Alertacall - Digital Switchover Telephone Phone Socket Network Packets WiFi WARNING Router Alarms Equipment Transitioning to digital services in older person’s accommodation Digital Switchover In this briefing: • An easy to understand description of Digital Switchover and how it will affect services • The strategic implications and opportunities for social housing providers • 7 questions to ask when defining your digital vision • The financial impact - designing a cost effective approach • Alertacall case study - start your digital pathway Alertacall have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation

Digital Switchover is the term for a programme of significant changes that the telecommunications companies will be making in the UK. The traditional telephone network, which is sometimes referred to as the analogue or Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off and upgraded to use newer digital technology known as ‘voice over internet protocol’ (VoIP). For social housing providers, Digital Switchover has significant implications for how they operate their services. This is particularly true for those providers who have responsibility for sheltered, supported or other forms of housing where hard wired alarms, warden intercom or dispersed alarms units are in place. These systems were not designed to work with internet technologies and any analogue equipment may not work reliably post the Digital Switchover. 81% of UK households have a landline and will be affected* * Ofcom Technology Tracker H1 2018. See Ofcom, 2018. Communications Market Report, p.11. file/0022/117256/CMR-2018-narrative-report.pdf Contents Executive summary 2 1 What is Digital Switchover? 4 Why some alarms equipment might not work post Digital Switchover 6 The impact for residents and what you can do 7 2 Implications for social housing providers 8 Properties and services affected 8 Opportunities arising from Digital Switchover 10 The options available on sheltered and supported housing schemes 10 Financial impact and funding opportunities 10 3 Developing a plan 11 Define the digital vision - 7 key questions to ask 11 Digital Switchover ready alternatives 12 Communicating the plan to residents - the key to success 15 4 Alertacall - an example solution 16 Case study - Saffron Housing Trust 19 About Alertacall 20 Book a meeting with Alertacall 20 © Alertacall Ltd. Registered in England. Company Number 05145094 Key services affected in sheltered accommodation Smoke alarms Individual property landlines Hard wired alarm and intercom systems Dispersed alarms Door entry 2 Executive summary

Why is Digital Switchover an opportunity? Hard wired alarm and warden call systems were designed at a time before most people had access to telephones, and well before the invention of the mobile phone. When introduced, they provided a method for a housing officer or scheme manager to communicate with residents. For sheltered housing providers, this is an opportunity to reimagine your service offering and improve efficiency, rather than simply upgrade or replace existing alarms equipment. Recent innovations take a more proactive approach and can offer you and your residents increased functionality. Social housing providers should consider defining their organisation’s digital vision now and review Digital Switchover ready alternative solutions to create a world of possibilities. Different approaches to hard wired systems Alternatives to cabling individual properties: • Deploy a WiFi network • Connect smoke alarms intelligently • Introduce portable touchscreens • Enable video calls for both door entry & your own contact centre Introduce new forms of contact instead of alarms: • Digitally enhanced daily contact with residents • Mobile telephony and wearable tech Digital alternatives - the Alertacall solution One potential solution that improves housing management and digital engagement is provided by Alertacall. The system is used by over 50 housing providers in the UK to increase contact with older residents and those with additional needs. Plug and play devices means installation is both simple and achievable at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. The service includes a portable 8-inch touchscreen, which works with or without WiFi, and has the unique ‘OKEachDay’ button (a system invented by Alertacall) to ensure proactive contact with residents 365 days a year. Importantly, none of the devices provided require any cabling or hard wiring, and there is the option to include sensors, dispersed alarms, video calling and door entry integration. Funding the transition Housing providers may be able to access funding to cover an overwhelming majority of the costs of new digital systems. Alertacall is offering those in housing a free of charge consultation with independent revenue and funding specialists. Contact us If you have any questions about Digital Switchover or this guide, speak to our team: 0808 208 1234 3 Digital Switchover

