Case Study – Abtran uses Interactive Intelligence Technology

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Cork-based Abtran is a business process outsourcing company for customer contact management and back-office processes. The company deals with clients both in Ireland and abroad and works with blue chip companies in the commercial sector, utilities and government departments.

Abtran offers end-to-end customer contact management and back-office solutions that add long-term value by providing clients with fully outsourced and co-sourced operations, interim and long-term operational support in the establishment, maintenance and ongoing improvement of contact centre operations.

Previously Abtran had operated using a manual switchover system which meant that, if it had a problem with one of its servers, in order to switch to its back-up server it had to manually change the lines and switch every group of 24 agents to the active Telephony Server in a different box, which took around 15 minutes.

The Solution
Abtran has been working with unified communications provider Interactive Intelligence and systems integrator Wren Data Ltd. for some years. Abtran originally implemented Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Centre solution based on its benefits which include IVR, call recording, ACD, skills-based routing and unified messaging all in one integrated solution.

“Over the past two years Abtran has implemented fully redundant automatic switchover, Interaction Recorder and Interaction Dialer, all of which have been either driven by demand from existing customers or a desire to make the company more attractive to new clients,” explains Martin Browne of Wren Data.

With the advent of new solutions that could slash this time to under ten seconds, Abtran decided it could no longer afford to risk such a long period of downtime, and decided to implement an instantaneous switchover solution to avoid the problem entirely.

“Now that we have implemented the Automatic Switchover feature from Interactive Intelligence, in just 6 to 10 seconds, all agents are transferred to the back-up server. The software feature also has the benefit of offering an exact mirror of the current production system,” explains Browne.

Kabir Vaderaa, head of innovation at Abtran, provides further detail: “We required Automatic Switchover to maintain our business continuity. We had also opened an additional site and needed a fully redundant system that could easily switch between the two sites in the event of a problem. It was also important to us that we maintained 99.99% uptime and, because our hours of business are 8am to 1.30am, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we have a very small maintenance window to fix any problems that do occur, so Automatic Switchover seemed an ideal option.”

Call Recording
In addition, Abtran has also implemented Interaction Recorder throughout the company for multimedia recording, quality assessment control and archiving. Vaderaa explains the rationale behind the move: “We had designed our own recording system around five years ago but we felt that as technology had advanced it was important to move to a more reliable, quality solution.”

This offers Abtran a high level of security, as emails, webchat and telephone conversations can be recorded and stored, while remaining tamper-proof. Browne further clarifies: “Although Abtran had written and implemented its own recording system, it did not offer the recording, statistics and levels of security that Interactive Intelligence’s solution offers. The fact that Interaction Recorder could be seamlessly integrated with Abtrans’ existing Interactive Intelligence solution by simple licensing requirements was an important factor. The main driver, however, was security.”

Abtran has more recently implemented the Interaction Dialer. Vaderaa explains: “Initially we purchased 25 seats of Interaction Dialer, and within five months this had increased to 75, thanks to the success of the solution. We had looked at a few other solutions initially but we decided to go with Interactive Intelligence as it was the only company which offered a managed service with integrated call blending.”

Together with Interaction Dialer, the company also implemented Interaction Scripter, “Abtran has done a lot of work developing its own scripts,” explains Browne, “and now uses Scripter to enhance advisor quality, particularly in the highly regulated industry sectors.”

“One of the most important features for us was that the solution integrated well with our existing software and was robust, allowing us to easily build in additional screen capability,” explains Vaderaa.

Interaction Dialer has been a real success for Abtran, allowing it to achieve a better hit ratio of calls which has helped the organisation to become more efficient. The solution has allowed Abtran to process 40,000 records in less than two weeks, a task that previously would have taken at least three or four weeks. The call analysis function also means that Abtran is able to handle the volume of calls it deals with more efficiently. Calls and emails can now be queued in the same system and using the analysis tool, information can be extracted to ensure that the call is transferred to the correct specialist in the relevant department, which has helped to increase service levels.

Abtran is also able to offer a call-back facility for both calls and emails, a service which has received positive customer feedback.

Another option offered by the solution is a text call-back facility where customers can text in their details and request an Abtran agent to call them back. This is a particularly helpful service for Abtran as it allows them to direct the text messages, which arrive at Abtran formatted as an email, to the correct agent who has all the relevant information to hand and is able to follow up the message and call the customer back. “Our clients have been really impressed with this service,” explains Vaderaa “In fact, the only criticism we have received is that on occasion we are calling customers back too quickly!”

The Future
“We have been using Interactive Intelligence solutions for close to 10 years now,” explains Vaderaa. “However, we feel that we have only recently begun using the products to their full potential.”

As far as Vaderaa is concerned Interactive Intelligence is always ahead of the learning curve: “Interactive Intelligence had a soft client, VoIP and integrated messaging well before any of its competitors and it combines straightforward visibility and functionality. However demanding clients become, we are able to meet their needs because of the solutions provided by Interactive Intelligence,” concludes Vaderaa.

Browne agrees and adds: “The real benefit of Interactive Intelligence’s solutions is that every component is completely integrated, which offers end-to-end visibility and reporting on every interaction within the call centre. It has a complete single-point administration so the IT administrator can easily manage Interaction Dialer and Recorder as part of the day-to-day business, as they all have the same look and feel.”

Published On: 4th Jun 2008 - Last modified: 11th Sep 2019
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