About the client
WATMOS Community Homes is a democratic, not-for-profit housing association. They were established by eight Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) in Walsall, West Midlands, near our home in Tamworth. They later expanded into Lambeth, South London.
What the case study shows
We think it’s a great example of how we do partnerships, rather than just business. Our relationship with WATMOS is longstanding, having begun 20 years ago with a simple phone system.
Since then, we’ve both grown organically. They’ve added properties and expanded into London, while we’ve added to the suite of services we offer. And over time, as their needs and organisation grew, we began to work together more closely.
Working hand in hand with their brilliant in-house IT team, we’ve helped them build up and manage a robust, high-performance technology infrastructure including their phone system, connectivity and IT services.
How we’ve helped
Connectivity and networking: the problem
WATMOS had outgrown their existing connectivity. They needed a single robust connection to link their offices on multiple sites, supporting a phone system and all the daily office work. They also needed a better way of managing the network itself.
The network had grown over the years, and they’d added hardware in an ad hoc way. They had no way of centrally managing or monitoring it, and that wasn’t even the worst of it. Pretty much any update to the switching had to be done in-person. That meant regular site visits for members of their IT team, which cost time and money and took them away from other work. Time for an upgrade, in other words!
First, the connection. The solution we proposed is a little unusual, and deserves to be better known: microwave internet. The proper name for this standard is Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) – but microwave internet is less of a tongue-twister!
Despite the name, microwave internet has nothing to do with the ovens and it won’t heat your dinner! Essentially, it delivers a connection via microwave radio signals, without any cabling required at the user end. This offers extremely high bandwidth, and over much further distances than Wi-Fi. Where Wi-Fi’s range is about 30 metres, microwave internet offers 30 miles.
That was the real strength of this option for WATMOS. There’s a lot of distance between their sites, and microwave internet covers it. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but unlike a leased line it’s just one up-front cost. It also saved them from having to install dedicated connections at each site. The balance of costs and benefits is different for every customer. In this case, microwave internet was the way to go!
Once we’d successfully connected their Walsall sites, we did the same in London. As for network management, we installed Cisco Meraki switches. Apart from being highly resilient, these impressive devices can all be managed remotely on a single dashboard – which saves all those time-consuming site visits! We provided the server, racks and infrastructure, and trained their IT team in managing the network too, so they can look after it in-house.
So now they’ve got ultra-fast connectivity, and a network that’s much more resilient and easier to manage.
An ongoing relationship
We’re still working with WATMOS to this day. We provided their phone system, along with our Unified Communications Anywhere (UCA) platform. This allows them to use the phone system and UC features via a mobile app.
Next up, we’ll be teaming up with their IT team to roll out Microsoft Office 365 across the organisation. They’re always a pleasure to work with, so we’re looking forward to many more years of partnership!
Testimonial from WATMOS
“Our connectivity, telephony and IT infrastructure is in excellent shape thanks in large part to Pure Cloud’s support. Our microwave internet solution has been fantastic, providing reliable and secure connectivity to multiple WATMOS sites. They’ve also given us the training and tools to manage it internally. They’re always keen to tailor solutions to our specific needs, and this is just one of many examples.
Working in partnership with our in-house IT team, they consult and truly listen, developing a deep understanding of our organisation and its needs. This has produced benefits for our team, our group and our residents alike. I would recommend Pure Cloud’s services to any organisation looking to optimise its ICT infrastructure.”
– Tania Worrall, Group ICT Manager, WATMOS Community Homes.
A partnership, not a transaction
We’re proud to have partnered with WATMOS for all these years, and we reckon this case study shows how we work.
We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all answers. Every organisation is unique, with its own infrastructure, organisation, budgets and needs. That’s why we take the time to get to know our customers’ businesses.
We audit meticulously, and then map out a solution that works. That’s the Pure Cloud way. If you need more out of your business telecoms, IT or connectivity, get in touch today.