City-of-Baltimore

City of Baltimore Puts Citizens First with SII’s Genesys PureConnect IVR Solution

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City of Baltimore Puts Citizens First with SII’s Genesys PureConnect IVR Solution

Customer

Baltimore is a city of great neighborhoods with unique characteristics. One of the nation’s oldest cities, Baltimore has 72 historic districts including over 57,000 monuments, statues and other structures.

In the late 1700’s Baltimore quickly grew to become the third largest city in America. Through the mid-20th century, Baltimore remained among America’s ten largest cities.

Challenge

The City of Baltimore was finding it difficult to service their citizens’ needs. While the City’s Artisoft Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system provided access to the mainframe, connectivity was unreliable. The number of sessions required to complete a single transaction was placing unreasonable burden on the mainframe and causing numerous interruptions. To compound the problem, the City was unable to obtain any reliable reports to determine how many citizens were being affected. The City also found that the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) did not function properly and not all data from the mainframe was provided to callers increasing callers opting for live agents. After-sale support was non-existent.

Finally, the City of Baltimore decided they needed a new system that would be able to better service the public.

Systems Integration, Inc. (SII) performed a detailed analysis of the City’s needs and problems, including an analysis of the then current network infrastructure. SII developed a Detailed System Requirements Definition that included a complete definition of the requirements and scope, a complete acceptance criteria matrix, and a Detail Design Document, Description of Customization Made.

Solution

To solve the problems that the department was experiencing, SII installed a Genesys PureConnect solution. The PureConnect software resides on the server running the Windows operating system. Customers using the PureConnect IVR system are connected via SII-developed applications to the City’s mainframe data, providing real-time access to financial information needed by citizens, including water bills, real estate tax information, traffic tickets, and other data.

The IVR solution provides connectivity to financial applications data and the features customers need to serve themselves, including access to:

  • Major call support centers
  • Credit card payment
  • Emergency numbers
  • Subject matter specialists

SII developed and implemented the following applications within the IVR system:

  • Real Property application provides citizens and organizations the ability to inquire on the tax information for a specific property.
  • Personal Property application provides citizens and organizations the ability to inquire about tax information for personal property.
  • Parking and Red Light Citations application provides citizens and organizations the ability to inquire about parking and red light camera citations that may include information on fines, penalties, trial, and investigation status.
  • Billing application provides citizens and organizations the ability to obtain information about miscellaneous invoices and outstanding bills.
  • Metered Water application provides citizens and organizations 24×7 account and payment location information.       During business hours, callers can also request transfer to the service staff to ask questions about billing charges, make payment arrangements, or obtain other information about their account.
  • Examples:

o   The general public can call the City of Baltimore access the IVR and obtain tax owed, due date, last payment date, last payment amount and tax sales message. They can obtain a copy of a tax bill, transfer the caller to a staff member, or obtain payment locations and methods of payment.

o   When a constituent calls the IVR and enters identifying information, the database is accessed and the appropriate information is conveyed. Ifa payment is made the database is then updated.

o   For Parking tickets and Red Light Citations, the system provides the citation number, violation date, balance due, balance paid message, balance payment due date or pay immediately message, fine amount, penalty amount, bad check amount, trial date request, trial date, trial location, and investigation status, or the option to be connected staff.

To support the City’s customer service staff, SII implemented a state-of-the art contact center environment with the following features:

  • The system automatically synchronizes the customer service agent’s data screen to the application and screen last used by a caller in the IVR process.
  • Calls are routed to the appropriate agent via queues and number dialed controls.
  • The system automatically provides host failure detection with a logical reset and restart capability.
  • Management receives information via standard and custom reports.

Results

SII’s solution improved service reliability and helped citizens get the answers they needed. According to the City of Baltimore, the 30% increase in productivity for City workers, significantly improved access and reliability for their constituents, and virtually eliminated long lines waiting to pay fees.

US-Equal-employment

EEOC Turns to SII for Building An In-House Contact Center

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EEOC Turns to SII for Building An In-House Contact Center

Customer

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) customer contact center is staffed by approximately 61 EEOC employees located across 15 localized field offices throughout the country, creating a single “virtual” unit which responds to emails and answers calls coming from their nationwide toll-free number. The unit comprises of managers, supervisors, quality control and two levels of agents, with Tier I handling all frontline incoming calls and Tier II handling all escalation, emails and specialized transactions.

Challenge

The EEOC wanted to move their call answering functions from a contractor operated function to an in-house customer contact center, and required hosted (cloud-based) telephony services. The technology had to allow EEOC to effectively and efficiently answer calls (English, Spanish, and Interpreter 3rd Party Relay) and emails from the public, monitor the quality of services and report on all aspects of system and agent usage, as well as allow for accurately tracking of trends and demographics.

