Key-Currency-Logo

Key Currency

Formed in May 2015, Key Currency’s owners chose Synergy to be their cloud technology partner having worked with us for over 10 years at their previous business. Key Currency had an extremely aggressive plan for growth, which is also a core focus for Synergy as part of our partnership with any client.

Key Currency began with a single-site contact centre operation in Truro, expanding to a pan-European enterprise with agents and offices in over 10 locations. Being able to support customers with excellent, personalised service is an essential pillar of their business, so reliable network connectivity and unified communications is core.

Offering competitive rates is also a non-negotiable part of the business plan for Key Currency; supporting a responsive, dynamic and flexible platform for their customers was a key part of the focus for Synergy.

Challenges

Prior to engaging with Synergy, Key Currency had a legacy telephone system that was approaching its end of life. Their existing provider was recommending an alternative on-premise solution however Key Currency’s Head of IT, was concerned about a number of areas;

  • Costly ISDN charges
  • Having to purchase cards, licenses and phones with every new user
  • Expensive engineer costs every time they needed a change to the service or a new phone installed
  • Support costs that increased every year. However, the main concern around on-premise systems was the lack of affordable disaster recovery options; what would happen if his head office site was not able to be used?

Further concerns were raised when the opening of offices across Europe to support their ever-growing team of agents. Being a dynamic, fast growing business Key Currency often recruited new team members quickly at short notice, however their current system left new starters without a phone for, sometimes, up to two weeks – which was unacceptable.

Having carefully established the client’s requirements Synergy recommended British Telecom’s cloud-based VoIP service, due to its flexibility around licensing, BT’s position in the market for being robust, disaster recovery capabilities and endless capacity for growth; coupled with Synergy’s excellent ‘concierge level’ service pack. Upfront CAPEX costs for new equipment were mitigated by amortising the costs over the term of the agreement.

People in office

Within Cornwall, Truro leads the way with Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) services which are now widely available across the UK with speeds usually associated with Leased Line Ethernet over Fibre services (EoF). However, Synergy did raise concerns around the Service Level Agreements of these, typically, residential style products; particularly when their business’ mission critical applications would all be cloud-based. Key Currency saw the value in Synergy’s recommendation of having a 100Mb Leased Line primary circuit installed, with a guaranteed 4 hour fix, along with a FTTP back-up line, enabling the business to operate normally should the primary circuit ever fail.

Team looking at laptop

Implementation

The project was very much a collaborative exercise with key objectives being defined at the outset, and training planned for all IT staff and the agents in different Key Currency’s locations. There was a phased roll out of the project with new and the incumbent systems operating for a period in what Key Currency described as an extremely successful deployment.

“It’s an amazing how simple the solution is to use, enabling us to operate across the whole of Europe and effectively expand our headcount at the click of a button. Being a pan-European business we have many occasions when offices need to be open to accommodate different bank holidays, we simply redirect to the head office, also is there is a localised issue we are able to divert calls to our head office instantly – everybody is extremely happy with the system.”
Mike Smith, Head of IT, Key Currency

Mike talked about how Key Currency have gradually adopted the integration benefits on offer, initially using the solution purely as a telephone system but now benefit from full integration into their CRM system; with integration into Microsoft Teams the next phase of the journey.

Team looking at laptop

Training

  • Phased roll out, with no unscheduled down time
  • On-site training demonstrations
  • Product workshops, for the Key Currency Team
  • Responsibility Hierarchy assigned System Administrators to Super Users to Users

Benefits

The Cloud Based system Synergy implemented replaced the existing Key Currency communication platform seamlessly, providing:

  • Hugely expanded functionality
  • Almost infinite scalability, matching Key Currency’s growth plans
  • Enhanced remote support
  • Reduced cost from the previous on-premises hardware & system

To achieve significantly more for a lower cost was a significant benefit for Key Currency, and consolidating suppliers also made the day-to-day support and maintenance far simpler. Mike explained that Synergy’s ‘concierge level’ service had enabled him to focus less on the day to day running of the IT and Telephony and become more involved with assist the Directors with growing the business and providing better statistical data from their critical business applications,

“The respective teams at Synergy and Key Currency built a high level of trust, resulting in users working directly with Synergy’s friendly, experienced, support desk engineers rather than every problem funnelling through the Key Currency support team.”

“The migration from on-premise phone system and IT servers has been revolutionary and a key part of Key Currency’s successful growth over the last 5 years; being able to switch on new services quickly, with minimal notice, across the whole of Europe has been something that quite simply impossible with the previous equipment.”

“Bringing on new starters used to be a full-time job for me and my team, now a simple email to Synergy’s support team results in a new phone, or app, being deployed along with email accounts and SharePoint access being delivered. In a matter of hours, they will even liaise with our CRM and Accounting providers if we have a technical issue. Whilst I was always comfortable moving phones to the cloud, I had reservations about moving our critical data from our servers, largely due to compliance concerns, but I was extremely impressed with the high level of security and ultimately compliance benefits that the Microsoft Cloud with Azure has benefitted our business.”

Mike Smith,
Head of IT, Key Currency

“Bringing on new starters used to be a full-time job for me and my team, now a simple email to Synergy’s support team results in a new phone, or app, being deployed along with email accounts and SharePoint access being delivered. In a matter of hours, they will even liaise with our CRM and Accounting providers if we have a technical issue. Whilst I was always comfortable moving phones to the cloud, I had reservations about moving our critical data from our servers, largely due to compliance concerns, but I was extremely impressed with the high level of security and ultimately compliance benefits that the Microsoft Cloud with Azure has benefitted our business.”

Mike Smith,
Head of IT, Key Currency

Additional Services

Synergy were invited to tender, along with other suppliers, for the Key Currency IT and cloud-services contract. With a strong emphasis on support, Synergy was successful in winning that contract and migrated the clients on-premises server estate to Microsoft 365 for emails and SharePoint for document management, again, coupled with our ‘Concierge Level’ service pack.

One of the key goals for the process, as Mike explained, was to reduce the number of vendors in the supply chain and provide Key Currency with a single point of contact, for all their technology requirements. By unifying the contract, Synergy were able to maximise discounts for Key Currency, as well as increase accountability for delivery.

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