Pennine Telecom has won an award after being involved in a pioneering project to transform communications at a secondary school.

Global business communications giant Avaya presented the data and telecommunications specialist, based in Salford Street, Bury, with its Most Notable Customer Win UC award.

The accolade is in recognition of the company’s ground-breaking use of unified communications technology at ESSA Academy in Bolton.

At an industry conference attended by 150 telecommunication professionals, Mike Pook, sales director at Avaya UK Financial Services, presented the trophy to Ian Taylor, education specialist at Pennine who was involved in the ground-breaking project.

It is the second time within a year that Pennine’s work at the school on Lever Edge Lane has been recognised, last summer the company collected the SMB Convergence Solution title at the Comms Business Awards.

The solution, devised by Pennine, is credited with revolutionising communications at the forward-thinking school.

It enabled ESSA to remove all of its 100 desk phones by transforming tablet computers and mobile devices into “softphones”.

This, in turn, led to a major cultural change as 1,500 Apple mobile devices were harnessed to enhance communication between staff, students and parents. These included more than 800 iPod Touches issued by the school for students to use as learning support tools.

Mr Taylor said: “This project really was a ground-breaker and one made possible not just by our specialist expertise but the vision ESSA had.”

ESSA director and technology champion Abdul Chohan has praised Pennine’s work, saying: “The beauty of it, and when we say this people are in awe, is that staff can be contacted by a parent directly on their iPad. They can answer or make a call, even using wi-fi routed from home, and it will be the academy’s number that comes up. It’s much more professional.“ Pennine has forged an enviable reputation for its work in the education sector. Its creation of the first home broadband network to serve an English school. Bury’s Broad Oak Sports College, has been similarly praised.