Solution

A complete customized – fully hosted and supported Genesys PureConnect solution:

  • Including Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Call Recording, Interactive Response (IVR), Call Routing, Reporting Analytics, and Workforce Management
  • With a CTI integration to RightNow Technology customer relationship management (CRM) application
  • Based on SII’s “Assured Availability Architecture”, configured with redundant components in a “Fail-Over and N+ Configuration”.

SII designed and is still providing a turnkey hosted Genesys PureConnect solution that is fully compliant with the strategic objectives and functional requirements for the EEOC contact center and capable of handling at a minimum 60,000 monthly IVR hits, 40,000 monthly inbound transferred to agent phone and 500 monthly outbound/callbacks.

SII successfully implemented the Call Processing and Management System (CPMS) within 120 days from the original contract award in 2008, managed the contract through 2014 and won the re-compete, which shows our ability to be a long term partner to our customers as well as proof of our professional project management, technical competency, highly personalized and attentive service.

  • SII operates and maintains the ACD, IVR and computer telephony integration (CTI) software that performs the call routing functions, including automated collection of demographic information, screen pops, and reverse number lookup and populating EEOC office workstation screens.
  • SII provides an IVR, available 24 hours a day, to provide callers with information about the EEOC.
  • SII coordinated with EEOC technical staff and third party system providers to install the digital T-1’s and to implement a network interface to the EEOC’s RightNow CRM application for use by EEOC employees in the field offices to perform their customer response function.
  • SII help desk staff monitors the Genesys infrastructure and coordinates with EEOC staff and the telecommunications vendor to troubleshoot and resolve routing and other technical issues and problems.
  • SII help desk staff maintain a trouble ticketing system to track and report on issues, problems and resolutions.
  • SII provides train-the-trainer sessions for EEOC employees in the use of the new system, and training to system administrators for moves, adds, and changes (MACs) as well as reporting related functions.
  • SII assigned a Program Manager (PM) to oversee the contract. The PM developed and managed adherence to the implementation plan and assumed all responsibility for interface with the interexchange carrier, other providers, consultants, and EEOC personnel, and is the coordinator of all project status meetings.
  • Microsoft Office Project software is utilized to document the numerous tasks required and to track the project schedule.
  • The SII and EEOC teams coordinated the installations from both locations with no delay and completed the tasks in a timely fashion to the satisfaction of the customer.

Results

The EEOC minimized its capital investment and technical support requirements by outsourcing the contact center infrastructure, technical support, and maintenance to SII. SII was awarded the re-compete to support the EEOC for the next 5 years.

goodwill_E

Goodwill Utilizes SII’s Outbound Notification System (ONS) Solution to Validate 3 Million Pieces of Media Delivery

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Goodwill Utilizes SII’s Outbound Notification System (ONS) Solution to Validate 3 Million Pieces of Media Delivery

Customer

Goodwill of North Florida, a diversified human service organization, self-funded by its network of retail stores and other revenue generating ventures, one of which is a major national media group, that specializes in direct marketing for businesses in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The company focuses on door-to-door delivery of promotional products to homes, apartments, and businesses in North America. This customer has the ability to target its marketing efforts to the neighborhood level, delivering marketing and other promotional related materials to households and businesses based on specific demographic information.

Challenge

The challenge was for the customer to distribute over 3 million door hanger advertisement articles and phonebooks. These door hangers and phonebooks were distributed to multi-route regions within four weeks by the media group couriers. While the actual delivery was 7 days a week, the validation of successful delivered articles was required to be done within a window of forty eight hours after the drops for each route. Validation was done by conducting an automated survey through telephone calls. The phone calls were to be done 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM for residential customers, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for business customers adjusted for the regional local time zones. The validation process for these delivered articles would be started immediately after the completion of each delivery route. The results needed to be captured and reported within two days of receiving the list of phone numbers and right after the conclusion of the survey for each region.

Solution

Goodwill of North Florida needed to verify the successful delivery of these items for both residential and business customers of this major national media group so selected SII to utilize its Outbound Notification System (ONS) application to enhance and modernize their existing operation, and expand their outbound call handling bandwidth on a much larger scale.

This application was developed by SII to manage notifications, though it can also simply dispatch a message to a pre-selected group of people. ONS can also provide automated surveys to customers and collect results in a database for future reference.

As the project began, the Goodwill of North Florida provided SII the list of phone numbers for those regions which had completed the drops. The list was provided in a database. SII uploaded the numbers to the ONS system, and utilizing dedicated PRI phone lines, dialed the numbers, played back the initial greetings, conducted the surveys, collected the results and posted the results back to the same database.

