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The Executive Spotlight speaks with TELUS Communications Inc.'s Joe Natale, President of TELUS Business Solutions.


CIS: What is TELUS' mission and market position, particularly as they relate to contact centers?

JN: TELUS' strategic intent is to unleash the power of the Internet to deliver the best solutions to Canadians at home, in the workplace and on the move, and I am proud to say that our team is working with customers across Canada to achieve this objective.

TELUS is the largest telecommunications company in Western Canada and the second largest in the country, with $7.9 billion of annual revenue, 4.7 million network access lines and 4.1 million wireless customers. TELUS provides customers with a full range of telecommunications products and services, including hosted contact center services, using next-generation Internet-based technologies.

TELUS' core mission has always been to empower our business customers to achieve their business objectives effectively and cost-efficiently. That mission, as it relates to contact centers, is to empower our customers, regardless of size, to deliver world-class customer service to their customers. Our commitment to the contact center market couldn't be stronger and is evidenced by the sizable capital investments we've made over the last year to roll out hosted contact center services in Canada on a nationwide basis.

CIS: Why did TELUS decide to offer hosted contact center services through the CallCentreAnywhere solution?

JN: Our decision to invest heavily in hosted contact center infrastructure by offering CallCentreAnywhere was driven by the business challenges that our customers asked us to help them solve. Deploying contact centers with premise-based equipment is generally very expensive, complex and time-consuming, requiring a diversity of skills for effective technology management. That's particularly true of multichannel solutions that encompass customer service on the phone, fax and the Internet.'Add quality monitoring and management technologies to the mix and many customers simply want an easier way. In fact, many of our customers told us that they would prefer to leverage TELUS' own call center experience, our technology management capabilities and our IP network to gain access to the technologies they need. We listened and are pleased to offer CallCentreAnywhere to meet their needs.

At TELUS, we have always believed investments which bring enhanced value to our customers are critical to our long-term success. CallCentreAnywhere offers tremendous value, both to those companies that prefer to outsource their technology management and to companies who couldn't previously cost-justify access to world-class technology.

Early feedback from our customers convinced us that we were really on to something, and today that excitement has spread throughout our company. In fact, telecom industry analysts have told us that up to one-third of the call center market will be hosted within the next few years. Based on the reception our offering has received so far, we think that there has to be a lot of truth to that assessment. We've already had some strong initial success with customers like Canada Post through their innovative 'fetchtm' program, which we recently won a CRM Excellence award for [from Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine], and the Canadian Red Cross as well as multiple market segments, including government, retail, financial, travel and tourism, to name a few.

CIS: What differentiated value does your CallCentreAnywhere service offer to businesses?

JN: TELUS offers many tangible benefits to call center customers that are not easily found in one place elsewhere. Elimination of up-front expenses is certainly one of them. A company's decision to outsource its technology needs to TELUS enables it to eliminate all up-front capital expenditures, as well as traditional development and testing costs, integration expenses and other up-front costs that are typically required when deploying traditional premise-based technologies. The elimination of these up-front expenses can obviously be very meaningful for organizations with constrained budgets.

The elimination of development and integration risks is another key advantage. With CallCentreAnywhere, deployment risk rests squarely with TELUS as the service provider since clients avoid having to own or install anything on their premises. Beyond our traditional communications technologies, our business customers can leverage our application-development teams in the areas of speech and advanced Web technologies design to obtain a fully integrated end-to-end solution. Since we can also implement voice and data networking services, our business customers reduce their risk significantly when resolution to a problem is required. TELUS takes comprehensive responsibility for the provisioning, delivery and ongoing maintenance of the entire solution.

Budget predictability and ongoing reductions in operational expenses is clearly another benefit of CallCentreAnywhere. TELUS has tremendous economies of scale that we leverage to drive down technology costs for our customers.

Real-time disaster-recovery capabilities, such as those required by the Canadian Red Cross, is another attribute of our 'built-for purpose,' scaleable, hosted services technology. Our business customers are assured that their mission-critical business systems are being supported to our highest standards.'

Of course, yet another important benefit is the elimination of traditional time-to-market barriers, since all required resources will have already been preinstalled in the TELUS network. A related benefit is that we can quickly and cost-effectively address unanticipated capacity requirements to help our business customers meet unanticipated or seasonal shifts in their end-customer demand.

Finally, TELUS also offers our customers an important intangible benefit, the benefit of our experience as one of the largest corporate users of contact center technology in the world. Our business customers are able to leverage world-class advice on best practices from us on an ongoing basis ' to ensure that they (the customers) get maximum value from the technology we deliver.

CIS: What drove the decision to leverage Telephony@Work technology for TELUS' hosted contact center offering?

JN: Before selecting Telephony@Work, TELUS conducted an exhaustive review of the marketplace in our search to find an IP-based solution that met our customer needs.'In the end we concluded that Telephony@Work offered the only multitenant platform that could satisfy both our customer needs and our IP network requirements in terms of scalability, reliability and network security. In addition, Telephony@Work was the only solution we reviewed that enabled us to gain economies of scale by sharing resources across business customers without impacting on the security of data or the degree of control available for each business customer. The ability to release control through to the subscriber level provides economies of scale, which enables TELUS to pass the savings on to the customer. As a result, we are positioned to be extremely competitive in the Canadian marketplace, while offering customers what they want: complete control of their own business processes. This cost-effective management ap proach also lets us plan for rapid market-share acquisition and cost-effective growth, a plan which we are busily executing. CIS

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