Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

151 Employees at believe housing's two remodelled offices now have space to collaborate and hot-desk PUB L I C S E C TOR to be successful, so we pulled together a group of around 25 staff members – one from each department – briefed them on what we planned and asked for their feedback. They in turn briefed their departments so everyone felt involved and consulted.” Clark has praised Gamma’s approach to the deployment, which took place over a twomonth period without any problems. “I had a very good technical officer who got all the necessary telephony lines set up, but he was well supported by Gamma’s team, who are very experienced in such migrations because they do them all the time,” he says. By January 2020 the new system was fully deployed across the organisation. “Then the pandemic and lockdowns happened,” says Clark. “While other organisations and companies were suddenly reeling, struggling to work out how to respond, we already had the structure in place. There’s no doubt this smoothed the impact of Covid-19 for our staff and enabled us to continue to support our clients with minimal disruption to our service.” Cost control is an inevitable focus for Clark and the believe housing operation. “Our previous telephone service, provided by Durham County Council, was very cheap,” he says. “But the reduction from running five buildings down to two made savings elsewhere in the business. Was it worth the investment? Most definitely. “A big theme for us is agile working, encouraging people to think for themselves, come up with their own solutions, and get things sorted. The ease with which Teams allows people to move around, get together in breakout spaces in the office and collaborate over telephony wherever they are, has underpinned that theme and that’s where we can see the value.” Clark meets with Gamma every few months to discuss the status of the project, and thus far, everything has been running smoothly. “From a personal perspective I appreciate the work-life balance enabled by Gamma's Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams,” he says. “It removes the need to travel to and from the office. These days I might go into the office one or two days a week and the rest of the time I work from home.” Read more about digital transformation journeys with Gamma and Microsoft at: