Client-Consultant Success Story: Lync Enterprise Voice and Netcall Contact Center
Large, global cosmetics company deploys Lync Enterprise Voice and Netcall Contact Center, per the advice and support from consulting firm CTS Partners, resulting in new capabilities, improved customer experiences, and multi-functional cost savings.
In this Success Story:
CTS Partners, a Unified Communications consulting firm, was hired by a large, global cosmetics company to help them select a platform to replace an aging PBX base and end-of-life messaging systems. This would also involve replacing associated Contact Center systems.
Based on CTS’ assessment and recommendations, the client selected MS-Lync Enterprise Voice (since rebranded as Skype for Business) as the PBX, MS-Unified Messaging for voice mail and Sprint SIP trunking for PSTN connectivity. In addition, Contact Center solutions were provided by Netcall, a UK-based software firm. The entire solution was implemented in the USA Data Center to serve North America. EMEA and APAC regions will have their own core systems installed in regional data centers.
The enhanced Contact Center functionality improved the Customer experience and significant cost savings were achieved in audio conferencing, PSTN trunking and system maintenance.
Client Needs and Objectives
The cosmetics firm client develops, produces and sells luxury beauty and skin care products in retail markets in over 145 countries, with recent year sales of $10 billion. Headquartered in New York City, the company has over 20,000 employees worldwide. Founded over 60 years ago, it has accumulated a hodge-podge of voice systems through acquisitions in North America, LATAM, EMEA and APAC, including Avaya, Nortel and Siemens.
Situation: The client was paying very high maintenance costs and many PBX’s required upgrades to remain compliant with the manufacturer’s support standards. The Octel Voice Mail Systems were end-of-life and the PSTN network was inefficient. Contact Center systems would also need to be upgraded to provide advanced capabilities and to maintain PCI compliance.
They are a Microsoft shop and already had OCS, Lync’s predecessor, installed.
Needs/Challenges: The project team was comprised of John Scott, CTS’s lead UC strategist, key members of the client’s UC team, a Microsoft Lync Voice engineer and the Netcall team. Key challenges included user acceptance of new methods of communications, changing dial plans, and the porting of DID numbers.
Objectives: The objectives of the project included: replacing the PBX’s and Voice Mail systems; standardizing the user interface; reducing costs; improving resiliency; and enhancing user capabilities. The age of the PBX, user growth at a site and the opening of new sites mostly determined the timeline. Once the project was underway and the positive news spread, many locations asked for their migration to be accelerated.
Consultant Assessment and Recommendations
CTS Partners is a Unified Communications consulting firm that focuses on strategic consulting, project management and IT staffing. We analyze, design and implement Unified Communications solutions globally across all industries utilizing technologies best suited for the individual client.
CTS Partners was engaged to assist with needs analysis, design, vendor management, and implementation of Lync and the associated Contact Center technologies.
Assessment/Methodology: Once the internal project team established a repeatable process for converting sites to Lync, we focused our efforts on the Contact Centers to ensure we identified advanced as well as core requirements. Discovery sessions were held with the Operations teams and Contact Center managers to identify needs, pain points, and future requirements.
Existing call flows were documented and diagramed, along with the associated business processes and reporting requirements.
Specific attention was paid to PCI requirements with regards to Call and Screen Recording. This allowed us to modify the Credit Card applications and test the capability prior to the conversion.
Findings: The client was concerned about reliability, ease of use and reporting. Enhanced capabilities were identified for future deployment. We also determined that enhanced resiliency was desired with the new solution to counter the concerns of having data center based telephony services.
Solution Options, Recommendations and Justification (Cost/Benefits): The client had Enterprise Voice licenses bundled with its global Microsoft licensing agreement and had already installed OCS for collaboration. Our recommendation was to leverage the existing Microsoft licensing agreement and the familiar Microsoft user interface to reduce costs and ease the transition to a new voice platform. Voice technologies would be consolidated in the data center to achieve economies of scale for maintenance, support and PSTN networks. The existing data network was leveraged to deliver voice services to the sites.
Dial Plan objections were overcome through the convenience of click to dial from existing directories and easily organized call lists.
The major North American Contact Center vendors were evaluated; however, due to the familiarity and success of the solution in the firm’s UK offices, Netcall was selected.
Vendor Solutions Deployed
Microsoft is a global provider of Enterprise and desktop software solutions.
Netcall is a UK-based customer interaction software firm with products ranging from its flagship 59r Contact Centre to self-service and workforce optimization solutions.
The Microsoft Lync platform was expanded to accommodate the real time processing requirements of voice services. Dual homed SIP trunks from Sprint were installed on a high capacity MPLS circuit into the Data Center with dual Mediation Servers.
The Netcall 59r Contact Center was installed in a virtualized environment with duplicate System servers and telephony processing spread across three Virtual Machines and distinct VM Hosts.
Applications include Call Routing, IVR, Call Recording, and E-mail integration, with Screen Recording planned for the next site conversion.
The company’s existing MPLS network was expanded to handle the additional QoS bandwidth required for high voice quality. Local SBA’s provide fail over for Lync client registration and Audio Codes gateways with PRI’s provided resiliency for outbound calling and inbound ACD calls. The Audio Codes Auto Attendant feature is being tested for enhanced recovery capabilities for the Contact Centers.
Plantronics headsets were used for soft phone users and Polycom phones were deployed where a hard phone was required.
CTS also managed the rollout of OCS-based Audio Conferencing services globally to reduce costs.
Impact and Reasons for Success
The new Contact Center provided the managers significant capabilities that were not available with the previous systems. Enhanced reporting and administrative capabilities empowered them with direct control over many aspects of Agent behavior and performance, as well as some control over call processing. An improved customer experience was the ultimate benefit.
Operational benefits were realized as users easily accepted the familiar OCS/Lync interface, which integrated voice with collaboration tools. Cost benefits included a 60% reduction in audio conference costs; voice channel reduction of 35% with a monthly savings of $70k; and a 50% reduction in maintenance costs.
The firm will continue to enhance communications services and reliability with the following plans:
- Addition of a redundant Data Center to provide uninterrupted service
- Enhanced Call Routing capabilities from Sprint
- CTI to provide screen pops for CRM applications
- Workforce Management for the Contact Centers
This Client-Consultant Success Story was prepared and submitted to CLP Central by John Scott, CTS’ Lead UC Strategist.