In this section we look at what the technical changes are - why certain devices, such as hard wired alarms and warden intercoms, may become unreliable and the impact for residents in their own home. Digital Switchover - what is happening? Digital Switchover, is a term for a programme of changes that the telecommunications companies will be making to telephone lines in the UK. Over the next few years, internet connectivity will be enabled on every telephone line in the country and calls will be sent using ‘digital’ signals similar to those used in internet applications, such as Skype or WhatsApp. The upgrade will simplify the management of the telephone exchanges and make it easier for the telecoms companies to provide newer services in the future. How do telephone lines work now? Essentially, a landline telephone line is a thin copper wire that goes from a telephone exchange into a building. The traditional telephone lines are sometimes referred to as PSTN lines which stands for ‘Public Switched Telephone Network’. Currently, it is possible on a telephone line to: 1. make a traditional telephone call - using a traditional telephone 2. have an internet connection using a broadband router device Telephone lines carry an electrical current over them, which is why a traditional telephone has power and works when you lift the receiver. Telephones are powered by electricity from the telephone exchange, this is why your phone still often works even if you have a power cut in your area. “Noise” e.g your voice, is also turned into “pulses” in that current by your telephone and sent over the wire to the exchange. If the call is going to a traditional telephone line, the pulses are sent across that telephone line too and turned back into noise by the recipient’s telephone. Uses network packets for the internet and pulses for traditional phone lines. Sound is converted in to electrical pulses. Before Digital Switchover - without internet Before Digital Switchover - with internet 4 1 What is Digital Switchover?

How will telephone lines work after the Digital Switchover? With Digital Switchover, VoIP technology will be enabled on every telephone line in the country. VoIP stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ but is sometimes referred to as internet telephony, IP telephony or broadband telephony. VoIP technology converts your voice into digital signals or ‘network packets’ instead of simplistic electrical pulses. The internet uses technologies that take sounds, images, videos, words, or anything that contains information, e.g. a file on a computer, and breaks that down into thousands, or millions of tiny electronic packages called network packets or simply ‘packets’ for short. Every device connected to the internet, including computers, smartphones, TVs, internet enabled doorbells etc. gets allocated a unique address. Packets can be sent to and from these IP addresses where they are quickly reassembled in order. Telecoms companies will be writing to advise customers of when they will be undertaking this work in their area. The telecoms company will then switch off and eventually remove the old equipment that is used to handle the traditional telephone calls. Importantly, after the Digital Switchover most existing landline telephone devices will continue to work as normal: • Existing telephone devices will plug directly into the back of a new style of broadband router that will be supplied to everyone who does not have one already. • If a property already has a broadband router, then a special adapter may be provided. Digital Switchover is starting to be rolled out now BT had announced that analogue telephony would be phased out in 2025, however in 2022 this deadline was deferred. While at the time of writing a revised date has yet to be announced, Digital Switchover has already begun in some parts of the UK. After Digital Switchover All calls will be delivered using packets over an internet connection 5 Digital Switchover

Why some alarms equipment might not work post Digital Switchover All telephone lines will be provided with a new broadband router (or adaptor) with its own built-in telephone socket that will convert traditional phone calls to the digital network packets. In most instances, existing telephone equipment should, therefore, continue to work as normal. However, for older hard wired alarm and intruder alarm systems, there is an additional barrier. In the 1960’s, a simple method that used audible ‘tones’ was invented to allow us to signal to telephone exchanges who we wanted to make a telephone call to, so that computers at the exchange could automatically route our calls without us having to speak to an operator. Each of the numbers on the telephone keypad has a unique corresponding tone. Many hard wired alarm and intruder alarm systems have developed extremely complicated sequences of tones to send over information. When an old fashioned hard wired alarm system makes a phone call to an alarm receiving centre - tones denoting where the call came from and what the call is about are sent to the alarm receiving centre as a series of beeps at the start of the call. Alarm receiving centre software then decodes those tones, and uses the information to display on screen the matching customer record. A simple example is that if a telephone call from an alarm unit came from block 1, flat 36 - the alarm equipment might send through the tones that correspond to 001 036 so that information could automatically be displayed on the system at the alarm receiving centre. The risk of tone distortion after the Digital Switchover Just like someone’s voice would be on a call, any tones are also converted into network packets and sent using internet technology. The network packets are reassembled at their destination to play the tone as it was intended. However, if any of those packets are delayed, or for some reason do not arrive at their destination because of a technical fault, even by only fractions of a second - the tone can sound different at the other end. This is particularly the case for tones that are played extremely quickly and in very short bursts, which is how some alarm systems communicate. In those circumstances, it is therefore possible that the computers listening for those tones might not be able to recognise all of them. This creates a risk that an alarm receiving centre receiving a telephone call from an alarm system, might not sometimes be able to recognise the tones played to it, and therefore might not be able to automatically lookup all the right information about the caller. These delays in packets getting to their destination do not generally cause a problem in normal conversations, humans don’t generally even hear these changes in tones. In fact, calls made using packets can often sound better and even clearer to humans. This means that some hard wired intercom systems, alarm systems, answering machines, and intruder alarms that are connected to telephone lines may not work, or work reliably 100% of the time, unless they are replaced entirely with something different or changed. 6

