Robert Heath Heating

How a leading energy specialist embraces cloud innovation.

Robert Heath Heating, one of the U.K.’s foremost energy specialists, leverages the Webex Suite to innovate and uplift productivity.

Energizing collaboration with cloud-based technology.

Robert Heath uses the Webex Suite to enhance communication across its mobile workforce.


Robert Heath Heating needed to take its next technology step and migrate its on-premises solution to the cloud.


The team migrated to the Webex Suite, a cloud-based all-in-one collaboration platform.


With Webex APIs, the company enhanced mobility and created a more dynamic workforce.

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How a leading energy specialist embraces cloud innovation

As a family-owned and operated business, Robert Heath Heating began as a local central heating installation company. Now, after more than 40 years of award-winning service, it’s blossomed into one of the leading energy specialists in the entire United Kingdom. 


“We work primarily with large and small landlords across the U.K.,” said Managing Director Michael Heath. “Our core client base is within the non-profit, social housing space, but we also work with large landlords in the public sector.”


More than just your average heating business, Robert Heath makes an effort to stay on the cutting edge. According to Michael, Robert Heath actively embraces technology as a way to redefine standards and deliver a superior customer experience. In fact, as written on the company’s website, “technology is at the forefront of everything we do.”


But, innovation isn’t always easy—at least, it isn’t until you find the right partner. Fortunately, Robert Heath did exactly that when it came to Cisco. With the power of a unified cloud-based collaboration platform, the business is supercharging communication and enabling a richer, faster, and more productive user experience.


Charting a path to cloud-based collaboration

Robert Heath’s long journey to the cloud began in earnest in 2011. At the time, the company relied on a legacy Avaya system. 


Although it was functional, the platform focused on a traditional telecom infrastructure that wasn’t scalable enough for Robert Heath’s increasingly mobile workforce—which, Michael added, can reach up to 400 employees at its peak. 


So, the company decided to integrate a new communication system into its tech stack. According to ICT Director Kristian Ellmore, the business went live with Cisco Unified Communications just before the London Olympics in 2012. 


Ever since, Robert Heath employees have relied on Cisco Jabber for instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, and much more. However, as time passed, it became apparent that the company was ready for the next phase of its digital transformation.


“Although everyone was connected,” said Kristian, “it was only the minority that had access to all the services because they were bound to a particular location.” 


Ultimately, although the phase one migration was a success, Robert Heath decided to embrace its next evolution. In other words, it began its transition to Webex Cloud.


A swift and seamless migration

Starting in May 2021, the company began transitioning away from its on-premise solution to the Webex Suite. Fortunately, because of its existing relationship with Cisco, the transition was practically frictionless. 


“It wasn't the case that we had to rush and sign up for a video conferencing service,” Kristian explained. “That was already in place, albeit through an on-premise system. The cloud enabled us to access extra features and deliver them much faster.”


Better yet, he added, there was “no noticeable transition” from one environment to another—which was by design. The Webex App’s interface is highly similar to Jabber, allowing employees to jump into action without a learning curve. According to Michael, the integration was so seamless that it’s hard to even remember. “It was just business as usual with extra functionality,” he said. 


Now, with a unified collaboration platform across the entire business, users gain the communication experience they always wanted. 


"Webex Messaging delivers a searchable, synced-up messaging service across all devices with the ability to deploy Webex at scale across the entire mobile workforce,” Kristian said. “It's a much easier product to deploy because it's cloud-based, so it's helping Robert Heath get more value out of the investment. We’re not managing instances on servers, so there's no overhead cost in terms of hardware or time.”


From static communication to dynamic capabilities

The transition to the Webex Cloud has helped Robert Heath improve business processes. For example, speed and accuracy are mission-critical when it comes to the customer experience—especially in the cold winter months. When engineers are assigned to resolve an issue, they need reliable information to get the job done right. 


Previously, data would frequently go to the wrong person, who had to pass it on to the right recipient. But now, having integrated Webex into the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Robert Heath can deliver real-time notifications to the people best equipped to make the right decisions in the least amount of time. 


In short, the company uses Webex application programming interfaces (APIs) to automatically create Webex spaces for each customer incident through a custom bot. The bot generates the space and populates it with the necessary stakeholders depending on the nature of the issue. Here, employees can communicate with ease and ensure all information is logged and the issue resolved before the space is deleted. 


Not only are they leveraging APIs to enhance workforce mobility, but Robert Heath’s employees are also using them to simplify compliance. If an employee visits a property but nobody answers the door, the engineer is contractually required to call the resident. 


“Webex enables our engineers to call from their mobile device using the Robert Heath main phone number,” Kristian explained. “The beauty of the API is that it helps us make a record of the call and prove it actually happened.” 


In other words, Webex produces a digital audit trail to help Robert Heath satisfy its legal requirements. This alone, added Kristian, is a “very big win” for the business. Aside from auditing and compliance, it also ensures customer trust and satisfaction.


Looking forward to the future

Always aiming to innovate, Robert Heath is continuously dreaming up new ways to leverage Webex to the company’s advantage. As Kristian explained, his team is even looking at the platform’s API documentation to see where else it could improve their business. 


“Most API documentation isn’t user-friendly,” he said. “But Webex’s doesn’t require you to be an expert developer to understand what each function can deliver.”


With more than 25,000 calls per month and a high number of on-site visits, ensuring frictionless customer service engagements is critical. That’s why the company is hoping to soon roll out Webex Contact Center, a solution that can automate call routing from start to finish. 


In terms of what’s in store for the company, Michael Heath said he’s excited about the possibilities. 


“In terms of where we are and how I see the future, I feel like we haven't even scratched the surface of the opportunities and potential here,” he said. “I don't think I'd be overselling it to say Webex serves as the lifeblood of our business at the moment.”


Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how Webex can improve collaboration and customer experience at your organization.


Enable asynchronous communication at scale.

Webex Messaging makes collaboration engaging, effortless, and efficient with one messaging platform for the entire enterprise.

A swift and seamless migration.

Robert Heath integrated Webex Suite into its tech stack, which made for a fast and frictionless process.

Easy user experience

Webex delivers a user-friendly interface, so there was practically no learning curve whatsoever.

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Cost-saving efficiency

The Webex Suite’s cloud-based architecture is easy to roll out, maintain, and update over time.

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Powerful innovation

Thanks to its open architecture, Robert Heath can use Webex APIs to integrate it into their most critical business applications.

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