Spectra Helpline

Spectra Helpline needed an IP phone system that would simplify and streamline their operations, reduce overall telephony costs and provide mission critical uptime reliability. The Panasonic NS1000 Network Communications Server delivered outstanding results.


Spectra Helpline provides confidential crisis and suicide intervention, and emotional support, to people in the Peel Region. The charitable organization was in urgent need of a new telephony system.


The Panasonic NS1000 Network Communications Server was chosen as the most effective solution for Spectra Helpline.


Spectra Helpline and Panasonic continue to work together, exploring ways to help those who reach out for support. We look forward to assisting with this important work, and to being an integral part of this caring community.

The Client

Spectra Helpline is a non-profit organization providing confidential crisis and suicide intervention, and emotional support, to people in the Peel Region.

Through this important community service those in need of emotional support, a compassionate listening ear or just a conversation with a friend can call the line 24/7, 365 days a year. Spectra Helpline is confidential, easy to access and free.

People who call Spectra come from all walks of life and a wide variety of different circumstances. Many do not always feel comfortable sharing confidential or sensitive information with family and friends. Others have nowhere else to turn or simply need information about community resources.

Spectra’s services include multi-lingual helplines in eight different languages, elder abuse and support programs, post-partum support as well as outbound touching base and seniors telecheck program. Spectra handles approximately 125,000 calls on an annual basis.

The Challenge

Spectra’s phone systems were antiquated, fragmented, provided no analytical capabilities, and were prone to high dropped call rates.

To ensure the highest possible level of care, an overall communications solution had to be developed. To that end a number of companies were approached regarding the urgent need for a telephony and contact centre solution that could meet Spectra’s unique requirements.

Key Considerations Included

  • Voice quality and reliability of the call connection
  • Soft phone capabilities so volunteer responders can answer calls from home
  • Simplicity — easy to understand and navigate
  • Streamlines telephony operations and reduces overall costs
  • Scalable to accommodate future communication requirements
  • Ability to add features, capabilities, and agents when required
  • Provides analytics and detailed call reports

Given that Spectra is a non-profit organization with limited initial capital and operating budget, price sensitivity and ongoing maintenance costs going forward were also essential.

Call reliability is absolutely critical for us, especially in a crisis situation. The Panasonic NS1000 was one of the systems investigated to see if it met our stringent criteria for scalability, reliability and cost savings. Panasonic’s telephony and contact centre licensing approach ensures that all software updates going forward are free—a very important benefit for our non-profit organization.
Alison Caird, Executive Director, Spectra Helpline

The Solution

After a rigorous and competitive bidding process, the Panasonic NS1000 Network Communications Server was chosen as the most effective overall telephony and contact centre solution.

Built on SIP and IP technologies, the NS1000 is a centralized, multi-site telephony and unified communications platform that has dramatically transformed Spectra’s internal operations.

Voice quality and reliability were exceptional, as well as ease of use when navigating functionality and directing user calls. Robust, easy-to-use analytics provided detailed information on call volumes, seasonal surges, specific trends and other important metrics for more effective staffing and operational requirements.

The Panasonic NS1000 delivered a comprehensive suite of sophisticated, interactive desktop tools including unified messaging and alerts, work from anywhere features, multi-site networking and enhanced collaboration. This allowed Spectra to streamline work flow across locations, whether remote agent home offices or distributed Spectra offices.

The Panasonic NS1000 delivered a flexible, adaptive solution that integrated hardware and software components in a modular way, allowing for customization and future scalability. With more ‘soft phones’ available, the Panasonic NS1000 allows us to have more remote agents available to answer the diverse range of calls we receive. It also provided exceptional system wide continuity for seamless client service.
Roberta J. Fox, Chief Information Technical Advisor, Spectra Helpline

Moving Forward

Spectra Helpline is staffed by more than 300 caring volunteer responders that can include students of social work, emergency response (e.g. firefighters, EMS, police officers) and others who care for people in our community.

We look forward to our continued relationship with Spectra, to being their trusted technology partner in this important work — and to making a lasting difference for those in need.

Through the implementation of the Panasonic NS1000, Spectra was able to realize significant operational cost savings. Those savings were in turn used to upgrade the data network, maintain our ICT operating costs, have redundant systems and more reliable telecommunications for our growing community.
Alison Caird, Executive Director, Spectra Helpline