The impact for residents and what you can do Everyone who currently has a traditional landline telephone in their own home, which in sheltered accommodation is approximately 85% of all dwellings across the UK - will have some kind of equipment to install when Digital Switchover occurs. Any telephone line at a property will have a broadband internet connection enabled on it (if it is not already) and a broadband router will need to be plugged in. Any existing telephony equipment at the property will need plugging in to that broadband router. If there is already an internet connection at the property, the occupant may be sent a special adapter to plug into their existing broadband router. This will enable their existing telephones to continue working as normal. From 2023 onwards, it is recommended housing providers train housing teams about the impact of these changes on their residents, as a material number of people in both sheltered accommodation and general needs housing will be affected. It is possible that if customers have their own alarm systems in their properties, plugged in to their own telephone lines, that these may stop working reliably after the Digital Switchover, and those people may require additional support in navigating their options. Digital Switchover will affect equipment and services for residents provided by their housing provider. The next section explores in more depth the implications at an organisational level. All Alertacall’s equipment has been tested and is Digital Switchover ready. 7 Digital Switchover

Hard wired alarm and warden call systems were most commonly introduced in the 1960s and 1970s into sheltered and supported accommodation. They provided a method for a scheme manager (and later an external alarm monitoring centre) to dial in to an intercom unit on the wall of a dwelling to communicate with residents at a time when there were few alternatives. It is unlikely that suppliers of traditional hard wired alarm and warden call systems will be able to verify that many of the systems that have previously been sold by them will work reliably after Digital Switchover, especially if they are older. It is also worth noting that even if there was no Digital Switchover programme, many of these aged systems are coming to the end of their life. Some of the issues include: • The functionality of hard wired warden call systems is limited - being purely reactive • They are often perceived as unattractive or institutional looking by residents • Mounted on the wall, away from where a resident typically spends their time, they have no or limited value as a device with which residents will regularly engage • Upgrading or replacing these systems is costly While Digital Switchover will affect residents in their own home, there are broader service implications for housing providers. In particular, for those providing accommodation for older people and those with additional needs. This section looks at the main systems affected, the financial risks and impacts of this, as well as the opportunities the Digital Switchover presents. Only 3 out of 4 people* regularly wear alarm devices Properties and services affected Hard wired alarms and warden intercom systems Dispersed alarms that plug into telephone lines * Europe PMC (2019). Europe PMC. [online] Europepmc. org. Available at: med/20814795 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2020]. Some dispersed alarm systems will continue to work as normal, some may be unreliable in certain circumstances, and some may not work well at all. It is important to note that dispersed alarm systems are based on a principle that is now decades old. Only 3 out of 4 people regularly wear alarms and, even if they are wearing them, they may not choose to, or even be in a position to, activate them in an emergency. With a wide variety of different devices and approaches available, there are now entirely different methods of offering support that are more tailored to the individual. Also, these systems have a broader range of functionality to help organisations enhance service delivery and improve efficiency. 8 2 Implications for social housing providers

