ARN

Generation-E takes City of Canada Bay Council to the cloud

Implements Enghouse Interactive and Skype for Business to improve call centre productivity
A public art installation in Rhodes, Sydney, part of the City of Canada Bay Council district

A public art installation in Rhodes, Sydney, part of the City of Canada Bay Council district

Unified communications and cloud provider, Generation-E, has completed a successful implementation of a new cloud-based solution for New South Wales local government organisation, City of Canada Bay Council.

Based in Sydney’s Inner West, The council’s call centre IT system had come to the end of its life cycle. After ten years it was no longer fit for purpose and needed to be retired. The council went to tender with a few specifics in mind as the council’s manager of customer service and IT decision maker, Pauline Webb, told ARN.

“We wanted to have a platform that we knew would have flexibility,” Webb said. “We needed to be able to log caller information to start looking at, and analysing that information to start setting up trends for the community. At the end of the month or quarter, I can go to the board of the business unit and tell them how we are channelling information to the community.”

The Canada Bay City Council also specifically wanted Skype for Business and Enghouse Interactive as its contact centre solution, as Generation-E managing director, Biagio La Rosa, explained.

“In the tender documents, the Canada Bay City Council had specifically requested Enghouse and Skype for Business,” he told ARN. “One of the reasons for this was that a number of other local councils had moved to this system. This also left Generation- E well placed in the tender process, as the company had previously completed a number of these deployments.

Biagio La Rosa - Generation-e managing director
Biagio La Rosa - Generation-e managing director

“As the largest deployer of Skype for business in the country, probably Enghouse’s largest Skype for Business partner, and having completed numerous local council deployments in NSW and around the country, we were awarded the business.

“The primary driver was to move to Skype for Business and then have a contact centre piece, they [Canada Bay City Council] identified Enghouse as the best contact centre solution for Skype for Business.”

Choosing Skype for Business

The council decided to look exclusively at the two technologies because of the functionality between the two and the resultant cost savings associated with doing away with desk phones in the call centre.

“Skype has a feature now where you are able to see a picture of the person you are talking to. It gives us the opportunity to have no handsets on people’s desks, we are saving $50,000 in handsets as a result,” said Webb.

“Now everyone has a headset. So, no one from the top down has a handset on their desk, it is all on the computer. That then eliminates multiple contact centre numbers and contact lists. Everyone in the organisation has had their photo taken and a description taken of what they do," she said.

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Webb had two options: to replace the existing system in the contact centre; or to deploy the technology across the entire organisation. After conversations with the senior leadership team, the council decided on a full deployment based on Webb’s recommendation.

“We were absolutely blown away by the GM and the executive taking this on because we went in there and said we are looking toward the future,” she said.

“Enghouse gave us our contact centre solution which was called Touchpoint, and then we went Skype for Business for the whole organisation.

“It has been a total success, the engagement from the staff is terrific, it really makes the whole call experience feel more human.

Setting up a Custom Solution

As part of the project, Webb had requested custom call codes for the contact centre so the team could assign different actions to specific calls, these were provided by Generation-E at additional cost.

The New Zealand-based provider flew its developers to the client site a number of times throughout the process to assist the Canada Bay team with the transition.

“It went back and forth a few times,” Webb said. “That’s because I am a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted to get it right.”

“They were excellent to deal with, I had no problems. We went live on day one and we did not have one issue.

“I also have to commend our information services section, we had a project person in that team running the project with Enghouse Interactive and myself, and he did a lot of work with them in the background.

“The whole organisation had to be trained, which was huge, you are looking at between 150 and 200 people," she said.

Canada Bay City council gives monthly feedback to staff in the call centre in a program known as a 360. As part of this process, managers listen back to calls staff have taken throughout the month to assess performance. This requires regular call recording, a process which Webb said had become much easier after implementation of the new system.

“It is fantastic now when a call comes in and the team leader can tell if a call is becoming really difficult, the team leader can go in and talk to the operator without the other person hearing, that is called the whisper.

Webb said this allows the team leader to instruct call centre staff on how to deal with the call.

“It has so much flexibility, its amazing. We know that we are going to grow with this solution, that’s what you want from your technology, flexibility that you can grow with,” she added.