Touchbase scores $5.7 million Austar project

Touchbase scores $5.7 million Austar project

Integrator will replace Austar's legacy Avaya infrastructure with Cisco's contact centre suite

Touchbase has won a $5.7 million project to replace Austar's Avaya contact centre infrastructure with Cisco's competing product suite.

Touchbase business leader, Andrew Fisher, said the integrator had been providing support and upgrade services to Austar for several years around Avaya equipment during its time as an Avaya reseller. Dimension Data was the incumbent Cisco provider. Touchbase and Avaya parted ways over 12 months ago.

Under the newly signed project, Touchbase will rollout Cisco's pure IP telephony and call centre suite, Cisco Enterprise Contact Centre. The end-to-end package includes outbound and inbound services, Web and multimedia collaboration tools, email, interactive voice response, office administration, remote agent functionality and upgraded data services. It will also deliver front-end software from Cisco's OEM partner, eGain, to tie the solution together.

Fisher said Touchbase had initially been called in for a 12-week consultancy project to assess Austar's infrastructure.

"We'll be doing some significant customisation and development to help Austar's business off the back of the assessments we made during the consultancy engagement," he said.

In a statement, Austar CIO, Deal Walters, said Touchbase's top-level Cisco certifications were a key consideration in its selection of a technology partner. He said the new infrastructure would improve its call centre performance as well as support its broader business continuity strategies.

The upgrade encompasses 1000 users across Austar's business including 400 agents based out of its Robina, Queensland office. The project is scheduled to take 18 months to complete and wind up in late 2009. Touchbase also retains a long-term agreement with Austar.

"Over the last 18 months we have tried to change our approach to the market and reassess the way we engage with customers," Fisher said. "We have been very successful with consulting-led engagements because these produce a strong insight into a client's requirements."

Fisher claimed Touchbase's understanding of Austar's systems and its ability to show what products could provide a quantifiable return on investment led to the win. The integrator will also retain a long-term support contract with the television services provider.

"We saw a lot of areas we could assist with and they agreed," he said.

Fisher also attributed Austar's decision to replace Avaya kit with a Cisco solution to the latter vendor's strong product line.

"This reflects the strength Cisco now has in this [contact centre] space," he said. "It's significant that big companies are looking at Cisco's contact centre solutions as a real alternative to the traditional providers."

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