Door entry system connected to hard wired systems Many housing providers with sheltered and supported housing prefer that smoke alarms are installed in individual dwellings, which have false alarm reduction and/or the ability to be monitored externally. These smoke alarms in individual dwellings are not to be confused with the landlord system that is typically installed in the communal areas of such buildings, the purpose of which is to detect fire that has breached individual dwellings and puts the entire building at risk. Where these are connected to hard wired alarm systems, or other alarm systems, they may need to be replaced. It is important to note that there may be a requirement to replace the smoke alarms at the same time to ensure compatibility with future systems. Smoke alarms in sheltered and supported housing units It is likely that the replacement or removal of a hard wired alarm or warden call system will ultimately result in the requirement to replace the door entry system at the same time. Many hard wired systems fixed on to the wall of a dwelling also include a door entry button, which communicates with a door entry system at the entrance to the building. This enables residents to unlock/open the front door of the building to allow visitors inside. The requirement to replace these is because calls made by them that are answered by an alarm receiving centre may not work after Digital Switchover. Additionally, the equipment in a resident’s dwelling with a door entry button on it might need to be replaced with something that is compatible with the pre-installed door entry system. This presents an excellent opportunity for housing providers to introduce lower-cost, high specification systems that can deliver video door entry to residents using a wireless network and smart devices. 9 Digital Switchover

Opportunities arising from Digital Switchover It would be easy to see Digital Switchover as a major upcoming infrastructure project, which in the case of the largest housing providers may run into tens of millions of pounds of expenditure over the next 5 years, and material service disruption. It may also be perceived as one which is essential, but which has no material return on such an investment. However, this would be missing a major opportunity as Digital Switchover can be the catalyst to dramatically improve services, at the same time as reducing costs. By embracing recent innovations and Digital Switchover, an opportunity exists to strengthen your entire digital strategy and to achieve the following outcomes: • Minimise infrastructure investment • Reduce ongoing maintenance costs • Increase digital engagement with residents • Improve resident management • Deliver operational efficiencies • Adopt a proactive approach to identify future resident needs Financial impact and funding opportunities In the past, the cost of many hard wired alarm and warden call systems were commonly funded by Supporting People funding, which has now been removed. While some pass on the running costs to residents, or part of the running costs, this may not be feasible when it comes to the substantial costs associated with potential upgrades or overhauls required as a result of Digital Switchover. It cannot also be assumed that ongoing operational costs can be funded through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. This is because hard wired intercom and alarms systems are a support tool and funding regulations implicitly name ‘alarms’ as ineligible for service charge recovery. However, there are funding opportunities available. With the right expertise, it is often possible to access funding to cover an overwhelming majority of the operational costs of a Digital Switchover solution. Alertacall is offering those in housing a free of charge consultation with independent revenue and funding specialists. 0808 208 1234 The options available on sheltered and supported housing schemes There are three primary options in the case of hard wired alarm systems installed at sheltered housing schemes: • Upgrade the hard wired system with something wireless, lower cost and proactive • Replace the hard wired system with the latest version from the supplier • Decommission the hard wired system and adopt a totally different service model With dispersed alarms there are four options: • Replace the dispersed alarm system essentially a “like for like” newer version • Upgrade the dispersed alarm system with a mobile telephone based solution • Upgrade the dispersed alarm system with more proactive wearable technology • Stop providing an alarm service and simply signpost residents to other services 10

For housing providers that manage sheltered and supported housing schemes, the Digital Switchover is an opportunity to overhaul their strategy and move away from the traditional view that the technology is there purely as a support tool in place solely for the benefit of the resident. In fact, Digital Switchover could be the catalyst required to take a substantial step forward in offering residents a range of wider benefits, and also help housing providers create efficiency savings. 7 key questions to define your digital vision 1 Is now the time to deploy WiFi on schemes? WiFi supports digital engagement for residents and provides a robust network on to which you could deploy other essential services, e.g. CCTV. What could it mean for your organisation? 2 Does the solution ‘improve two way communication with residents? Find a system which benefits residents but also meets your business requirements, e.g. resident comms, remote working & housing management reports. 3 Is deploying a portable touchscreen with video-calling important? Would you like the capability for residents to be able to video call each other, receive door entry calls by video, or receive video calls from trusted third parties such as housing provider staff, GP’s and friends. 4 Are there targets for digital engagement and increasing resident feedback? Set clear targets for measuring digital engagement to benchmark your progress and success. Repairs reporting is one obvious place to start. 5 What approach will guarantee a return on investment? WiFi based solutions can be delivered at a fraction of the cost and offer far greater capability - they can be more practical in adding additional services, i.e. CCTV. 6 Are all residents engaging with alarms - should we replace like for like? The profile and needs of those in sheltered accommodation has changed - traditional alarm services are largely not suitable for all (those that refuse or forget to wear, or just don’t engage with them). 7 Is proactive service delivery to help detect changing needs important? What is the preventative data and measures available that a system can offer you. Define the digital vision in older persons accommodation Most social housing providers already have some form of digital agenda. The aims may differ between organisations - but common themes include developing customer portals, encouraging more self service management from residents, streamlining repairs reporting processes, providing WiFi as standard on schemes , and embracing various “Internet Of Things” innovations for the benefit of both residents and staff. This section provides 7 key questions to define your digital vision and looks at alternative digital ready systems. 11 Digital Switchover 3 Developing a plan

