Sales Agent


Since 1966, Shelter have fought tirelessly to give people a voice. They help millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services. Shelter campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to them for help.

Shelter fights for better investment in housing and for laws and policies to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people.

Shelter is supported by 1,200 staff across 14 locations, a 200-seat contact centre and a number of volunteers who give up their time in order to support Shelter’s causes.

“Often Shelter is thought to be a charity shops operation, but they are, at their core, an advice and guidance service and their core business is helping people get into safe, secure accommodation and keeping people off the streets by helping them stay in their home via their contact centre operations”

The Challenge

Shelter had an ageing legacy telephone and contact centre solution, supported by a range of 3rd party applications and technology.  The solution was on a ‘best endeavours’ support contract which categorized it as a ‘high risk’ for the business, i.e. If the solution were to fail, Shelter would not be able to service their customers until a fix or a replacement solution was implemented. 


Due to the inherent limitations of legacy technology, Shelter had complexities in getting additional licenses for expansion, holding the business back from managing customer interactions.


The contact centre reporting was poor, meaning it was difficult to accurately manage resource or forecast peak volumes, and, Shelter had a range of bolt-on services such as workforce management, IVR, and call recording which operated in siloes causing issues in managing call flows or identifying callers correctly.

Senior Man
Study Group

The Solution

Shelter wanted to procure a replacement unified communication and omni-channel multimedia contact centre solution. The solution included an integrated workforce management solution, unified messaging, advanced reporting for both front and back office, customer survey solution, PCI-DSS compliant call recorder and outbound dialer.


Soniza ran over 25 workshops with staff across the organisations to understand the functional, technical, operational and business requirements of the Charity.  This helped establish the goals of the business and Soniza created a strategy which addressed the aims of the project and created the budget. The strategy would increase resilience, allow for the advanced functionality which was identified in the workshops and provide flexibility to increase and decrease headcount as required by the business operations without limitation.


Soniza turned their findings into a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) document and worked with Shelter on defining criteria in which suppliers would need to meet in order to be considered for the project.

Soniza ran the procurement process, answering technical queries from each supplier and ensuring a fair, auditable process of Q&A was completed and that each supplier had the same information to work with.


Soniza worked with the evaluation panel to score and analyse each response from suppliers using Soniza standard scoring matrix methodology and creating a commercial analysis based on the total cost of ownership.


Three suppliers where then selected for short-listing presentations and demonstrations.  Soniza facilitated and attended the presentations, ensuring each solution was fully understood and it’s pros and cons documented.

The evaluation team then updated the scoring and unanimously came to the same conclusion to select the preferred supplier for the project.

The Outcome

Shelter we able to replace their aging, disparate infrastructure with an integrated multimedia solution.


The unified communications solution allows staff to work from anywhere, communicate in various ways and to collaborate irrespective of location or hardware.


The contact centre now offers omni-channel multimedia options to customers, compliant call recording, resource management via an integrated workforce management solution and comprehensive reporting allowing customer journeys to be mapped and optimised.


Overall the solution offers stability and the flexibility to work from anywhere, integrating fully with Office 365.


Shelter were able to implement a scalable omni-channel contact centre which provides full transparency and reporting, enabling resource and business decisions to be taken from an informative position.


Shelter now have a cloud based fully resilient platform, enabling staff to be more agile and work from anywhere.


Shelter’s new infrastructure integrates with their wider IT strategy and their move to Office 365


Shelter have the tools to proactively manage staff ensuring resource availability and optimising costs on a monthly basis as dictated by demand in their service.

The Results


“Through the use of Soniza’s expertise we created a robust strategy to support the business. We then ran procurement of a new unified communications and contact centre platform which enabled the business to plan for growth and increase flexible working. Soniza helped shape the future of the businesses communications and the service we offer to our customers”



Jon Fox, Head of Technology and Data, Shelter