The price was right
Pelkey said he believed the NuContact Center technology was right for TMS and so was the priceapproximately $300,000 with end-to-end vendor support thrown in for free. "We were an early adopter of the solution," he said. Getting on board with a well-established vendor would have been a cinch, said Pelkey, but getting buy-in from TMS owners on a well-funded technology startup was more challenging. Armed with vendor background information and assurances, Pelkey said he approached TMS owners, who, as it turned out, clearly understood the strategic importance of VOIP to the companys future success."Our partnership with VoiceGenie gave us a low-cost, fast development cycle and allowed us to get the product to market quickly," said McFadden. NuContact Center has live agent and self-service capability, letting customers choose their communication channel.Not all customer calls require live agent capability. "In TMS case, it was clear that a percentage of calls were simple in naturesuch as a payment status check or address change, for exampleand could be handled with self-service capability," said VoiceGenies Tersigni. While one of VOIPs most touted benefits is savings in telecommunications costs, McFadden said, thats not the case anymore with the decline in telecommunications costs. "Companies see the greatest efficiencies in labor costs," he said. Working primarily with Nuasis engineers and ongoing professional support services, TMS progressed from system design to developing workflows to phased implementation. With NuContact Center in production in Warwick for almost two years, TMS has reaped many of the benefits it expected, said Pelkey. Examples include a 10 percent reduction in seasonal labor requirements and call duration reduced by 45 seconds on average. The IP solution has also allowed TMS to launch new services. For instance, My EPC (education payment counselor) matches customer account numbers with specific agents to promote relationship building. TMS also offers outbound calling services to help schools with marketing campaigns. In addition, the company developed a proprietary application thats integrated with the contact center solution and is designed to improve the quality and integrity of tracking internal marketing initiatives. How does TMS know if customers can tell the difference between the old call center and the new IP contact center? "What we know is that customers want a timely response when they call. This is about avoidance of dissatisfaction," said Pelkey. Lynn Haber is a freelance writer based in Norwell, Mass. Contact her at email@example.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.