Use portable touchscreens and modern telephony Intercom units affixed to the walls of properties can look institutional and by the very nature of where they are, are difficult to engage with. Why do you need them at all? You may be able to deploy portable touchscreen devices to residents through which you could call and video conference. You could also deploy mobile telephony inexpensively. Additionally, bear in mind that an overwhelming majority of residents already have their own telephone lines and mobile phones, this presents you with an opportunity to reimagine what the role of a device is in a property, and use a device as part of a wider digital agenda. Make door entry video calls go to touchscreens There are modern door entry systems which are internet technology enabled and send full colour, high resolution video calls of the visitor to either a touchscreen device in a resident’s property - or on to their own smartphone with a door release button/icon on screen. These are also often capable of making a regular telephone call to a resident and giving the option of pressing a key on the keypad to let someone in. In addition to the obvious benefits of video door entry - in terms of security, the fact the resident can receive the door entry call on a device that is likely to be next to them, or with them (and not on the wall of a property which may be difficult to get to) is potentially also highly appealing. More sophisticated door entry systems provide an audit trail of all door entry activity and whether this was a resident, contractor, family member or staff member. This information can provide valuable health and safety insights if used in the right way. For example, data around whether someone has had any visitors, or how often someone has been in and out of their property could be used to help identify particularly at risk or isolated residents. Digital Switchover ready alternatives Practical real world alternatives that housing providers may want to consider as they design service offerings that are Digital Switchover ready and move away from hard wired alarm systems. Make sure that if you deploy a touchscreen device, its interface has been designed and tested with large numbers of older and higher needs people so you know it works. Instead of cabling a hard wired system - deploy a WiFi network WiFi networks can be used to make it easier to deploy and support CCTV cameras, environmental sensors, telecare devices, touchscreen and other smart devices - as well as potentially enable internet access for your residents. A WiFi network in your building can also make it easier for staff members to access vital services. Implementing a WiFi network has a broad range of benefits for both residents and the housing providers and could offer a greater return on investment. It is now possible to provide fast, strong WiFi access across a building at a fraction of the overall cost of a fully cabled network. Furthermore, a WiFi network can be deployed without the need to go into resident properties and, therefore, without the need for expensive or extensive decoration. To implement, Wireless Access Points are typically placed in corridors and only require a tiny amount of cabling, compared to a wired network. Images of wireless access points © 2020 Ubiquiti Inc. 12

Try digitally enhanced daily contact - offer alarms on a case by case basis only Remember that 3 out of 4 people do not wear or carry a pendant alarm some or all of the time. Even then, individuals may be unwilling or unable to activate them in an incident. Pull cords are even more limited in their effectiveness. Housing providers may therefore consider a different approach to their duty of care - ‘No news’ is definitely not always good news when it comes to confirming the health and safety of residents. Perhaps consider that digitally enhanced daily contact, establishing real contact either through the use of technology (OKEachDay button) or through a phone call, with a resident each day, once or twice a day, will increase the chance of discovering an incident. For example, if someone requires help or is incapacitated, a reactive alarm service will not help if the device cannot be reached or is not being worn. Furthermore, if proactive daily contact is deployed in the right way, those touchpoints and conversations with residents can provide valuable information to help you deliver better health and safety, detect changing housing needs and improve overall customer care. Acknowledging and accepting this can materially affect whether a housing provider chooses to invest in those devices in the same way as it has done historically, or to take a more selective approach to their provision. Consider wearable tech For residents who do not routinely wear and engage with an alarm, housing providers should strongly consider making “alarms” available on an assessed or as needed basis, and not by default. If there are residents that would definitely benefit from an alarm, there are now many alternatives, including mobile phones with panic buttons on them (which because they are mobile phones are more likely to be carried) and wrist worn devices that look like some of the popular smart fitness trackers, that incorporate fall detection, activity monitoring and more. Many of these options are already designed to work after Digital Switchover. 13 Digital Switchover

