Yesterday I was fortunate to participate in one of the regional Contact Center Networking Group (CCNG)
meetings here in Buffalo, NY. The core theme of the event was a discussion on Avaya's roadmap and how it effects users of ex-Nortel systems.
The meeting kicked off with a presentation by the host company, American Coradius International (ACI)
and Elaine Alvord, Director of IT. ACI is a third-party collection agency, working for the major banks and finance companies to "educate" their customers on the value of repaying their loans. Tough business to be in, but someone has to do it.
Anyhow, Elaine described how a few years ago ACI was limping along on an old Nortel Option 11 and ran into a number of compliance issues that would have limited the kind of work they would be able to perform for the major banks. The biggest issue was an inability to do 100% recording, but their business reporting and efficiency was falling behind "state-of-the-art". Elaine then continued to describe their search for a new SIP-based communications system and the eventual selection of CIC by Interactive Intelligence
for their two sites. As part of this purchase, they also selected two AudioCodes
media gateways for their TDM trunking and e911 connectivity. (Now you know why I was interested in the event.)
After Elaine's presentation, we took a quick tour of their Hamburg, NY site and got to watch and hear their agents "work the phones". Reaching the debtor was surprisingly difficult - you can't just keep calling their home telephone and "hope they answer". It takes real detective work to find when and where you can reach them for a live discussion.
Yesterday's tour and discussion with some of the other contact center managers at the event gave me a new perspective on priorities in their business. Certainly employee motivation and policies to maintain compliance are fundamental, but the technology used to build a contact center has a huge impact on their efficiency. Their adoption of a state-of-the-art contact center software suite and quality equipment as a foundation has dramatically improved their business productivity and ability to land new business with the major banks.
It was a well spent morning and a fresh perspective of our business.
Oh by the way - it was good to meet the gang at ACI, but I hope they never need to call me! (at least not to collect a debt)