In today’s increasingly digital world, fibre networks have become a necessity.
Ultrafast Fibre Ltd is one of four entities helping to fulfil the government initiative to provide ultra-fast broadband throughout New Zealand. Essentially, they’re helping to build a 3,000 kilometre fibre network, representing some 13 percent of the entire national rollout. Putting that in perspective, that passes 162,000 address in the North Island.
However, they had a problem in that they were trying to operate in this highly-competitive environment using a legacy phone system from the late 1990’s.
“If we are going to convince the retail service providers and their customers to sign on, then we need to treat our communications presence very seriously,” says Jeffares. “It’s an understatement to say it didn’t do much for our reputation when our own telecom systems fell over several times a day. And it was only a basic phone system, without any of the customer service functionality expected today.”
What Ultrafast Fibre needed was to facilitate communications between its five business areas: the inbound and outbound contact centre; the 85 staff within the enterprise itself; the 900-strong fieldforce of its infrastructure partner, Transfield; and the Huawei-run NOC. And the environment had to have the capacity to expand as the organisation continues to grow rapidly.
“We needed a robust, high availability unified communications solution – there was never to be a crash, ever again – and we needed it now,” says Jeffares. “The project was to unleash the full UC stack on our problems, including avalanche call overflow management for peak periods.”
The successful solution, proposed by Baycom, incorporated an NEC UNIVERGE SV9500 Communications Server and Enghouse Interactive contact centre. This robust, feature-rich IP telephony system, designed for large geographically distributed businesses, has the full redundancy capability of dual CPUs and dual SIP voice gateways. And, critical to its selection, was its avalanche capability and inherent ability to scale.
During his career Jeffares had experienced NEC and the quality of its solutions, saying they “are industrial grade by design” – he also endorses managed services partner, Baycom.
“Its locally-based expertise and ability to deliver the powerful NEC/Enghouse Interactive solution ticked every box we were looking for,” Jeffares says. “Having worked offshore for 20 years, I’m a highly critical individual. But Baycom executed a flawless implementation within only four weeks of us committing to the project.”
The SV9500’s virtualised, pre-packaged solution underpinned the rapid implementation of the new system. The two phase project has seen the successful go live of the foundation telephony functionality. And “all those extra good things”, as Jeffares describes them, of UC integration into the Enghouse Interactive (Zeacom) contact centre - with features such as IM, voice to email, call back, email queuing and Touchpoint desktop - will be introduced in the upcoming second phase.
From day one, the new system has been adding value to the Ultrafast Fibre business.
“We have telco grade .99999% reliability,” Jeffares says. “The first day the new system went live, our email died, so the phones were really tested as we had a lot of very frustrated people calling us."
Crucially too, Ultrafast Fibre now has statistics on details such as call duration, completion, inbound today and weekly averages, among others. This isn't to mention the combined NEC/Enghouse Interactive system provides role/team based routing functionality, which wasn’t possible before.
Any last words?
“Ultrafast Fibre is determined to deliver the ultimate broadband experience to our customers,” Jeffares says. “Communications is our shop window, so it has to be faultless. The NEC and Enghouse Interactive platform, implemented by Baycom, is unstoppable.”