House Construction


Believe Housing operates over a large geographical area, stretching from the remote rural Pennine area of outstanding natural beauty in the west of the county, through Durham City and the more densely populated heritage coastline in the east. 


Believe Housing has a housing stock size of over 18,000 homes to manage.


The Believe Housing Group’s values are:

  • Do the right thing:

    • For our people.

    • For our customers.

    • For our business.

The Challenge

Believe Housing plan to consolidate their buildings from 5 to 2 offices which will include a new office due to open in February 2020.  This is a crucial stage in the organisations' growth and entails becoming a separate entity from the Council.  As part of this process, the use (and rental) of the current Mitel telephone system will have to be changed.


Whilst the engagement from two incumbent suppliers for IT and MS Teams services has been positive there is a genuine risk that Believe Housing will end up “forced” to adopt a contact centre application which is not fit for purpose and/or commercially not in the best interest of the business based on the deployment of the MS Teams service.  This situation is further compounded by the critical deadline of the opening of the new building.


The Solution

A phased approach was adopted to learn how Believe communicated with their tenants, suppliers and within their user community.  The first phase enabled Soniza to understand the services and infrastructure in use. The second phase concentrated on the Contact Centre. This process included engagement with the Believe Homes Contact Centre team, user community, other stakeholders and allowed both current and future requirements to be gathered.


The second phase expanded the Discovery process to understand the ICT environment and wider ICT Strategic Plan.


Soniza collated, analysed and reviewed the output of the Discovery process to formulate the UC and Contact Centre Strategy for Believe.  The strategy consisted of a detailed requirement specification for both the UC and Contact Centre areas.  The change management and ICT dependencies were scoped including key barriers to change along with primary risks where identified. 

The last element of the Soniza plan was to provide a list of preferred vendors who could fulfil the Strategic plan.  This included MS Teams professional service companies, SIP Trunk providers and MS Compatible Contact Centre vendors.

The Outcome

The Strategic Plan created by Soniza enabled Believe Housing to secure Stakeholder approval for the technology needed to support the Agile working and Transformation projects.  The independent consultancy provided by Soniza ensured that the recommendations made on the Strategic Plan were unbiased and founded on in depth sector experience.

The Requirements specification detailing the needs of the non-contact centre users formed the basis of the procurement requirements used to select a partner for the MS Teams deployment. 

Migration from ISDN to SIP trunk services was a major concern especially with the critical project deadline for the new building.  The Soniza recommendations were used to expedite the procurement of these services.



Soniza created a voice cloud strategy aligned to the Believe Housing Transformation and Agile working objectives supporting the new office move and work practices.


a comprehensive requirement specification spanning the user, contact centre and SIP services formed the foundation of the procurement process, user training programme, handholding and user needs analysis.

The Results

Business Colleagues