British Red Cross

BRC Logo

British Red Cross upgraded their legacy voice system and implemented ShoreTel’s Unified Communications technology, with support from Nuvola Distribution 


British Red Cross’ legacy Nortel telephony solution was nearing end of life and support was diminishing. They needed more integration and compatibility with the network infrastructure, as well as enhanced resilience and functionality.


  • ShoreTel Unified Communications platform
  • ShoreTel Director
  • ShoreTel Communicator
  • ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Centre technology


  • Excellent IP integration
  • Enhanced resilience
  • Better functionality
  • Simple to use, with limited training required

Background: British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. They are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. They help vulnerable people in the UK and abroad prepare for, withstand and recover from emergencies in their own communities. British Red Cross started implementing ShoreTel voice technology three years ago.  The main headquarters is at Moorfields House in Moorgate, which houses over 700 staff.  They also have hundreds of separate, smaller sites around the UK, including the service centre in Paisley (with over 100 staff).

Business challenges: British Red Cross has been a Nuvola Distribution customer for five years.  They started rolling out ShoreTel voice technology three years ago, which was more of a tactical than a strategic move.  Their legacy Nortel solution used old school coding and BRC wanted more integration, which the ShoreTel technology could offer, as well as better IP signalling.

A reliable UC solution: Almost eighteen months ago, British Red Cross put out a tender with specific technical requirements, to replace the Nortel core system at their headquarters, as well as at 25 other key sites.

Nuvola responded to the tender and presented the best ShoreTel UC solution.  British Red Cross already had a ShoreTel contact centre solution in Manchester, selling first aid training, which Nuvola supported. The new offering was predominantly ShoreTel Unified Communications, but also involved some contact centre technology which was extended to cover the London HQ too. British Red Cross also wanted each site to be able to stand alone in the event of an outage, so they deployed bespoke voicemail technology, allowing voicemail to be localised at every site.  They also installed conference bridges between sites for ease of communication and to help with cost savings.

At the Moorfields House HQ, over 600 handsets had to be installed over one weekend.  The new handsets were on the users’ desks the week before go live and were connected up by 8pm on the Friday night, with the old handsets removed.  Saturday was spent logging them onto the network and test calls were made on Sunday, so it was all up and running seamlessly by 9am on Monday morning.

Excellent results: Good project management was key: the roll out of ShoreTel’s UC solution at all 26 sites was seamless. Most of the installations took place in one day, if not half a day, with the second day devoted to staff training. Nuvola’s engineers and project managers worked well with British Red Cross team and their hard work meant that the project was delivered on time and within budget.  To date, 54 sites have been deployed and they plan to roll out the technology to the remainder of the sites (at least another 100) over the next couple of years.

Total cost of ownership has been reduced, with ongoing support provided by Nuvola, who offer 24/7 support to certain departments, as well as the next level down, Monday to Friday in office hours.

British Red Cross now have one simple, integrated solution: the helpdesk doesn’t need to be manned by multi-skilled, highly technical staff because the technology is so intuitive.  The staff enjoy the functionality such as short number dials, headsets and screen calls, as well as the simplicity of ShoreTel’s standardised set of products.

Positive feedback:  

Steve Gallimore, Network and Infrastructure Manager for British Red Cross, commented:

 “Nuvola made sure that the project was well planned, well structured and delivered on time, with minimum disruption to operations.  There were very few issues and the ShoreTel technology has given us a single management platform for a large user base, which is able to respond quickly to faults and problems.”

Michael Lloyd, CEO for Nuvola Distribution, added:

“ShoreTel provide a commercially attractive voice solution and are very supportive. The UC technology has been well received by British Red Cross’ staff and, thanks to Nuvola and British Red Cross’ great collaboration within the engineering and project management teams, they have achieved excellent results for British Red Cross, with seamless cut overs.”