Telecoms Management - Fixed Line Telecom Services Case Study - Waterstones

Fixed line telecoms management exercise across 220 UK stores transforms customer experience while identifying over £10,000 in cost savings in Year 1.



It’s a fact that 2013 was the very first year when business mobile calls exceeded fixed line calls, by a margin of 4% according to Ofcom. The statistic isn’t surprising but, when combined with other media-driven messages about the demise of fixed line telecoms and the arrival of replacement technology, it is all too easy to believe that calls across traditional telecoms connections are a thing of the past.

DoubleEdge Services Provided

Fixed line call management, online billing and reporting Fixed line technical support and helpdesk Management of inbound call services Phone system installation and maintenance

The reality is very different. In the UK, more than 8.3 million ISDN and PSTN connections continue to serve some 4 million businesses with voice services that are considered the most reliable in the world. It’s a vast infrastructure that, for most companies, continues to deliver their most business critical communications and incur a significant cost in the IT budget.

Consequently, financial management and technical support for fixed line services remain high priorities and IT managers are seeking service providers that can handle this responsibility with maximum benefit and minimum fuss, much like the perfect goalkeeper – safe hands, low profile but always alert to perform when required. Finding a player with these qualities isn’t always straightforward, as Waterstones, the UK’s leading high street bookseller, has discovered.

Telecoms Management at Waterstones

Telecoms Management Centred on Service

Every commercial business talks about quality of customer service being central to success but with Waterstones customer interaction is of strategic importance in defending market share from the likes of Amazon and the other huge online booksellers.

Sophisticated stock management systems ensure that each outlet has its own unique range of books picked by staff at that branch. Customers experience the knowledge and enthusiasm of assistants passionate about advising, helping and encouraging customers to expand their reading horizons.

For Waterstones, good customer service demands good communications and that means good service providers. But, contrary to the rhetoric of the larger service providers, big doesn’t mean beautiful. In the telecoms industry at least, the bigger service providers and carriers promise solidity and economies of scale but frequently lack the personal service and proactivity that customers demand.

Responsiveness, conscientiousness, attention to detail – these are what turns good service into great service. However, they all depend on people’s input and that’s where the big companies’ “call centre approach” falls down.

Phone system installation


Phone System Installation & Fixed Line Call Management

After two such experiences, with so-called market leaders, Waterstones approached DoubleEdge to conduct a telecoms management exercise to improve the cost and management of calls, lines and inbound call services, whilst also providing a single point of contact to support telecommunications systems across 220 UK stores.

Over recent years branches had acquired PBX systems from a range of different vendors, including Panasonic, BT and Mitel, all demanding maintenance, updates and the host of peripheral equipment that comes with regular moves and changes.

New system installation was required for new stores or where old systems had reached end of life but the majority of the multi-vendor environment was still earning return on investment and within productive life cycle.

Greater Value from a Single Source

On taking over supervision of the Waterstones telecoms estate, DoubleEdge immediately audited the cost of lines and calls, using the latest in call usage analysis and identifying more than £10,000 savings in year one. Inbound call services, including features such as auto attendant, hunt groups and call recording were assessed and evaluated for cost optimisation against the unified communications features offered by the Mitel 5000 and 3300 platforms, areas where DoubleEdge could demonstrate specialist expertise.

In addition, a dedicated support contact was set up to manage the requests for line faults, system maintenance, support and equipment, with service levels and time-to-respond far out-performing expectations.

In direct communication with BT OpenReach, DoubleEdge was able to manage the provisioning, remediation and changes to fixed line services required by the UK network of stores. Importantly, all of this was rationalised into a single set of bills, accompanied by reports and analysis presented as an online service, all from a single provider supported by a single Account Manager.

Phone system installation UK

Giving You Time

Go into the tranquil book shop setting of any Waterstones branch today and there will be little evidence of this hive of activity buzzing behind the scenes. From our point of view, that’s exactly how telecoms management should be.

With an experienced team of professionals, some having more than 25 years in the business, we know how to manage telecoms quickly, quietly and effectively, cutting your admin and giving you time to meet your business requirements.

“DoubleEdge brings immense experience to the management of our fixed line systems and services. Their personal service is exceptional and I have total confidence in their capabilities”.

Matt Langner – IT Manager, Waterstones

“DoubleEdge contributes considerable value to Mitel deployments. Their clear understanding of business requirements and in-depth knowledge of converged networks means the end user gets the best possible solution.”

John Smith – Sales Manager, Mitel

Established in 1982 by Tim Waterstone, Waterstones is a British book retailer that operates 275 stores and employs around 3,500 staff in the UK and Europe. An average sized Waterstones store merchandises a range of approximately 30,000 individual books, as well as stationery and eBook readers.

The bookseller has concession agreements with Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Paperchase in certain stores and since 2012, has introduced their own Café W brand.


We believe that proactive, knowledgeable support from people who really care is at the heart of delivering performance improvement.


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