NHS Human Services Connects More Than 700 Facilities with SIP Trunks from Comcast Business

Next-Generation Voice Capabilities Improve IT Help Desk Support for Employees in Eastern U.S.

  • Large nonprofit provider of mental health and human services has been operating for more than 40 years
  • Organization has 10,000 employees and operates 700 facilities

  • Legacy phone system not easily scaled to support employee growth
  • Dropped calls and busy signals  due to system overload preventing employees from getting timely IT support 

  • Comcast Business  SIP Trunks

  • Improved system reliability and business continuity
  • Scalable, feature-rich voice solution to support employees 
  • Flexible work options for Help Desk technicians

Nonprofit Mental Health Services Provider Growing by Leaps and Bounds  

NHS Human Services (NHS) is a community-based, nonprofit provider of integrated health and human services for adults and children, with a special focus on mental health, addictive diseases, autism, intellectual/developmental disabilities, juvenile justice and therapeutic foster care, education, and other specialized services.

The organization was founded in 1969 in Philadelphia. Since that time, it has grown through a series of mergers into a multi-state, multi-service system, and is now one of the largest nonprofit providers of human services in the country. Today, it boasts a staff of more than 10,000 employees that operate out of more than 700 facilities throughout the Eastern United States, and in Louisiana.

Large, Distributed Workforce Relies on Voice Systems for Centralized  IT Services and Support

As NHS grew through mergers, it became clear that its legacy phone system could no longer meet its needs. Its centralized IT Help Desk was supported by a PBX-based phone system with eight lines, which allowed for the help desk staff to handle eight simultaneous calls to support more than 10,000 employees across multiple states. With this number of distributed employees on staff, the system no longer worked well – it frequently was overwhelmed, resulting in dropped calls and busy signals. For employees looking to troubleshoot technical issues, this could be frustrating, and it also could prevent them from sharing critical clinical and administrative information in a timely fashion. 

Administrators recognized the need to employ an end-to-end voice solution that could support both an increasing number of workers and a growing number of incoming patient calls across a diverse geographic footprint.

“We determined that the most pressing need came from our centralized IT Help Desk department, which receives 7,500-8,000 calls each month on issues ranging from simple technical support to more pressing equipment issues,” said Sean McCloat, corporate director of IT services.

Comcast Business Delivers Scalable SIP Trunking Solution to Support Growing Call Volume

When Comcast Business SIP Trunks became available to NHS via a trial service, administrators immediately signed up for 20 lines.  According to McCloat, “We seized the opportunity! One of the advantages of SIP is that it is very easy to increase capacity. And for our organization, which continues to grow, scalability is always an issue. We no longer have to purchase, install and configure new hardware every time we add new employees – we can just make a phone call and get our service expanded quickly in flexible increments, which saves time and money.” 

Comcast Business SIP Trunks, part of Comcast’s comprehensive IP voice portfolio, offer an economical, end-to-end solution that leverages Comcast’s advanced nationwide IP network to provide comprehensive voice features with business continuity, while also allowing  customers to maximize their investment in their existing phone systems.

After a successful 90-day trial, NHS added 16 more lines. “On Day One, we realized the capability and quality of the SIP lines was something we were happy with,” said McCloat. “When our trial was over and we decided to add more lines, we signed the contract on Thursday and had 16 more lines on Monday. That’s incredible!”

NHS now is taking advantage of 36 Comcast Business SIP Trunks to support its busy IT Help Desk function. As a result, its employees are experiencing consistent call access and quality. Further, NHS Help Desk technicians have expanded the hours they are available as they are now able to access the organization’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) and handle troubleshooting issues as though they were in the office by having Help Desk calls forwarded to their home– a feature that was not previously possible with its legacy voice system. NHS also is able to extend the functionality of its previously installed Avaya IP Office communications and collaboration systems.  

In the future, the healthcare system plans to roll out SIP services to support other functions as well.

Added McCloat, “Comcast quickly integrated its SIP technology with our existing PBX equipment to provide the Help Desk staff in our IT operations center with four times the number of phones lines and the ability to cost-effectively add capacity when needed – proving that if SIP could reliably meet the high call volume of our Help Desk, we can expand its use to the consumer side of our organization.”

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