Connect smoke alarms more intelligently Many housing providers choose to monitor smoke alarm activations and currently some hard wired alarm and warden call systems in individual dwellings have a smoke alarm connected to them. Following the removal of hard wired alarm and warden call systems, those smoke alarms will need to continue to act as audible warning systems in accordance with fire safety guidelines. Of course, some housing providers may also want them to continue to be monitored. However, smoke alarms do not need to be physically connected with a wire/cable to hard wired alarm and intercom systems. There are smoke alarms available which: • are both mains and battery powered (for several years) • can communicate reliably, wirelessly with external alarm receiving centres • provide self-reporting and testing data This means smoke alarms and activations can be monitored as they are now, with contact being made to residents if necessary over their own telephones or, for example, touchscreen devices with calling capabilities that you may have supplied to them. It is also possible to connect smoke alarms in individual dwellings to the wider landlord system in the building which is already connected to a fire panel and is being monitored. They do not need to be connected to any hardwired alarms unit deployed in the individual dwelling. This route can be particularly attractive to housing providers who are rationalising all their fire safety procedures. How to reduce false smoke alarm activations The housing provider has a responsibility to reduce false alarms before events are escalated to the fire service. Traditionally, a monitoring centre would call a resident over the hard wired alarm and warden call system. It should be noted that this approach is not always very effective at reducing false alarms because residents are often non-responsive, confused by the noise of the smoke alarm or otherwise unable to determine whether there really is a smoke or fire problem. This can be achieved after the removal of hard wired alarm and warden call systems by using one of the following approaches: • Install in each dwelling a modern multi-sensor smoke alarm head with built-in technology that automatically and effectively reduces the number of false alarms. • If there is an activation of a smoke alarm, a monitoring centre can make either a telephone call to the resident to determine whether the activation was real. • Several other innovations can improve fire safety and response procedures where the occupancy of properties is properly tracked and recorded. For example, the OKEachDay service from Alertacall encourages residents to inform the housing provider of their whereabouts on a day by day basis, allowing the housing provider to quickly access reports outlining who is away from their property on a given day, essentially providing a fire-register. 14

Communicating the plan to residents - the key to success As with most service changes, one of the key factors in generating a successful response from residents and staff members is clearly demonstrating ‘what’s in it for them’. There are a number of very positive messages around the changes Digital Switchover will bring about, especially if your plan includes taking the opportunity to enhance the way you manage properties and your overall service delivery. It is critically important to focus on the benefits that will be seen instead of simply focussing on new equipment and maintenance requirements. Examples of positive messages might include: • ‘The hard wired alarm and warden call system on the wall is coming to the end of its useful life and instead of passing the cost of replacing it on to you, we have found a better approach that continues to protect you and reduces the cost too.’ • ‘We want to look at improving door entry and security into the building, and also modernising the way we detect smoke alarm signals using the latest technologies.’ • ‘We know that a significant number of you do not like the hard wired alarm and warden call box on your wall and think it looks old fashioned, therefore in time these will be removed from your property, which we hope you think will make it look smarter and more attractive.’ • ‘We wish to put services in place that are more focused on improving contact with you, and helping us focus our time on those people who need it the most, this is something that residents have often requested.’ • ‘We know that not everyone wants or needs an alarm so instead of forcing you all to have one, we are going to give you the individual choice. Be assured, if you do want an alarm you can still have one, it just will not be through the fixed unit on the wall.’ Increase digital engagement - video messaging and apps For housing providers who have their own app or self service portal in place, how do you get residents to engage with these regularly given that many don’t have access to WiFi or a device? Alertacall’s system offers residents portable touchscreen devices with connectivity built in to them that use the mobile telephone network, allowing one touch access to connect to apps. Alternatives also exist that offer extensive messaging capabilities, with the ability to send video, audio, text or images to individual residents or defined groups of them. For example, a message could be broadcast about a meeting or that ‘workmen are onsite today’. These systems dramatically improve the ability to communicate, compared with traditional hard wired alarm systems. Some have APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which enable information to be imported or exported from those systems, or integrated with a housing provider’s own housing management system and other software. 15 Digital Switchover

