M53 Case Study

Hosted Telephony, Cost Effective, Simplifying Business Services

Car

The Background

As an internationally acclaimed manufacturer with numerous award-winning cars under its belt, Ford has enjoyed great success here in the UK. At M53 Ford, we’re proud to represent the marque in Ellesmere Port and Birkenhead, Chester, delivering new and used Ford vehicles as well as a host of specialist services to customers across the region.

M53 Ford pride themselves in delivering a friendly, hassle-free service that makes driving away in your next Ford simple and pleasurable. Whether you’re visiting them for the first time or have been a loyal customer for years, you’ll be greeted with a smile and enjoy personal, efficient care, impartial advice, and fantastic value for money. It’s for this reason that they have won the Ford Motor Company Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Customer Service no fewer than nine times.

The Challenge

M53 Ford are in some ways typical of the clients we engage with. They understand the benefits and value that technology can bring to the business but have been let down by a technology partner who has no interest or incentive in keeping the infrastructure at the forefront of technology. Over time what was once an up to date set-up becomes dated, poorly maintained, and worse insecure. It can be a hinderance to the business rather than a driver.

While M53 had moved to some hosted systems, often due to the demands of being a Ford dealer, but their terminal server environment was expensive and inefficient. Backups were done on-site and not reliable, server and desktop updates were unmanaged. IT security policies were out of date.
Telephony was an on-premise system using expensive ISDN and there were dozens of telephone lines who’s purpose was unknown. All calls were routed through a traditional central receptionist.

M53 Ford

The Solution

In order to provide the customer with the best possible solution, MRD Technologies completed an audit of the services in use, this provided a complete overview of the current set-up and the issues involved and it was clear it was not going to be a quick fix. Priorities were established and objectives set. A roll-out of new desktop hardware was started to get rid of any unsupported Windows 7 operating systems. By installing new hardware with Win 10 Pro and solid-state disks, users saw an immediate performance benefit. The rollout, once completed, will allow the aging Terminal servers to be switched off.

A migration to Microsoft 365 followed, streamlining email and standardising Office applications across the business. By moving email to 365 pressure was taken off the backups which were reconfigure to backup off site. Further use of Teams and SharePoint on-line will bring further benefits as data and files can be easily shared, as well as being stored in a much more reliable and secure environment.

The telephone system was migrated to an EVE hosted platform, providing all users with new handsets, and giving sales staff the ability to use cordless phones while moving around the site. The central reception has been replaced by a fully configured call routing system, and calls can be recorded and retained.

The redundant PSTN lines have been ceased along with the old ISDN technology, this has resulted in a saving to the business in call costs and line rentals.

The Result

By carefully managing the transition from the dated infrastructure to the new hosted environment, there is now confidence that the systems are robust and reliable.
Moving to 365 has provided a more flexible solution for the business. This has had unforeseen benefits, in particular during the Covid 19 Pandemic, when facilitating flexible and home working was a major priority.
Moving to a new and modern hosted phone system has allowed the business to streamline and manage call traffic more efficiently. Call Recording, a key requirement in the dealership, can now be managed and retained for 12 months as required. Inclusive call charges and removal of line rentals mean that telephony charges are predictable and have been reduced.

The Reference

“We outsourced our IT to MRD Technologies in early 2019. They have provided support and advice to enable us to update our IT infrastructure and communications to make us more cost effective and productive. The Support Desk is quick to respond and resolves any issues promptly and efficiently enabling our business to run as smoothly as possible”

Carole MarsdenFinance Director - M53 Ford Ltd

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