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Contact Center Technology Feature Article

November 21, 2005

Contact Center Emergency Evacuation Within Hours of Hurricane Rita

TMCnet News

The United States Rare Coin and Bullion Reserve, headquartered in Texas, relocated from Beaumont, Texas to Austin in a matter of hours on September 22, 2005 to avoid Hurricane Rita. Doing so saved the company an estimated $1 million in lost sales, according to Steve Orlando, chief operating officer. The United States Rare Coin and Bullion Reserve did not experience downtime or loss of services while other businesses and competitors lost their call center operations for several days or even weeks.

The company was able to take advantage of the flexibility of its VoIP multi-site call center configuration implemented by Amcat, a contact-management technology company based in Oklahoma. U.S. Rare Coin and Bullion Reserve moved their people and equipment from the endangered Beaumont location and easily re-established operations by combining with the Austin, Texas VoIP location within hours of category-4 storm Hurricane Rita.

Amcat president, Richard Costello commented, “The advantages of IP contact centers have been discussed thoroughly, but usually from the perspective of saving money on communication costs between locations and its overall flexibility for (MACS) Moves, Adds and Changes. However, the benefits of IP contact centers from a business continuity perspective should now be explored by many organizations. The relocation of the Beaumont site to Austin would have more difficult or virtually impossible to accomplish in the time frame that occurred if the system had been a hard-wired TDM configuration.”

According to Steve Orlando, “As the hurricane approached, we assembled our disaster team and contemplated what we could do. We realized we could take advantage of our VoIP configuration and actually relocate our Beaumont agent-only site to our Austin location. The relocation would be a matter of deploying the PCs and connecting our router to the main Amcat server in Austin. We called Amcat and confirmed that our plan would work. Not only did they agree, they felt we could accomplish this all with just our internal IT staff.”

Steve Orlando added, “We had seen the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and realized that being directly in Rita’s path could seriously impact our business. As the storm struck the Texas coast, we simply reconnected all the Beaumont equipment ourselves and re-established communication with the Austin server using VoIP addressing. Within 12 hours, we were working again. We literally plugged the equipment back in, turned on the computers and we were back in business.”

Steve explains the role of Amcat’s contact center technology, “Using the VoIP capabilities from Amcat, we had a perfect business continuity plan. We already had virtual telephony connectivity between the Austin and Beaumont sites, which meant that any incoming calls could be easily re-routed to Austin without having to change any numbers. The centralized database meant that we did not to have to take files or any other customer contact information with us.”

Damage from Hurricane Rita meant that the United States Rare Coin and Bullion Reserve Beaumont office would be out of commission for three weeks. Steve Orlando concluded, “We really didn’t miss a beat thanks to hard work by our staff and the AMCAT system.” The company estimates that it saved over $1 million in potential lost business by having technology in place that was flexible and could provide a quick and alternative solution in the event of a major disaster.

Amcat™ is a leading provider of intelligent contact center solutions to power dramatic increases in productivity, agent professionalism, and campaign management flexibility. Amcat solutions enable companies to increase operating efficiencies and to continually enhance the quality, capabilities and services available in their contact center. As a result, contact centers see a dramatic increase in outbound and inbound productivity, a higher level of agent professionalism and the ability to make rapid adjustments to campaigns and operations. Founded in 1991, Amcat has a global customer base of more than 1,100 contact centers. For more information visit or call 1-800-364-5518.

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