Alertacall provides a tried and trusted alternative for housing providers that is Digital Switchover ready and doesn’t require hard wiring or cabling. Key benefits: • easy to install • compliant • lower cost than hard wiring • increases digital engagement • confirms health and safety • video calling and door entry from your armchair Digital or human daily contact for enhanced housing management The OKEachDay service, an Alertacall service, is a powerful, affordable system for managing sheltered and supported housing, and general needs properties in which there are older people, or people with additional needs. The service is used by around 50 housing providers in the UK, and is highly rated by both housing professionals and residents. OKEachDay increases contact with residents 365 days a year for more effective housing management. The service enables housing teams to significantly improve resident communication, enhance service delivery, and create cost and time saving efficiencies. To access the service, residents are given a specially designed device installed in their property – all have our unique ‘OKEachDay’ button. Inventors of the ‘OK’ buttonmodel How does it work? A system that works for you and your residents Digitally enhanced daily contact improves resident satisfaction and helps you gather the information you need to provide a great housing service. One or more times each day, residents press the OKEachDay button on the device provided to them to confirm everything is ok at their property and to pick up news and information. If they do not engage digitally, they are called by a friendly and knowledgeable advisor. The devices give residents more flexibility in how they engage with their housing service and controls the level of contact they have with our team. The system confirms health and safety, improves repairs reporting and also means residents always have someone to speak to - which helps to reduce loneliness for residents at risk of social isolation. Data around service interactions is recorded and provides a range of housing management reports in real-time via secure online reporting, such as occupancy tracking. The system helps to focus staff time and significantly reduces the administrative work for housing teams to provide more one-to-one support. Alertacall equipment has been approved for the Digital Switchover and where necessary has been tested at BT Labs. 16 4 Alertacall - an example solution

Housing management reports Gives you everything you need to know about how your residents are using the service, occupancy tracking and other statistics to detect changing housing needs. Proactive property checks Improve resident satisfaction and gather the information you need to provide a great housing service through daily housing related contact. Messaging service Increase resident engagement and improve communication by scheduling news and updates to be sent to out via the devices by text, voice, image or video. Repairs hotline Improves access to your repairs team and helps issues to be identified earlier. Resident satisfaction surveys Your residents can receive surveys by telephone to help inform you about how their housing needs and opinions are changing. Building emergency messaging Allows you to broadcast messages at short notice to groups of customers by recorded phone call, SMS and email. You can now get your messages out – fast. Alertacall’s Digital Switchover Solution 0808 208 1234 17

Video door entry system • No hard wiring in dwellings • Works with our touchscreen - from the comfort of an armchair • Video call log for residents • 5 methods to enter premises •Built in 3G/4G internet access via mobile networks - works with or without WiFi •Extensive two way messaging capability - text, voice, image and video •Can integrate with your own self service customer portal /app Additional capabilities and extras Video calling for residents • Approved callers only • Apartment to apartment calls • External trusted callers allowed like GP’s, family members • Housing team able to video call residents Wearable alarm, falls and activity monitor • Provide to only those that want one • Necklace, wrist or key fob options • GPS locator, not dependent on base station • Built in falls detector Smoke alarms for individual dwelling • Wired or 10 year lithium iron battery • Sends signals offsite to be monitored • False alarm reduction built in • Device to enable residents to test alarms Wi-Fi deployments on scheme • Expert Wi-Fi deployment • Managed by our team or yours • Weekly fee per property option • Opens up possibility for CCTV, sensors, resident internet access Find out more 0808 208 1234 • Online reporting • Temperature and humidity Aportable 8-inch touchscreenwith built in connectivity Environmental sensor • Installs in minutes • 5 Year battery life • 24 readings a day • Helps with Homes Act 2018 compliance 18

