Quintiq adopted Jabber for voice services and introduced follow-the-sun support with Unified Contact Center Express.
Quintiq provides an innovative supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O) platform that helps enable enterprises to improve efficiency at every stage of the supply chain. Quintiq's software is in use at over 500 locations in 78 countries worldwide. The rapidly growing company has a global presence, with dual headquarters in the Netherlands and the United States, a global development center in Malaysia, and 14 offices around the world.
Communication is at the center of Quintiq's business processes, including software development and customer support. But the previous private branch exchange (PBX) system had reached capacity, and adding even one more phone would require an expensive upgrade in all locations. "We needed a new system that would grow with the company, provide good voice quality everywhere in the world, and be easy to manage," says Wil Lamain, Quintiq's vice president of R&D and corporate support.
Quintiq also wanted new collaboration capabilities to improve its development and customer care workflows. Previously, employees who spoke on the phone infrequently used shared phones in common areas, saving the costs of hundreds of handsets. But not having personal phone numbers made it difficult to get quick answers. Furthermore, the company's operators had no way of knowing if an employee was on the phone when they connected outside callers, so callers sometimes reached voicemail instead of being offered the option to speak to someone else.
To provide industry-leading customer care, Quintiq envisioned a follow-the-sun support option, which would require a more flexible contact center platform. "Our customers have high expectations for support because they use Quintiq software in their primary business processes," says Lamain. "Routing calls to an open office based on time of day would be a valuable service, but difficult to implement on our previous contact center platform."
Quintiq engaged Ask Roger!, a Cisco® Premiere Partner in the Netherlands, to recommend a scalable and reliable communications platform. "We suggested Cisco Unified Communications Manager, because it provides good voice quality even over low-cost communications lines, and even in countries with high packet loss, like Malaysia," says Patrick Scherbeijn, managing partner for Ask Roger! The reason is that Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports the Internet low-bit-rate codec (iLBC), which corrects errors that can degrade voice quality.
Now Quintiq employees in all global offices receive their voice services through one of two Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters, in the Netherlands and Malaysia. Employees who make frequent phone calls have Cisco Unified IP Phones. Those who talk on the phone less frequently, including software developers, use Cisco Jabber™ as a softphone on their Windows device to place and receive calls from their personal work phone number. Development teams are beginning to use Cisco WebEx® Meetings to collaborate with audio and web sharing. "Being able to share and discuss new interfaces in real-time can accelerate time to market compared to emailing images or code and asking for feedback," says Lamain.
Collaborating with coworkers who travel to other global offices is also easier, because employees can receive calls to their office number on their BlackBerry phones, thanks to BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) for Cisco Unified Communications Manager. "In offices with Wi-Fi, visiting employees can connect over Wi-Fi instead of paying international roaming charges," Scherbeijn says. "And the calls they place from any mobile device using Cisco Jabber software appear to be from their office number."
The benefits extend to customers, who can now connect with a support engineer 24 hours a day. "When a customer calls the local support number, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express checks if the local office is open," says Rob Boons, engineering project manager for Quintiq. "If not, the system hands over the call to an office in the next time zone, for follow-the-sun support."
The new Cisco Unified Communications solution and Cisco Jabber are improving customer satisfaction, optimizing team performance, and lowering costs.
High Customer Satisfaction
Customers calling Quintiq now enjoy an outstanding experience, for several reasons:
• Customers can reach a support engineer any time of the day, any day of the week. During holidays, engineers on call can receive calls at home using Cisco Jabber on a PC. Quintiq will soon begin using Cisco Jabber on iPads, as well.
• Quintiq's phone operators can now see whether an employee is on the phone before transferring a call, using the presence feature in Cisco Jabber.
• Voice quality in countries with high packet loss is much clearer because Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports iLBC.
"With our old VoIP system, we regularly had to deal with customer complaints and escalations about poor voice quality and dropped calls in the contact center," Lamain says. "The main way we measure success is that these problems stopped when we began using Cisco Unified Communications."
Improved Team Collaboration
Development teams can now collaborate more easily because everyone has his or her own phone number, and those who use the Cisco Jabber softphone can be reached at the same number anywhere in the world. Employees appreciate the clear voice quality, which makes it easier to understand people who speak different native languages. "When collaboration improves, so does business efficiency," says Lamain.
Cisco collaboration solutions are also helping to improve workflow for resolving customer support issues. An employee who needs information can use Jabber to see if a coworker is available and then just click to send an instant message. If needed, with the click of a button, they can escalate from a chat to an audio call, video call, desktop share, or web meeting.
Finally, the Cisco solutions are helping to lower the cost of growth, through:
• Choice of endpoints: Depending on their role, employees use Cisco Unified IP Phones, Cisco Jabber as a softphone, or both.
• Eliminating the need for power outlets and power cords for phones: Cisco Unified IP Phones receive power over Ethernet (PoE) from Cisco switches, eliminating the cost of power outlets at each desk.
• Centralized call control: The only equipment that individual offices need is a Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), which connects to the centralized Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters.
• Simplified management: "We spend less time troubleshooting issues because Cisco Unified Communications Manager is more reliable than our previous system," says Boons.
• Lower mobile phone bills: Mobile phone bills have decreased since Quintiq began using BlackBerry MVS for Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
• Cost-effective customer support: Quintiq can offer follow-the-sun support without the expense of staffing each contact center after normal business hours. Instead, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express intelligently routes customer calls to a global office that is currently open.
Quintiq continues to look for ways to improve the customer experience and internal collaboration. One plan is to further increase voice quality and reduce costs by replacing the current time-division multiplexing (TDM) trunks in some offices with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. The Cisco ISRs in each office can simultaneously support a TDM Gateway and the Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) used for SIP trunking, helping enable Quintiq to make the transition at its own pace.
The company is also considering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, allowing employees to use Cisco Jabber to place and receive calls on personal iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
Quintiq also plans to adopt advanced collaboration tools that will accelerate project completion. One idea is to increase use of Cisco WebEx Meetings for customer meetings. "Many of our customers are located far away from our offices, and Cisco WebEx Meetings will make it easier to demonstrate new features and screens, and to resolve issues," says Lamain.
Another idea is to adopt Cisco TelePresence®, which provides ultra-high-definition video and spatial audio, for strategic meetings with managers in different global offices. Ask Roger! will integrate Cisco TelePresence with an interactive whiteboard, allowing participants to collaborate as if they were in the same room.