Hays Travel


Hays Travel

Russell Telecom helps to future-proof travel agent


Hays Travel, which has its headquarters in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, is the UK’s largest independent travel agent with record sales of £470m (2010-11). It runs 43 shops and call centres as well as an online service and price comparison from more than 1,000 desktops.

Approximately 300 of its 800 staff work from Sunderland. As well as operating successful high street travel agencies, the company has diversified to include call centres, websites and its home-working division.

In 1995, the Hays Travel Independence Group was formed – a consortium for independent retailers who now benefit from the company’s back office expertise and buying power. The group is made up of more than 150 independent travel agents based across the UK and as far away as Athens.

Hays Travel partnered with Russell Telecom, a company with over 25 years experience of meeting the telecommunications needs of UK businesses and organisations.

“Russell Telecom rose to the challenge and provided what, in
my view, was the right system which has met allour requirements.”
Peter Robinson, Facilities Manager, Hays Travel


Hays Travel required a solution that could link up the company’s headquarters in Sunderland with its two other principal offices in the North East via direct extension dialling.

The company requested a thorough overview of the available technologies and guidance as to which system would best suit their requirements and budget.


Russell Telecom undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the company’s telecommunications system. Guided by Russell Telecom’s advice, Hays chose the NEC SV8100 system.

The SV8100 is the latest digital and IP phone system from NEC and has been designed with the needs of small and medium sized businesses and organisations in mind. Hays Travel has three sites in the centre of Sunderland into which Russell Telecom installed one common telephone system to link up the offices thus improving communication between the offices as well as efficiency and flexibility.

Hays Travel was supplied with 300 handsets with digital display, direct dial extensions and speed dial functionality. The solution also features voice mail and call logging software to provide call statistics and billing information for the various departments.

Hays Travel also have a smaller fourth site with six IP phones, which are now connected to the other three office sites via VOIP.


Hays Travel is delighted with the telecoms solution installed by Russell Telecom. They are particularly pleased with the ability to direct dial between remote sites, which has improved efficiency and flexibility. The solution also future-proofs the company’s telecoms system as it comes with in-built scalability.

Peter Robinson, Facilities Manager at Hays Travel, commented: “Russell Telecom took considerable time to fully understand our requirements and guide us through available technologies keeping in mind tight budget constraints.

“Given that the solution had to incorporate existing systems whilst providing direct dialling between four head office sites this was no easy task! Russell Telecom rose to challenge and provided what, in my view, was the right system, which has met all our requirements.”


Mr Robinson explained how the new telecoms system has been very beneficial to the company’s operations: “Direct extension dialling between remote sites has had a positive impact and brought functions closer together with improved efficiency in many areas of the business.”

The solution had also served to future-proof the telecoms system at Hays Travel. Mr Robinson commented: “We now have the flexibility to build onto the system if required and confidence that as new technologies in telecoms become available we have a system that will be able to take advantage of these.”