Aviation company company Hawker Pacific has seen an improved its customer service and cut IT maintenance costs following the implementation of CIO :: Unified Communicationsa new unified communications system.
The system, supplied by NEC and installed by Voicepoint Communications, has seen the company, which has 20 sites across Australia and Asia, replace its aging and under-ultilised communications servers with IP-based PABXs saving an estimated $12,000 a year.
“For example, our Brisbane office is a four man office, yet it has its own PABX and an ISDN 10 and the headaches, issues and costs of that,” says Jeremy Gold, IT operations manager at Hawker Pacific.
Phone, e-mail and fax have been integrated under a unified messaging platform seeing a significant reduction in lost customer orders and customer call dropouts in its call centre, according to Gold.
This is especially important as the company receives about fives times the number of fax orders as e-mail, or around 100 fax orders a day.
“We have happier customers at our call centre now and we’re not losing customer calls or faxes,” Gold says. “A fax is now handled no differently to the way a phone call is handled; it comes into the system, stays in the system, replied to like a call, and we can report on it like a call — and most importantly we aren’t losing them.”
Through the use of soft phones, the company has also seen a sizable reduction in global roaming costs for a large proportion of its highly mobile staff, Gold says.
“A lot of our staff are probably flying around the world more than they are asleep at home in bed, so the global roaming costs are just astronomical; probably 50 percent of our mobile call spend was on global roaming,” he says.
“Using soft phones we are able to treat staff that are overseas as if they were in the office by diverting their landline to their PC-based soft phone, so we don’t pay the global roaming charges that we would on the mobile.”
With the new system, Hawker can also link phone numbers to physical handsets, allowing the handset to be moved to a different desk or office, yet still have the same number without the need to repatch the number, Gold says.
The company is also looking at trialling presence, video conferencing to cut down face-to-face meetings, and smart calendaring functions through the new system over the next 12 months.