Online travel company ebookers.com has signed a five-year agreement with BT to outsource the maintenance of its contact centre network and host its data centre.
BT Global Services had been providing networking services to ebookers but, following the installation of an organisation-wide virtual IP network for its contact centres, BT suggested consolidating ebookers' outsourced maintenance contracts.
Grant Spicer, ebookers' business development manager, explained that the company had been maintaining different network maintenance contracts with outsourcers local to each of its 31 contact centres across 13 European countries.
"BT offered to take the existing support contracts from the other suppliers and bundle them together in one," he said. "So they have effectively taken over support of our telephony infrastructure."
Spicer added that BT was able to use its size in negotiations with the existing ebookers network maintenance providers to drive down costs, passing these savings on to the travel retailer in a cheaper, consolidated deal.
"It was not just the cost [of the deal] that attracted us to it, it was also its management. Now we have a single point of contact," he said.
"Before, when we had a problem, we had to try and work out whether it was the network or the hardware and then we'd have fighting between the different vendors over whose fault it was. Now we just ring the BT helpdesk and they sort it out."
The deal is a framework agreement that includes an account management contract team which will renegotiate the contact centre contracts every year. It will also give ebookers the opportunity to bring other services under the contract.
Spicer stated that ebookers had just included its data centre under the agreement. "We are constantly looking at other things to bring under this agreement," he said.
Ebookers is in the process of setting up the managed service helpdesk with BT. It is expected to go live, along with the service provision itself, in the next two to four weeks.
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