Private healthcare firm Bupa International has become the first UK organisation to implement networking vendor Avaya's Enterprise Class IP Solutions (Eclips) range of convergence equipment and software.
In a deal estimated to be worth £500,000, Bupa is migrating to IP telephony globally using Avaya MultiVantage voice network integration software.
"The whole aim of the new system is improving customer service," said Paul Tidy, head of operational development at Bupa International. "It needed the architecture to handle new media and over the next few years."
Bupa chose Avaya because the systems could be demonstrated now and there was a clear roadmap. Existing kit will be replaced over time, giving it more control of how the system evolves.
Bupa is taking two Unix servers, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and a Sun workstation to run the MultiVantage customer management system (CMS).
Its Brighton-based head office will switch over to the IP-based system on 11 November, using its own private network which will give it a straight replacement for the existing call centre.
Later will come a link to home-workers, who will get embedded phones and the main customer services application so that they can work as though in the office. Some 350 staff will be trained to use the new system.
"We offer a 24x7 service and, as our volumes increase - say on a Sunday morning - we can log in extra staff," said Tidy.
Early next year, systems integrator IP Integration will link Bupa's Hong Kong office with voiceover-IP inbound call handling. After this other new overseas offices may come on-stream.
The software can identify the origin of calls and then route them to a local native language-speaker. Among other capabilities are links to email, online web chat, integrated co-browsing and plug-in voice recording.
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