Telus, which is one of Canada's largest communications companies, has taken an unusual--and correct--path in green marketing. It has gone green first through instituting a telework program for its internal contact center agents, which it calls at-home agents or AHAs and then decided to form and promote its AHA consulting/hosting program to other companies.
Telus has 750 AHAs who presently live within 150 km/95 miles from the firm's eight contact centers: in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec and come in for training. That number will expand to 1,050 by the end of 2009. They will represent nearly 21 percent of its contact center workforce from 16 percent currently. The carrier is looking at broadening the network to include communities not in business travel distance and removing the trip-in requirements so it could tap more highly qualified potential agents in other labor markets.
Telus analyzed the impacts of its AHA program, which began in 2006. It has resulted--to date-- $144,500 in savings by team members in fuel and vehicle repairs 1.94 million kilometers/1.2 million miles not driven, 1,250 days of time saved, and 135,000 kg of CO2 not released into the atmosphere.
Telus, prompted by clients who were impressed by its internal AHA program, has parlayed that experience into Telus AgentAnywhere that can also help firms cut down on commuting, and emissions. It offers two different business models: contracted home agents and support for employee agents.
Telus's CallCenterAnywhere platform can host, route, and launch inbound and dialler-initiated outbound calls. It partners with LiveXchange to provide contracted home agents either on the Telus's CallCenterAnywhere or LiveXchange's similar platform from Oracle. This contract agent model helps organization supplement their core operations while keeping the operating expenses associated with full time employees down.
For companies looking to put their own agents into home office very much like Telus did, its employee agent support program features PSTN voice and DSL broadband connections integrated with CallCenterAnywhere or the customers existing platform, desktops and security virtual private networks along with consulting services to help the customer successfully deploy agents in home settings. The carrier places them together in a simple monthly bill.
The Telus home working solution is very flexible and becoming more so. For example it supports private LANs and managed solutions as opposed to conventional ISPs. The carrier will also offer to hire and manage the agents internally at home as its employees and then offer them on temporary outsourced basis to clients.
Yes, there are billions of dollars being pumped into new transit projects and services in Canada and the U.S. A new rapid transit line will open later this year from downtown Vancouver, B.C., where Telus has offices, to the fast-growing suburb of Richmond and to Vancouver International Airport, in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. More expansions are to come.
Yet even TransLink, the Metro Vancouver region's transportation authority indirectly acknowledges, transit upgrades, along with removing highway bottlenecks, are not the be-all and end-all to traffic congestion and related issues. It has several pages on its site devoted to telework.
Telus has long-running ad campaign featuring various creatures with the tagline 'The Future is Friendly'.
Telus and the firms who signed up its CallCenterAnywhere service, will help make it that way.