Cable & Wireless Communications is quadrupling IBM's European call centre capacity with new compressed voice technology.
The first European site to go live with C&WC's Compressed Managed Private Line (CMPL) is in Italy.
IBM will be able to handle four time as many calls at its customer call centre in Greenock, Scotland. Under a two-year deal, C&WC is delivering a range of products, including CMPL, to give IBM the extra capacity it requires. The contract is being undertaken with a number of partners, including Newbridge Networks, to provide an end-to-end managed service for compressed voice.
The agreement follows on from a one-year contract awarded by IBM for the supply of end-to-end international bandwidth solutions across 13 European countries to Greenock. During the first contract, C&WC invested £1.5 million upgrading site access and bringing SDH over fibre to IBM Greenock.
Today, the Greenock site has 400 agents handling up to one million calls per day. Customers dialling IBM from any European country are diverted to Scotland, where call centre agents answer calls using the language and telephone etiquette appropriate to each caller's country.
Gerry Blackwood, director of the IBM general services centre, said: "This is good news for our customers."
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