Verint Systems: Intelligence in Action

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May 2010 | Volume 28 / Number 12
Cover story

Verint Systems: Intelligence in Action

By Brendan B. Read,
Senior Contributing Editor

Unified communications enables organizations via contact centers to deliver improved customer-retaining/word-of-mouth attracting service while lowering costs by unifying the channels to deliver a consistent, effective level of service.

Tower Life Insurance, which is based in San Antonio, Texas, is one such firm that has benefitted from UC in the contact center. It is a leading life, health and accident insurance company specializing, in providing large, multiple-site employers
with third party health and employee welfare administration and managed care services, with over $70 million in assets.

Tower Life has approximately 300 employees, including executives, business users, administrative personnel, receptionists, remote workers and 40 contact center agents and supervisors at its headquarters. The agents provide a variety of customer care services to clients in English and Spanish.

By late 2006 Tower Life found that it needed a better set of tools to communicate with its external and internal customers – it had legacy PBX (News - Alert), IVR, voicemail and faxing capabilities – and to deliver meaningful real-time and historical
reporting metrics. It also wanted to automate more of its business processes via solutions and methods such as CTI (News - Alert)/screen-pop, conditional routing schemes, improved IVR and intuitive self-help.

Tower Life’s contact center’s team members could not adequately manage call queues and route specific types of customers to the most appropriate skilled agent, nor could they adequately report on the metrics to effectively manage the business. Also the center could not provide screen-pops or an intuitive self-service offering to customers and or service in Spanish. Integration with back-office platforms that have process automation abilities was nonexistent.

Tower Life realized that providing the center with advanced contact handling capabilities, with UC including presence
coupled with multilingual IVR and backed by stronger reporting mechanisms would enable it to service customers faster and more effectively. It contacted Polly Gurley and Becky Cameron then from Cross Telecom, their respective Avaya (News - Alert) business partner in 2007 to evaluate potential solutions.

Gurley and Cameron identified Tower Life’s business issues, workflow challenges, user preferences and integration requirements. They compared and analyzed multiple platforms along with Zeacom’s (News - Alert) ( platform that would address the insurer’s needs.

Tower Life decided on the Zeacom Communications Center (ZCC) UC and contact center (CC) application, integrated to a new Avaya Communication Manager S8500 and to its back-office platforms; the ZCC is Avaya-compatible. The ZCC solution would provide skills-based and conditional-back-office-data-based routing, multimedia (voice, e-mail, fax, Web callback) queuing, IVR in English and Spanish, agent/supervisor-accessible performance and statistical reporting and an intuitive desktop user interface.

Tower Life, Zeacom and the Avaya business partner formed an implementation team that mapped out how the new system would operate, establish the workflow design, coordinate the installation and manage migration with virtually no downtime for the insurer’s customers. The process required extensive and seamless coordination as it involved integrating the Zeacom and Avaya solutions and shifting multiple systems simultaneously to the new UC and CC platform and the Avaya switch. Making matters more challenging is that Tower Life uses several local and long distance carriers whose networks needed to link into the Avaya unit.

Tower Life went live with the new Zeacom and Avaya solution in late 2007. Since then service has improved substantially. The firm processes over 34 percent more interactions with only four additional agents; home-based agents can now be supported. The IVR system now processes 27 percent of calls from 11 percent in 2007. Agents manage queues across multiple channels from their desktops. If they have customers with issues that one of their colleagues are better able to handle they can see if they are on the line, on break or available
with ZCC’s presence capabilities.

New agent training time has also been reduced by more than 25 percent.

Tower Life now has new call wrap-up codes that provide a higher level of customer service by helping it better understand the reasons for each call. This enables the insurer to make future changes to better assist their callers. The Zeacom solution also permits executives to quantitatively analyze the costs associated with supporting each of their large employer group clients.

“The new Zeacom system has positively affected our entire organization: well beyond our customer service department,”
says Tower Life Vice President Ben Zachry. “Zeacom spent an incredible amount of time on the front end of the project working closely with Polly and Becky, understanding our business and its related needs and addressing our needs with their technology. The follow-up and technical support we received from Zeacom has been superb. Zeacom has helped us transform our call center into a true contact center.”


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