Recruitment specialist transforms productivity and customer experience with move to cloud communications.
CASE STUDY – PEOPLESCOUT
HOSTED TELEPHONY – MIGRATION TO CLOUD PHONE SYSTEM
Protecting the customer experience
If you haven’t heard of RPO, you would do well to speak with PeopleScout.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing is sweeping through businesses across the world as organisations realise that talent is a scarce resource that needs to be recruited and managed with specialist skills outside the usual in-house capabilities.
PeopleScout are true RPO experts with solutions and technology to cover all requirements. The past year has seen them win a stream of awards and accolades on a monthly basis, bearing testament to the exacting standards set by their operational and customer experience teams. In an environment where analysis and presentation of credentials are under constant scrutiny, PeopleScout’s services have to meet the highest standards.
In particular, these standards are tested in the contact centre where the performance of the customer service agent at the customer experience interface can make or break reputation and brand values.
WHY MOVE TO A HOSTED PHONE SYSTEM?
The cost of not doing anything
With this in mind, Richard Cook, Head of IT for PeopleScout in the UK, decided the time was right to assess the quality of existing communications systems across the organisation, located at three sites across London and Bristol and serving some 300 employees.
Existing communications infrastructure comprised three Avaya ACM systems, running from on-site PBX hardware over ISDN lines from each of the three offices. The two London-based systems delivered simple telephony features whilst the Bristol-based system provided a limited range of contact centre capabilities – simple routing, announcements, basic reports etc.
PeopleScout – Summary of Services Provided
Horizon Hosted Phone System – 300 extensions
Horizon Hosted Call Centre – 100 seats
Akixi Call Centre Reporting
Compliant call recording
20mb Fibre circuit at 3 sites
DDI allocation and number porting
Deployment, portal build and training
After ten years’ service, all three systems were showing their age. For the contact centre, an absence of modern-day features plus an antiquated management system, based on a command-line interface, made life difficult for both the agent and the administrator. All systems occupied valuable office space and provision of an air-conditioned environment knocked up a significant energy bill.
All in all, it took little analysis to deduce that the cost and benefits of acquiring a new, fully featured, hosted telephony system was, financially, a far more favourable option compared to the annual six-figure sum incurred by existing maintenance costs.
THE CASE FOR MIGRATION TO THE CLOUD
Over the past ten years, businesses have capitalised on the low-cost simplicity of hosting business operations in the cloud. Modern data centre facilities and secure, direct network connectivity have given IT decision-makers the confidence to host applications, data storage and management systems in the cloud.
For SMEs, there has been similar enthusiasm to run unified communications, collaboration and contact centre systems from the cloud, taking advantage of zero maintenance and per-seat pricing, as well as the proliferation of capabilities and integrations that cloud architecture encourages.
For larger businesses, the migration of communications, from PBX and ISDN to cloud and SIP, has been a slower process. Heavy investment in legacy systems, limited access to SIP on a global scale and an unwarranted fear of business disruption have combined to defer migration or to adopt a hybrid solution.
Over more recent years, though, businesses have come to realise that the waiting is over. The benefits of hosted telephony to customer experience, business productivity and mobile working are creating tangible competitive advantage. Furthermore, the shut-down of PSTN in progress across Europe poses a looming deadline that cannot be ignored.
Forward-thinking businesses, like PeopleScout and other service-driven organisations, are making the move and reaping the rewards of hosted communications.
FINDING THE RIGHT HOSTED TELEPHONY SOLUTION
In order to decide on the right system for PeopleScout, Richard Cook undertook a thorough examination of the business requirements in order to map these onto the new system’s functionality. Gap analysis, investment comparisons and workshops with users helped build a system specification.
As a seasoned IT manager, Richard understood that the system was just half of the solution:
“Phone and contact centre technology is like no other. It touches all employees and governs their productivity. It connects with our customers and plays a huge role in the quality of customer experience. It generates customer data and insights that guide our business strategy. So, changing a system is a big deal.
In theory, moving communications to the cloud should be straightforward. In practice, it’s not something you do every day and, with a system so critical to the business, you need expertise by your side to deal with the issues and contingencies that always pop up. A reliable, experienced service provider is as important as the system.”
Having worked with DoubleEdge on previous projects involving compliant call recording and inbound call management, Richard knew he had a team he could trust. With the Gamma Horizon system, he knew he had the system with the track record and capabilities he needed. The solution was complete.
CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS – ADAPTING TO BESPOKE REQUIREMENTS
Richard Cook summarises how the new system is delivering on its investment, with important advantages for teams across IT administration and business operations.
“Financially, the hosted system makes life a lot simpler combining the cost of calls, upgrades and maintenance into a single monthly fee. We’ve lost the cost of maintaining the old system and we’re making savings from the freed-up office space as well.
Operationally, moves and changes are easier. We can configure new users on the fly and the new reporting system offers huge opportunities to improve service quality. Our agents are working more efficiently, and campaign planning is so much simpler.
Much of this success is down to the commitment and skills of DoubleEdge. The personal service, delivered by individuals who are passionate about their work, makes all the difference. It’s reassuring to know we’ll have the DoubleEdge Technical Support and Account Management teams on hand to ensure we stay on course into the future.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Rarely does a new communications system fit perfectly with business requirements. Furthermore, not all system vendors have the professional services resource available to deal with the bespoke deployment requirements that contribute so much to the business benefit delivered. All businesses are different and it’s vital to preserve those differences because that’s what creates differentiation and competitive advantage.
For system implementation though, that can present challenges. At PeopleScout, for example, contact centre supervisors needed to build a team of agents on a daily basis, with the skills and availability to address changing demands. This meant adapting the Horizon system to provide a hot-desking capability that gave agents the freedom to switch desk space but retain the system functionality, applications and screens that they use on a regular basis.
By collaborating closely with the system vendor, DoubleEdge succeeded in achieving this seamless flexibility, improving both the productivity of the agent and the service received by the customer. An important feature of the new system provides recording of inbound and outbound calls for compliance, customer service or audit purposes.
Replacing the legacy on-site system, the new cloud-based capability allows secure online access to file storage and retrieval of call details whilst providing the flexibility to record some calls, all calls or calls on demand.
Another notable enhancement to the system was the introduction of the Akixi reporting package, replacing a laborious process that had been performed manually with the legacy Avaya system. Akixi provides advanced monitoring of agents and calls via a single intuitive dashboard, giving supervisors the opportunity to control agent activity and functionality such as routing, groups and agent status.
With any new communications system, features and functionality are in the spotlight. The success of the implementation, though, is more often dependant on the less visible but equally critical telecoms services and tasks undertaken by the back-office team.
With twenty years’ experience in the management of telecommunications services, DoubleEdge was able to ensure that number-porting, network connectivity, handset operation, billing and a host of other essentials were in place and working smoothly for the new system to pass a three-week proof of concept and go live, right-first-time.
We believe that proactive, knowledgeable support from people who really care is at the heart of delivering performance improvement.
THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE WITH DOUBLE EDGE