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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

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Concrete truck knocks out a line

Planning + Consistacom + Concrete=
Proven Disaster Recovery Capabilities


In 2002, one of Consistacom's customers undertook a major expansion of their call center capacity. The result was a new, separate, entirely Voice Over IP (VOIP) virtual call center network spread over half the globe. The business results were so impressive that expansion of the solution was ordered even before the initial installation was complete. The worldwide virtual call center was operating with ACDs from both Avaya and their legacy supplier.

Shortly after the Avaya implementation, the non-Avaya ACDs suffered two separate 24-hour failures in rapid succession. The outages cost well over a million dollars in lost productivity. Management demanded a solution with a reliable business continuation capability. The new Avaya systems were working reliably, and the call center team realized the VOIP architecture provided as yet untapped disaster recovery capabilities. Management decided to make Avaya their sole provider of ACDs and moved forward with an aggressive plan that not only replaced the legacy vendor’s ACDs, but also immediately added new call center locations – in just three months. Management adopted Avaya’s recommendation of a flattened, consolidated network. The ACD switching components were placed in hardened switching centers, agents stayed where they

At a Glance
22 million
Customers
10000
Agent Workforce
10
Owned Call Centers
9
Outsourced Centers

Consolidated 10 distributed ACDs to 4 centrally managed

were, and multiple wideband data services connected them.

"We lost well over a million dollars with two nearly 24 hour call center outages. Our management demanded a reliable disaster recovery process. In the post 9-11 world, this is a necessity." Call Center Architect

New Benifits, New Challenges

The legacy network of 10 ACDs in 9 call centers was consolidated into 4 high-capacity Avaya ACDs in two centralized switching centers, enabling the Business Continuity capability management demanded. It worked well, but the administrative effort to ensure maximum profitability and uninterrupted operation on this scale was substantial. The call center team realized that effective management of this new flattened VOIP network, the largest of its kind in the world, required a new set of enterprise class management tools. "We knew that the first part of disaster recovery, redirection of call center phone sets to an alternate ACD, would work", the architect said. "That is part of the core Avaya technology."

"The hard part is making sure that all the ACDs are always uniformly configured and in compliance with the Business Continuity Plan and Performance Management criteria. If not, a disaster situation will result in idle call center agents, unanswered calls, lost revenue, and unhappy members. Consistacom's solution automatically gives us the compliance we need."

The Consistacom Solution

The Avaya account team responded with an introduction to Consistacom, an Avaya partner specializing in enterprise management and administration tools for Avaya call centers. Consistacom installed their Multi-System Synchronizer (MSS), a tool that flexibly and automatically aligns the configuration of all ACDs in the virtual call center according to Business Continuity policies. Now, when the Workforce Management group adds a new call center agent, that agent is automatically added to additional ACDs defined by the rules. When the call routing administrators update a call flow, it is immediately updated on all the ACDs. All essential ACD configuration activity is automatically synchronized in real-time. Every night, an independent auditing process verifies all ACDs for compliance with Business Continuation Plan rules. For the first time, the call center team can constantly prove that

the telephone switching components of their call centers are ready to handle a disaster.


Consistacom Awards
  • 1997 Avaya Call Center Excellence Award
  • 2004 Avaya DevConnect Sale of the Year
  • 2004 US Dept of Commerce Export Achievement Certificate

An additional benefit of the Consistacom solution is real-time access to ACD configuration data. Daily reports that used to take hours of labor to prepare are available in seconds, without the need for any specialized desktop software. 'What if' queries, not possible before, are easy now, providing a wealth of new insights to managers. Perhaps best of all, none of the day-to-day administration procedures changed– except elimination of the redundant and error-prone manual effort replaced by MSS.



Concrete Results

Three weeks after MSS was installed, a concrete truck clipped a telephone pole serving one of the central switching centers. One of the two SONET ring paths serving the center survived, as planned, and call processing continued uninterrupted. When the telephone repair crew arrived, they removed a fiber cable section damaged by the incident, and suddenly the switching center was isolated from the world. (That was not supposed to happen, but the telephone carrier designed the SONET ring incorrectly. The phone company called it a "linear SONET ring".) The Avaya telephones detected the outage and began the pre-programmed search for alternate connections. Long distance carriers automatically diverted all incoming calls to the unaffected switching center. Within fifteen minutes, the entire agent workforce was handling calls in exactly the same manner as before the outage – all automatically and without any errors.

A potential business catastrophe was limited to an inconvenience. The Consistacom solution had paid for itself less than a month after installation!


Benefits at a Glance

ACD Configuration Quality and Capability

  • Manage many ACDs as a single virtual ACD
  • Use existing Avaya tools: no retraining needed
  • Roll out call flow changes in hours instead of days
  • Eliminates most multi-ACD configuration errors
  • Reduced staff costs

Management Decision Support

  • Enterprise level data access
  • ODBC-enabled with ad-hoc query capability
  • Full historical reporting of prior configurations
  • Monitor configuration changes in real time
  • Agent skill ‘gaming' immediately apparent

Business Continuity

  • Continuously synchronize agent and call routing configurations on all ACDs, including performance based agent data.
  • Identify deviations due to ACD component failure or unauthorized changes.
  • Identify, report and automatically correct deviations with nightly audits.
  • Operate in ‘audit only' mode when required.
  • Audit trails provide proof that the call center ACDs are in compliance with Business Continuation policies.

For more information on the Multi-System Synchronizer and other advanced call center management tools from Consistacom, visit us at www.consistacom.com, send an inquiry to solutions@telecominstitute.com, or contact us at 866-716-5692


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more stories at www.consistacom.com/success