Vistaprint unified its global workforce using advanced communications, telepresence, WebEx, and contact center solutions.
A global company, Vistaprint provides high-impact, personalized products and electronic services for micro businesses and the home. Vistaprint’s propriety technologies enable the company to offer custom designed, full-color, low-cost printed products, as well as electronic services such as websites and email marketing. The company employs more than 3,700 people, operates more than 25 localized websites globally, and ships to more than 130 countries around the world.
Between 2009 and 2012, Vistaprint grew from 10 to 22 sites. The growing enterprise wanted to make sure that its employees could readily collaborate with colleagues in any global office, for customer projects and business planning. “Decisions can take a long time when you rely on email and phone conversations because you can’t see whether someone who usually speaks another language understands you, and you can’t share designs,” says Jimmy Yan, a VoIP Manager at Vistaprint. Employees used a consumer instant messaging service for quick answers, but they did not have a formal way to find a colleague’s screen name, and could not easily escalate from an IM session to a phone call or web collaboration session.
As part of its plan for growth, Vistaprint also needed to make sure it could continue delivering a great customer experience in its growing contact center. Converting calls to sales requires prompt response from an agent with the right language skills and knowledge.
Finally, Vistaprint’s IT team needed the management tools to make sure the network and communications applications remained available, avoiding interruptions to the business that could affect the customer experience or operations.
Vistaprint built a strong foundation for collaboration and customer care by adopting Cisco® Unified Communications and collaboration applications. “Cisco supports our business goals because it’s at the forefront of communications and collaboration, and support is outstanding,” says Yan.
The basis of the solution is four Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters around the world, which connect 3000 Cisco Unified IP Phones. Approximately 100 workers in the company’s printing plants use Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones so that coworkers can reach them anywhere in the plant to report equipment issues that could affect job deadlines.
Employees enjoy an in-person communications experience with global coworkers using Cisco TelePresence® Systems in conference rooms or Cisco Jabber™ Video for TelePresence software on their PCs and Macs. For quick questions, they use the Cisco Jabber communications client on their PC, Mac, or tablet. “With Cisco Jabber, we can just select a coworker’s name and click to call, send an instant message, or start a Cisco WebEx session,” says Yan. “Jabber makes it feel like you’re working next to each other, even if you’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart.”
The Vistaprint IT team uses Cisco Unified Communications Management Suite to monitor service availability and quality. The same tool provides early awareness of power outages and down circuits, helping to ensure business continuity.
When customers call to place an order or check order status, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise intelligently routes the call to the first available agent with the right skills and language, who might be in Jamaica, Berlin, or Tunisia. Presidio Networked Solutions, a Cisco partner, integrated Cisco Unified Contact Center with Vistaprint’s customer database so that when agents receive customer calls, they also see the customer history, improving the customer experience while increasing agent productivity.
Optimized Team Performance in a Global Enterprise
Cisco TelePresence has become a signature part of the Vistaprint workplace. Employees can meet with an in-person experience from boardroom-style Cisco TelePresence rooms in Paris, France; Winterthur, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain; and Lexington, Massachusetts. Vistaprint’s executive team is spread across the world, and interacts throughout the day with managers in different offices using Cisco TelePresence.
Each global office has at least one Cisco TelePresence System in a conference room, and employees can also use Cisco Jabber for TelePresence on their desktops. “On a typical day I participate in three or four Cisco TelePresence sessions, either from my desktop or a conference room,” Yan says. “Being able to see facial expressions makes the conversation richer, and you can see that the other person is engaged and not working on other tasks.”
Vistaprint’s employees use Cisco WebEx® Meetings for departmental meetings as well as impromptu web collaboration sessions. For example, a Lexington-based graphics designer who is working on a logo design might share the desktop with a colleague in Barcelona to discuss how to adjust a color hue. “In the printing business, even a small variation in color or design is a big problem, and sharing desktops provides the necessary accuracy,” Yan says. When employees are traveling, they can use the free WebEx app to join conferences from their smartphones and tablets, engaging just as fully as they would from their office.
Excellent Contact Center Experience
Customers enjoy an excellent experience when they call the high-volume, global contact center because Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise intelligently routes calls to a qualified agent. Customers and agents save time because agents see the customer history at the same time they receive the call. Built-in reporting also contributes to a great customer experience by helping Vistaprint make sure the right number of agents are available at different times of day.
Vistaprint offices and contact centers currently connect to the voice service provider over time-division multiplexing (TDM) trunks, leasing enough circuits to accommodate peak traffic. To increase reliability while lowering monthly line costs, the company plans to migrate one office at a time to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking, using the Cisco Unified Border Element capability in each office’s Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR). The first site to adopt SIP trunks will be the corporate office in Singapore. Vistaprint is also planning to replace 20 T1 lines to the contact center with a SIP trunk, helping to accommodate peak call volume during holidays. “With SIP, we’ll be able to pay for much less base capacity, and ramp up or down as needed,” Yan says.
To reduce data center costs, Vistaprint virtualized its Cisco applications and other business applications, and hosts them on a Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) C-Series Rack Servers. “Every Cisco UCS server we deploy replaces four of our old servers, saving data center space, power, and cooling costs,” Yan says. The company also uses Cisco Nexus® switches, Cisco Unified Wireless Network, and Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) for WAN acceleration.
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