“Snow disrupts the UK,” screams the headline on the BBC news website.

Not the case at Double First, where it’s completely business as usual in the line of supporting schools with their school management software.

Staff at Double First have been using their ‘Connect’ IP telephony system from its IT and telecoms partner, du Pré, for nearly two years which allows staff to work from home completely transparently.

In addition to all the features and benefits it brings during normal weather conditions, it’s times like this when the system really shows off its capabilities and highlights Double First as a company shining above all others.


Jon Dawkins, Telephony Technical Manager at du Pré, explained Connect in more detail. “It’s very straightforward on the outside for the user, while being highly sophisticated on the inside. Some of our staff have been unable to get into the office so have simply logged in to their home Cisco handset. With this, they can make and receive calls exactly as if they’re in the office.”

Jon continued, “Everything stays the same when working from home with our ‘Connect’ system. Obviously, calls are billed to the office, but hunt groups stay the same and even your voicemail comes with you. It really is identical to being in the office.”

Importantly, there is no special connection required to enable Connect to work from employees’ homes.

Some employees are using their home BT broadband, while others are using Sky, or Orange or even Tesco. It makes no difference – any ‘normal’ consumer broadband connection allows employees to carry on working in times like this.

Michele White, Support Team Manager at Double First, gave her story. “On Christmas Eve I skidded on ice and landed upside down in a river, having to climb out of the window. So I know first-hand what the risks are of driving on ice. Today, I’ve been working at home, making and receiving calls just like I’m in the office. All the schools I’ve spoken to have been amazed when I tell them I’m not actually in the office. Until I’ve mentioned it, they had no idea. It’s very good.”

Many other employees at Double First chose to hike to the office to look after schools using its software. While a large number of schools in the UK remain closed, schools in other parts of the world remain fully operational, which means Double First has to as well.