New Outlook Housing – How we helped Birmingham based Housing Association improve their IT

By • November 20th 2015

New Outlook Housing

New Outlook Housing Association Case Study

The ‘Before’ Situation

Based in the West Midlands, New Outlook started out in 1846 as the Birmingham Royal Institute for the Blind and has a long-standing and established history of providing excellent services to people with sensory impairments and complex needs. While New Outlook has traditionally focused on accommodation based services, it is now using its knowledge and expertise to expand into home care services through its ‘Home Heroes’ service.

After winning the tender for IT support in 2014 Synium have worked very closely with New Outlook to review all aspects of their ICT services with the aim of improving efficiency across the organisation.  One area that needed improving was their telephone systems.  New Outlook have several sites and each site had their own independent telephone system.  This meant that calls between sites were chargeable and the system had very limited features.  To improve communication across the organisation we proposed a cloud-based telephone system that can assign extension numbers to each user no matter where they are based.  The system provides individual voice mailboxes, as well as a host of other features.

Alongside this New Outlook wanted a reliable, proactive support contract to help support their advanced virtualised IT systems – another priority was a relationship which would help develop an IT strategy for ongoing improvements for the Association.

The ‘After’ Situation

IT support, 24 x 7 Remote Monitoring, Email Protection and Antivirus Software

New Outlook Housing have a mature server system hosted on Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualisation platform with users spread over several sites, therefore their IT support requirements are significant.

As part of the IT support agreement, Synium monitor all PCs and servers 24/7 which involves carrying out daily health checks, checking backups, checking antivirus software is up to date, making sure there is adequate disk space and systems are healthy.  This proactive approach greatly reduces the risk of IT problems affecting their business.  If things do go awry they are usually detected by the Synium team before any disruption takes place.

At Synium we always focus on security, so much so that we have included our managed antivirus software in the Association’s support contract.  This ensures their IT is well-protected against the endless amount of viruses and malware around today.

Another large IT security risk these days is receiving viruses or malicious software through email.  To combat this we have put in place anti-spam email filters to protect the organisation from any incoming threats.

A full-time helpdesk is provided for staff to log any IT issues – along with a 24/7 online portal for staff to log or track any calls.  We also have the ability to securely connect to employees’ PCs remotely and are therefore able to assist with problems with lightning-quick speed.

New Outlook Housing therefore have peace of mind knowing all their IT systems are being proactively monitored and if something does go wrong our response times and remote access, ensure issues are resolved as soon as possible.


Managed onsite and offsite Backups

In order to protect New Outlook’s critical data we have implemented our managed off-site backup service.  This takes a copy of the organisation’s essential data and sends it to a remote server via their internet connection.  In the event of a disaster (such as a fire or a flood), New Outlook can easily access their data and keep their business operational until the disaster has been resolved.

The backup service also maintains a local copy of the data on a locally stored device for super-fast access in the event of a disaster – a belt and braces approach!

New Outlook now have peace of mind knowing that their data is safe from events such as hardware failure or fire; and they have a robust disaster recovery plan in place.


Cloud-Based Telephone System

With the implementation of the new phone system, New Outlook now has all inter site calls free of charge.  Each site has its own extension, and these can easily be re-diverted to mobiles or other numbers when necessary.  All their main numbers were transferred over to the new system, with no loss of service.

The communication within the organisation has improved considerably, as has the administration and management – with all phone usage now on one account.

As well as all these improvements, there has also been a significant saving in overall costs.


“The noticeable difference of working with Synium is the shear amount of effort they take to gain a thorough understanding of your business, both the current set-up and the future aspirations of the organisation. They then use this knowledge proactively to develop IT & telephony solutions that not only meet the current needs of the business but which can also be readily developed in order to meet the changing needs of the business in the future.


“One of Synium’s greatest assets is the ability that their staff have to explain a range of technical issues in ways that can be readily understood by managers who have very limited IT/Telephony knowledge, thus allowing them to understand the relative benefits and risks of a range of alternative solutions so that they can chose the solution that they feel best fits the needs of the business.

 Their customer service is exceptional as it is delivered rapidly, attentively and with an ease of communication, whether this is face to face or via their email helpdesk system. They always give the impression that they care about you as an individual and the needs of your business, and staff at all levels are happy to approach them as they know they will be treated pleasantly and with respect no matter how trivial an issue may prove to be. I would certainly recommend their services to any other companies that need their IT services to be led by an external third party consultant.”

Patrick Smith

Head of Finance

New Outlook Housing Association Ltd.    

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0121 663 0203


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Brannan Phillips House
Shallowford Court
94-96 High Street
Henley in Arden
B95 5FY