Case study SaffronHousing Trust Alertacall’s housing management service, was introduced to over 230 Saffron Housing Trust (‘Saffron’) properties across Norfolk. The Trust implemented the service into its supported schemes to offer residents greater flexibility and help them start to engage with their housing service digitally. The service formed part of a cost effective alternative to replacing dated hard wired alarm systems. Background Saffron is responsible for the management of over 6,000 homes across Norfolk and Suffolk. The Trust was seeking to replace an ageing call system (replacement parts were becoming obsolete and the system was, at times, failing). Replacing the whole system had significant costs associated with it and would impact on the service charge for residents over a long period. The team investigated a range of technology options in line with its digital agenda - the main aims of which were to enable residents to live independently and also receive a tailor made service. Saffron also wanted a system that would enable them to keep peripheral schemes connected and which, therefore, did not require cabling. Solution Following a resident consultation process, the Alertacall service was implemented at eight supported schemes. As part of the service, residents were provided with a specially developed device, including the option of a touchscreen, each installed with an ‘OKEachDay’ button. Residents press the ‘OKEachDay’ button to pick up news and information from Saffron, or they are called by a highly trained team member from Alertacall. The touchscreen has a simple to use interface and is fitted with an any network SIM card (no WiFi required to deliver the service). Alertacall records digital and contact centre interactions which is available in real-time via secure online reporting. This has given the team access to a range of housing management information and has helped to improve health and safety planning at Saffron thanks to the live online occupancy tracking reports. Results First steps for residents to access services digitally • Simple to use touchscreen offered to each tenant - no WiFi required • Full training provided for residents - and ongoing assistance offered to encourage take-up Delivering savings • Significant savings made from not replacing the hard wired alarm system • Alertacall’s service has a low weekly fee per property - no setup, maintenance or capital costs. The service charge is eligible to be met by housing benefit Digitally enhanced daily contact - 365 days a year • Greater flexibility for residents - control and choice in how they engage with their housing service • Reduced workload for staff so the team could spend more time on a one-to-one basis • Helped to reduce social isolation - residents have the option to speak to a team member on a daily basis Enhanced resident communication • Quick and easy to schedule resident messages - either to send to a group or on an individual basis • Keeps residents informed of service updates (especially during COVID-19) MI reporting - online portal • Greater insight to changing needs of residents based on service interactions • Better resource planning - staff able to plan time and prioritise “Thanks to Alertacall we have been able to retain a number of properties as supported housing. Due to some properties spanning roads, if we had to replace the previous hard wired systems, it would have meant that they would have been decommissioned from our supported stock. Overall, it has been a very positive experience working with Alertacall. The technology upgrade has been well received by tenants and is in line with our digital agenda. The service has also enabled Saffron to get important messages to our tenants in a timely fashion“. Tracey Harris, Head of Wellbeing & Partnerships, Saffron Housing Trust 19 Digital Switchover

About Alertacall Founded in 2004, Alertacall is the creator of ‘Digitally Enhanced Daily Contact’ services which confirm health and safety, detect changing needs and improve customer care. Its services benefit tens of thousands of people across sheltered, supported and general needs housing for over 50 social housing providers nationwide. Its alternative to hard wired alarm systems is exceptionally well liked by both housing teams and residents. Patterns of engagement and insights from conversations are analysed and combined with reporting, messaging and action plans to create progressive and reliable services that are delivered to social housing providers by a passionate team driven by improving the lives of older people and other higher needs individuals. Alertacall employs team members from all across the UK, with offices located in Windermere, and Warrington. It is accredited to the ISO9001 standard for Quality Management and ISO27001 for Information Security Management. The company has won multiple awards, and in 2022 the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the innovative services it provides to social housing. improving resident communication - from scheduled works to emergencies housing providers 50+ proactive contact days a year 365 What our clients say “At Wheatley we are committed to supporting older residents to live independently in their own homes, as part of this we wanted to introduce the Alertacall service for some of our older, more vulnerable tenants. “It has proven to be a real lifeline for them and we are looking now to extend the service further. Alertacall have been really helpful throughout; they are professional in their approach and have a fantastic way with customers. The rollout of the service to the new tenants went very smoothly and we really couldn’t fault any aspect of the service we received from Alertacall”. Melissa Campbell, Livingwell Lead, Wheatley Group Book a meeting with Alertacall Book a meeting to explore your options or access a free of charge consultation with independent revenue and funding specialists. Alertacall have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation