he would recommend the headsets to other similar establishments, Chris had no qualms about doing so, and already has another project in the works that he believes would be a good fit.“As a consultant at Xpertlink solutions I work on many Lync Voice projects and have recommended Sennheiser to customers. In fact I am working on a 3000 user deployment of Lync voice and have recommended Sennheiser as the best choice for headsets. Obviously cost is always concern so Sennheiser are working with me to get the best value for money on the headsets to secure the deal.”

Comments from Knighstone staff on the new Sennheiser equipment 

“I can walk around the office and take calls without having to be sat at my Desk” – Comms member (Presence UC)

“The sound quality of these devices is excellent, I can also listen to my music during lunch” – Customer Contact Agent (Sennheiser SC 660)

“Being an IT Support technician it’s impractical to be stuck to a desk all day, but now with my Sennheiser Presence UC I can build work both on the IT bench and at my desk whilst continuing to take calls” – IT Support technician (Presence UC)

“I used my new headset in a café the other day and the quality was great” – Head of IT (Presence UC)

“On a few occasions I have got home to find I have left my headset on as it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing it” – Comms member (Presence UC)

About Knightstone Housing Group

As a leading housing association in Somerset and the West of England, Knightstone provides services to 23,000 people in 11,000 homes, and builds around 300 homes a year.

The headsets

SC 660 and 630

The SC 630 and SC 660 are premium wired headsets for all-day use with desk phones in busy call centers or offices. Built to withstand the rigors of the toughest jobs, they are designed for quality-conscious office professionals requiring HD voice clarity, durability and all-day comfort.

The SC 630 is a single-sided wired headset with outstanding sound performance while allowing users to maintain contact with their surroundings, while the SC 660 dual-sided headset delivers the same great sound and is ideal for noisy environments. Both offer effective noise cancellation technology via an ultra noise-cancelling microphone and patented ActiveGard™ technology to protect against acoustic shock and sudden sound surges.

DW Pro 1

The DW Pro 1 is a single sided wireless headset designed to offer people the flexibility to converse freely with those around them, while offering premium sound, supreme comfort and intuitive operation. Specifically designed to meet the needs of all-day users, it offers effective noise cancellation technology via an ultra noise-cancelling microphone and patented ActiveGard™ technology to protect against acoustic shock and sudden sound surges. Long distance wireless of up to 180m ensures freedom to move around without affecting a call and each offers up to 12 hours of uninterrupted talk time with fast recharge of 50% power in just 20 minutes.

Presence UC

PRESENCE™ is a premium Bluetooth headset for professionals on the road who demand a consistently excellent communication solution both for themselves and the listener.

It offers a number of unique and patented technologies such as SpeakFocus™ that adapts seamlessly to background noise for crystal clear sound, WindSafe™ to automatically adjust for wind noise to ensure the clearest possible audio outdoors and ActiveGard® technology to protect against acoustic shock. Multi-connectivity allows users to quickly switch between softphone and mobile calls, bringing seamless operation to a range of different devices and it offers up to 10 hours talk time between charges for full day performance on the move.

The PRESENCE™ UC is optimised for Unified Communications to deliver consistently excellent communication across a range of platforms and environments.

Information about Sennheiser is available on the internet at www.sennheiser.com

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