The company had in place an ageing PABX telephone system that was past its useful life and unable to meet the demands of the business.
“The hardware was out of support, and it was difficult to add new people to the system and change processes. We had to find a new system that could handle the load as well as efficiently provide reporting facilities to our customers,” explains Mike Ryan, IT and MIS manager at Keycorp.
Keycorp’s primary concern, however, was that the existing system would cut out altogether, leaving them without service—a concern that became a reality at five o’clock one afternoon when a critical fault occurred within the system two weeks out from the scheduled implementation of the new system.
Based on a recommendation from Brennan IT, Keycorp had selected a Unified Cisco Call Manager platform, integrated with Zeacom Contact Centre to support the demanding communications needs of the business.
Rather than wait for the scheduled implementation, the team had to move fast in the face of this business-critical communication outage.
“We hadn’t completed testing and configuration of the new telephony system,” says Brian Sullivan, Keycorp service delivery manager. “However Brennan IT was able to bring together the project team within an hour to commence the migration and installation of the new system.”
Three hours from the server failure, Keycorp logged its first call on the new system. “It was as close to seamless as you could get,” Brian recalls. “Brennan IT had already installed all the user handset, so when we switched over the call centre, the team were able to use the new handsets immediately.”
While not the ideal situation to introduce a new system—”we implemented first and then tested later,” jokes Mike—Brian says the project showed the importance of being prepared. “A lot of the credit should go to Brennan IT,” he adds. “It was their confidence that swayed us in terms of what we would do.”
Keycorp had been clients of Brennan IT for five years, so Brennan IT knew the business and its requirements well. Keycorp chose Brennan IT to update the new system because of its unified communications expertise, added to an existing understanding of the IT infrastructure.
Keycorp is clearly pleased with the new Unified Cisco CallManager platform, integrated with Zeacom Contact Centre.
“It’s sensational. It has provided us with the flexibility and the tools to actually manage our call centre as a call centre in 2011,” says Brian. “We have a level of responsiveness we could only have dreamed about previously.”
To respond to an outage on the network, the old system only allowed specific people to issue an announcement. “The new system allows us to do that at the click of a mouse,” Brian explains. “Almost instantaneously we’re able to place a recorded message on the contact centre queues. Even in the event of an outage that we don’t have a message for, any of our operators can record one through their handset and apply it immediately. That’s one significant advantage.”
Moreover, the availability of management information—including call patterns and call times—has allowed Keycorp to make small changes that have slashed call wait times in half, Brian asserts. It is also easier to produce reports for clients, as data is drawn straight from the system, reducing previous handling.
“We’ve been blown away by how significant the improvements have been in such a short period,” says Brian. “The real beauty of this system is that it is largely user-definable—we know there are further enhancements that we can introduce.”