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This is one in a series of stories about enterprises large and small. Their common theme is using modern tools from Consistacom to simplify telephone management with automated, transparent processes.

These are true stories. Some of our customers are Fortune 100 enterprises that will not allow us to use their names.

Standard, off-the-shelf tools and services from Consistacom are at the heart of these stories. They can be put to work in any network of Avaya Communication Manager telephone systems, including the older Definity and MultiVantage lines.

We are always looking for ways to make the job of telecomm analysts, call center managers, and workforce managers easier. If you have a unique need, please contact us via email
solutions@consistacom.com

Or call toll-free
866-716-5692

DevConnect

DevConnect

$250,000 Reasons To Audit Your Avaya Call Center Programming

Challenge

The programming capacity of a busy, large Avaya ACD has diminished. Capacity must be reclaimed. Find stranded resources that can be reused, analyze the existing call flow programming to find programming errors, and flag suspicious programming that may deviate from corporate standards.

Solution

Use Consistacom’s hosted ACD Auditing service to completely cross-reference the relationships between vectors and other resources, with clear exception reports showing errors, resource reclamation opportunities, and suspicious off-switch call routing.

Results

These are the results for a single Avaya ACD in this customer’s network of over thirty ACDs

  • Found $250,000/year in wasted toll-free off-switch routing, for a ROI of 8300% on the cost of the auditing service
  • 7 customer-affecting programming errors identified
  • 381 stranded resources identified and reclaimed
  • First-ever complete documentation of resource relationships in the ACD

Background

A large United States manufacturer of enterprise technology undertook a multi-year effort to update and flatten their network of several dozen Avaya ACDs (Automatic Call Distributors, the telephone switching systems that power a modern call center) into a few new consolidated ACDs. The documentation of call flows in the existing ACD network was sparse and the accuracy suspect. The technology management team suspected programming errors and deviations from corporate quality standards. Deciphering the existing programming, understanding which programmed resources were actually in use rather than just stranded, and then documenting it all was a task beyond the human resources and traditional tools available. The management team needed rapid organization and expert analysis, not just a way of slowly extracting bits of data for manual manipulation in spreadsheets and desktop databases.

The road to undocumented complexity in this ACD was a common one. One team of analysts implemented the initial call flows. Others, understandably wary of changing what they did not completely understand, soon replaced those team members. Lacking a rigorous, common way of documenting complex relationships in the call flows, it was impossible for the original team members to pass on a clear and complete picture of what existed. Additional generations of programmers followed, each making incremental changes to or wholesale replacements of call flow programming, and leaving the old programs in place. Complexity, ambiguity, and the effort required to update existing programs grew inexorably.

Even though the network was being replaced and the old ACDs would eventually be retired, the management team recognized that missed errors and opportunities in the existing switch programming were a threat. Call handling errors could damage their brand image, eroding customer loyalty and sales. Errors would also be wasting valuable agent time, and increasing other operating costs.

Solution Details

Working closely with the Avaya account team, Consistacom proposed analysis of the ACDs with the hosted ACD Auditing service. Employing a standard secure VPN connection across the Internet, Consistacom took a snapshot of the programming in several ACDs. The process is quick, safe, and can be performed during the busiest call center hours without affecting ACD call processing.

With the ACD programming snapshot in hand, the audit and analysis process proceeds rapidly. An Adobe PDF format report file is produced for each ACD. The report sections include:

  • Severe programming errors: those that will affect what the caller hears or how the call is handled – including unintended disconnects
  • Stranded resources: what many ACD Audit customers refer to as the “cleanup” section. This section identifies those resources (announcements, skill hunt groups, vectors, etc.) that can safely be released and reused without affecting any active call flows
  • Suspicious off-switch routing
  • An exhaustive cross-reference clearly mapping existing relationships among the administered resources (hunt groups, vectors, VDNs, announcements, variables, and more)
  • Specialized sections analyzing the use of Vector Variables and VDN Variables
  • Inventory of all switch circuit packs: hardware and firmware vintage plus used and available ports, in detail and two levels of summary
  • Switch licensing and option settings.

The Wasted Toll-Free Routing

Almost every time Consistacom supplies a new customer with auditing services, a new type of error or new way of finding deviations from customer standards turns up. In this case, a call center architect browsing the Suspicious Off Switch Routing section of the report saw something that shouldn’t be there – dozens of call routing instructions that still used toll-free numbers. They should have been retired 18 months before. By taking this clearly organized list of numbers, it was easy to check billing records and discover that a few of them accounted for about $250,000 in charges during the past year. The newer, ultra-low cost routes were not being used.

If someone had checked on this earlier, they would have found the waste. They could not, because all the customer had was mountains of data, without a tool to effectively analyze it. Consistacom’s expert, methodical ACD Auditing analysis identified the suspicious routing. Instead of being buried like a needle in a haystack, the problem stood out.

Modernizing Avaya Service Delivery

Consistacom is able to deliver ACD Auditing and other unique services quickly, securely, and affordably by adopting a new service delivery model. Instead of expensive travel and on-site time, services are delivered by secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN). In far less time than it takes to negotiate a traditional on-site professional services engagement, Consistacom can delivery a highly configurable, standardized service at low cost. This is possible because of the advanced management interfaces built into every installation of Avaya’s Communication Manager. With the hosted service, there are no physical security concerns for an on-site consultant, no travel expenses, no juggling of travel schedules, no disruption of the corporate ACD management routines, and no time wasting restrictions in on-site data network access. By using a VPN (or a Secure Shell connection), the customer retains complete control of what systems Consistacom can connect to. The connection can be disabled at a moment’s notice, standard change management procedures can be used to establish Consistacom’s access to the ACDs, and network security logs record all access.

With this new model, expert services that have always been beyond the budget of small and mid-size Avaya customers are now affordable by even the smallest organization. Without travel to coordinate, a fixed schedule of recurring services is easy to implement. With frequent audits, call flow programmers and management have current, relevant information that increases efficiency and effectiveness. They can focus on building the business and beating the competition, instead of playing catch-up with outdated tools.

Ask almost anyone involved with day to day management of an ACD (of any brand), and they will tell you they need to do a cleanup, but there is no way they can afford the time. Instead, they struggle on with increasing complexity, more frequent errors, and lengthening lead times to implement changes. With ACD Auditing, cleanups are almost automatic. This new best practice is the first cost-effective way of delivering expert services to the mass of Avaya customers.

About Consistacom

Consistacom’s mission is providing scientific, enterprise-level management tools for voice communication systems. Working on Avaya platforms since 1995, Consistacom has built a reputation of customer service, providing innovative technical solutions to improve Contact Center and administrative office operations. Consistacom provides standard, highly configurable products that enhance the productivity of the Avaya platform by automating repetetive, error-prone tasks. Consistacom’s solutions automatically implement and enforce flexibly defined business rules to achieve benefits in cost and revenue enhancement for the business, while providing complete transparency through audit trails and reporting.


more stories at www.consistacom.com/success

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