The Co-operative College
The Co-operative College is a unique educational institution that provides learning programmes and research to support the development of the co-operative sector in the UK and across the world.
It delivers programmes to help individuals and groups achieve the skills and understanding needed to put co-operative values and principles into practice and help build successful co-operative businesses. It works with universities, government departments and non-governmental organisations, and with the growing network of co-operative schools.
It has 20 staff based at Holyoake House in Manchester’s ‘co-operative quarter’ and it also runs the world famous Rochdale Pioneers Museum.
Until 2012 the College had shared the telephone system used by the Co-operative Group, but when The Co-operative moved into its new headquarters in nearby Angel Square, the College had to make new arrangements for its telecoms.
Participants in workshop at the Co-operative College Education Conference, December 2014
Emma Wilder, the Vice Principal responsible for finance and resources with 11 years’ experience of managing IT at the College, had the task of sourcing a new telephone system and supplier.
The Co-operative Business Telecoms installed a new system for 35 users with conferencing facilities, and 12 mobiles. Having meetings and arranging the installation was very easy because The Co-operative Business Telecoms also has offices in Holyoake House.
Emma Wilder said: “The College likes to use co-operative suppliers when it can, and with the Phone Co-op being in the same building it was an obvious choice. The process was much simpler than I had expected and we’ve made savings on the new system and contract.”
Guy Ohlenschlager, Key Account Manager at The Co-operative Business Telecoms, said: “We are delighted to supply telecoms services to the Co-operative College, a unique institution and an icon of the co-operative movement. Holyoake House is home to several national co-operative organisations and we provide services for them as well as being a tenant. It’s a good example of the principle of co-operation among co-operatives.”
The Co-operative Business Telecoms is provided by The Phone Co-op, the only telecoms provider in the UK that is wholly owned by its customers. It’s committed to giving customers the best service at the best price.