Once ONS completed the required percentage of data collection for validation of successful deliveries from each region, a custom management report was generated by the system for the Goodwill of North Florida management review. The management report contained milestones, indicating the project progress and successful completion of each route. Also, the same database table, with additional customized fields populated from detailed call results of ONS, was transferred to the Goodwill of North Florida according to the required specifications.

During the processing time, if for any reason the system did not reach the required percentage of successful results, the ONS dynamically placed the same batch in front of the next day queue for reprocessing. The ONS dashboard allowed SII support to monitor the number of placed calls and line traffic in real time. During a spike in volume of numbers to be dialed, SII increased the number of PRI lines dynamically to process a substantial batch of outbound numbers, and completed the project within the set schedule.

Results

SII’s successful completion of the door hanger/phonebook validation project for the Goodwill of North Florida resulted in:

  • 100% accurate, scalable and flexible solution, with consistent and reliable results, and big savings for the customer.
  • Prompt validation within 48 hours, and immediate feedback through timely and customized management reports
American-red-cross-red

American Red Cross’ (ARC) Blood Donor Program Deploys World’s Largest Dialer from SII

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American Red Cross’ (ARC) Blood Donor Program Deploys World’s Largest Dialer from SII

Customer

The American Red Cross (ARC)’s Biomedical Services collects 40 percent of the blood supply (6.5 million units of blood and 9 million blood products for transfusion) in the United States and distributes to some 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers. They operate multiple call centers handling approximately 42 million inbound and outbound calls per year setting appointments for 4 million donors nationwide.

Challenge

American Red Cross’ vision is to automate, standardize, modernize and consolidate their regionally based call centers. The independently managed, regional call centers represented multiple databases, and various dialer systems. The challenge was to integrating legacy systems and next generation systems into one single platform in a hosted environment in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

Solution

A complete customized Genesys PureConnect solution – fully hosted, two Tier 4 data centers – including switchover capability for disaster recovery via private SIP-based MPLS networks, custom interfaces to the legacy and next generating Oracle Siebel CRM while supporting the migration to a “One Red Cross” business organization.

SII procured, designed, installed, and is operating, hosting, supporting, and maintaining a Genesy PureConnect infrastructure that performs automated outbound dialing to blood donors across the U.S., receives inbound calls from the ARC’s toll-free number, and distributes the calls to approximately 1,000 Tele-recruiters in 3 ARC contact centers based on the donor’s geographic location and assigned ARC Division/Region.

SII, working in partnership with ARC, leveraged the full capabilities of the PureConnect Interaction Dialer® and other Genesys products to implement a customized solution, including:

  • Fully integrated the ARC Dialer infrastructure into the ARC LAN, WAN, desktop computer, and business application environments, including interfaces to the ARC’s Cisco Call Manager to route Voice over IP (VoIP) calls using industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to the Tele-Recruiting (TR) agent’s existing Cisco IP phones, and interfaces to ARC’s legacy and next generation applications for TR agents to capture customer interaction data in the ARC’s enterprise CRM databases.
  • Implemented the ARC Dialer Infrastructure in a dedicated Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which has allowed the ARC to minimize its capital costs and technical support requirements while maximizing its technical control, system performance, and system security. The ARC Dialer Infrastructure has lower security risks because all ARC business programs, although treated as separate companies using virtualization technology, are in fact part of the same company and there is no risk of another company accessing ARC data.
  • Developed custom integrations to the legacy CRM application and the next generation Oracle Siebel CRM application, which has allowed the ARC to better manage, schedule, and limit the business and technical risks while transitioning ARC blood donor regions across the country into consolidated call centers.
  • Developed custom handlers to Oracle update the database in real-time with call data and wrap-up codes from Interaction Dialer, which has provided the ARC with valuable customer and marketing intelligence.
  • Implemented skills based routing to significantly reduce the number of campaigns, which has resulted in greatly improved agent productivity because agents no longer have to transition between campaigns.

SII coordinated with ARC technical staff and:

  • Telecommunications vendor to design, install, operate, support and maintain the VoIP/SIP network including the DS3, Fast Ethernet, and SIP trunks that interconnects the ARC call center sites to the Tier 4 rated data centers (where the Genesys software is installed on HP blade servers) to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
  • Genesys and Oracle to install a CTI interface to the ARC’s Oracle Siebel CRM application to screen pop the donor’s record to the Tele-recruiter desktop computer.

SII help desk personnel:

  • Monitors the dialer network and coordinates with ARC personnel, telecommunications vendor, and third party system/service providers to troubleshoot and resolve routing and other technical issues and problems.
  • Maintains a trouble ticketing system to track and report on issues, problems, and resolutions.
  • Provides technical support to ARC from 7:00 am to 12:00 am, 7 days per week.

