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A highly innovative company, that has turned the retail of designer fashion upside down, wanted to dynamically react to business opportunities and support a follow-the-sun service for its international contact centre.

This award-winning company has grown at a phenomenal pace with a formula of worldwide express delivery, unrivalled customer care and clearly differentiated services for particular customer sectors. When the company’s growth justified a move into glossy new offices, it took advantage of the opportunity to design a communications infrastructure to support the sophistication of its service model and the pace of its transatlantic – and now global – development.

The problem

Intercity Technology unified communications has revolutionised the way the company manages its customer service lines, increasing productivity and enhancing international collaboration through video conferencing. They have also eliminated the burden of managing several suppliers for their telephony needs, with additions and changes being as simple as an email or call direct to the Intercity Technology Service Desk.

“This customer was very ambitious with what they wanted to do. We worked with them in a highly collaborative process to design for new possibilities given the extreme flexibility of a cloud-based platform. Our services are based on providing access to an expert team able to support customers’ ambitions and make the task of satisfying international communications requirements much, much easier. Customers no longer need to be limited by the traditional barriers involved in rolling out new infrastructure.” David Kennedy, Intercity Technology.

The solution

Hosted and supported as a single service covering all operations, the 1,500+ seat system for the fashion retailer is designed to support differentiated customer service lines in contact centres on both sides of the Atlantic, and allow for the inevitable additions and changes that occur in any part of this fast-moving business. Intercity Technology also provides hosting for the company’s busy website which has become a destination for shopping and high fashion editorial, including video coverage of the latest designs, for the several million women who visit each month.

International Business IP Telephony with Room and Personal Telepresence

The Intercity Technology unified communications endpoints are all Polycom High Definition (HD) IP audio and video devices offering a very high quality experience. A centrally managed system delivered from a private cloud means the customer can enjoy the simplicity of a single directory with short-code dialling covering all locations, including remote and home-based workers. Site-to-site calls, even those crossing the Atlantic, travel across their own private global network. Their meeting rooms and executive desk extensions feature video conferencing that is easy for anyone in the company to use and is integrated into the central directory, allowing any extension to be dialled into a conference.

“Fashion is a visual industry. HD means managers can view fine detail in new fashion designs and make buying decisions. They want to see what colleagues are talking about and the HD video quality offers a phenomenal ability to do this. It’s also incredibly easy to use. Anyone can set up an international video conference call, with all telepresence devices having an intuitive managed user interface and directory”

David Kennedy, Intercity Technology

Intercity Technology supports the company’s three customer service contact centre sites, in the fashion capitals of London, New York and Hong Kong, which feature more than twenty separate, language based, customer service lines and efficient management options for peak demand. The customer was able to preserve their well-recognised toll-free and customer service numbers, while all sites are designed to back each other up, offering the best of a local service and follow-the-sun ability to answer customer calls.

Calls are managed in the cloud, held centrally in their queue and distributed when an appropriately skilled agent becomes available,which allows for more efficient bandwidth consumption and better call response times. The overall solution design supports shift work with agents logging in to shared hot desk phones and a dynamic link to an external service for back up in busy periods.

Features such as queue monitoring, the ability to log in to several queues at once and to pause for a break, are accessible via a web page or through an on-phone application. A few added innovations, such as company RSS feeds and Twitter feeds direct on the phone keep everyone in touch with what is being said about the company.

Meticulously Planned, Seamless Transition

Migrating to the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of Intercity Technology’ unified communications platform, the company could not tolerate any compromise in reliability. The transition to the cloud had to be flawless to ensure no customer calls were missed during the cutover. Working from a highly specified design developed in collaboration with the customer, the technical experts at Intercity Technology gathered the detail required to centrally configure the functionality of each extension, the video conferencing system and the call centres.

Test deployments were then set up on each side of the Atlantic by Intercity Technology engineers. With all systems working as they should within three months, welcome emails and phones were then delivered direct to users who were able to plug them in and begin work. This process was later replicated to bring the Hong Kong contact centre online and integrate it into the global contact centre operation

“This customer was very ambitious with what they wanted to do. We worked with them in a highly collaborative process to design for new possibilities given the extreme flexibility of a cloud-based platform”

David Kennedy, Intercity Technology

Intercity Technology ensure communications quality by selecting the best technologies and suppliers in the industry. The entire platform is continuously monitored, with individual call quality visible in real time to Intercity Technology Operations Centre engineers, ensuring any issues are spotted very quickly.

“Put simply, the customer trusted Intercity Technology to deliver,” concluded David Kennedy. “We were already successfully providing hosting and network services to them and had the support structure in place. Our architected solution is enterprise grade and is flexible and scalable enough to allow for their future growth plans.”


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