Alcatel is in the final stages of installing a multimillion-dollar voice network for the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) that integrates nicely with HIC's brand new ATM backbone.
Spanning seven capital cities and 58 call centre supervisor terminals, the network consists of 4260 networked extensions and 3000 digital handsets. The system is based on Alcatel's 4400PABX and includes its 4400CCX call centre solution and 4755 network management tool.
Alcatel won the contract in a tender process because of what Alcatel's general manager, enterprise and consumer group, Andrew Young, describes as a "complete technical solution from a single supplier of voice products".
Alcatel's proposal was centred around the provision of a distributor call centre that Young believes is unique to Alcatel. "Many people can provide voice but we can integrate it with a very high-level ATM signal. We have also put all the network management tools in the one place. Data managers have centralised management for years but voice management hasn't done this yet," claims Young. He suggests that this method of management endears it to clients as it means that "call centres don't have to have 750 people in the same room or change the way they conduct business. The next evolution of the product will be that telephonists will be able to work from home."
Alcatel's status as a single supplier of equipment, voice network, network management and the call centre enabled it to rapidly install the voice network, a condition of HIC's tendering process. "We were commissioned in December and are on track to have it up and running by the end of April. We supplied an end-to-end solution. This meant that HIC didn't have the uncertainty of dealing with third-party developers and meant we could quickly implement a solution without any of the usual supply problems. We knew what we had and how long it would take for us to install it," claims Young.
Young is anticipating that HIC will continue the process of upgrading its systems and to this end has "purchased a system that is future-safe. Our systems are not tied to proprietary technology so are open to third-party development down the track."