SII conducts weekly/bi-weekly conference calls with ARC to review outstanding issues and problems, as well as monthly reviews with ARC to review contract performance.

SII provided train-the-trainer sessions for ARC employees in the use of the new system.

Results

  • Dialer makes over 300 million calls a year which improved agent productivity by approximately 40%.
  • Reduced number of campaigns from 3000 to less than 400.
  • Standardized call center operations.
  • Improved customer and marketing intelligence.
  • Reduced the risk of transitioning to the new Dialer environment.
  • Leveraged its existing investment in Cisco phones for agents and supervisors

Accolades Received

Significant challenges in integration with legacy systems had to be overcome on a tight schedule and budget. SII, working with ARC, and Genesys stepped up to the plate beating every deadline.

  • The American Red Cross (ARC) is awarded Genesys’ Innovator Award at the 2012 Customers and Partners Conference. SII advocated for ARC to receive this award based on the innovative work ARC and SII is doing on the Dialer Platform.
  • Recognition Award received from the ARC, Pacific Northwest Region/National Call Center, Tucson, AZ. “Congratulations to the Dialer Project Team on the Genesys Dialer Production Launch” “We would like to personally commend the SII Team on the Dialer Production Launch. It was through your hard work and dedication to this project that has made this launch a success. Thank you for the long hours and sacrifices that were made to see this effort launch on time and without issue.” (2011)
  • Kudos from ARC on the subject of the InTouch integration:

“Wow! Quite a night! Great job finding and resolving a late-breaking yet highly impactful InTouch issue from late yesterday that would have slammed the call centers today! I know you all know and appreciate the business impact and take your support of the mission seriously, but still – you all have blown me away on this!

Team from SII – providing dialer support extraordinaire! As the evening wore on and the call centers closed, many of us thought we were going to have to deal with this problem in the morning. Not so! The remote desktop access and testing capability you guys displayed throughout the night was quite impressive! And the SII knowledge of their interface helped us eliminate possibilities one by one as the night wore on. There is no way we could have isolated the problem and tested out the solution without you all.”

  • From ARC during the receiving of an award from Genesys for this project:

“The entire SII organization from the top down is extremely customer-focused and committed to customer satisfaction. They have repeatedly gone above and beyond the terms of the contract to ensure Red Cross is able to deliver its mission. SII is extremely responsive to requests, very technically competent and extremely focused on customer-service. Highly effective in identifying root causes of issues, and proposing cost-effective and reliable solutions. They arealso very focused on customer-service. Conducts very detailed monthly and quarterly service delivery/quality reviews that ensure transparency into accomplishments, issues and plans.”

us-army

SII Modernizes Army ITA Contact Center To Support Around The Clock Technical Help Desk Operations

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SII Modernizes Army ITA Contact Center To Support Around The Clock Technical Help Desk Operations

Customer

The United States Army Information Technology Agency (USA-ITA) is responsible for much of the Information Technology (IT) operations in the Pentagon and nearby offices. It has the mandate to collapse duplicate networks and capabilities, which results in a continuing growing number of groups constantly joining the ITA network. Lockheed Martin (LM) is the ITA’s prime provider for network operations maintenance, management, and security support for all data networks within the Pentagon and the National Capital Region (NCR).

In January 2002 LM contacted SII on behalf of ITA to provide critical support on an ongoing issue that its current contractor could not resolve. SII resolved the issue within 20 minutes.

Challenge

ITA needed to upgrade the 170-seat technical help desk that supports the Army, AF and Joint Chiefs of Staff to ensure 24x7x365 up time allowing for a four-hour maximum response time. This help desk is located at the Pentagon and remote locations. Additionally the ITA required a unified communication system with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities that has the capacity of growing as the ITA proceeds to modernize, integrate and consolidate many of the duplicate systems, capabilities and facilities operated and maintained by separate organizations.

Solution

A complete customized Genesys PureConnect solution with onsite engineering support. The system consists of redundant Genesys servers, media servers, Audio Codes MP 124s, Polycom/Nortel telephones, mediant 1000 gateways, database and mail servers.

SII designed, configured, and integrated a state-of-the-art contact center system that enabled ITA to improve customer services by providing easy, convenient, and rapid access to the help desk. Using traditional channels such as the telephone and newer channels such as the Internet, fax, and electronic mail, SII performed the following work:

  • Implemented a high-performance, state-of-the-art Genesys PureConnect solution.
  • Connected to the AF Pentagon LAN, TCP/IP and ISDN PRI trunks, integrating to the AFNCR e-mail and database servers, integrating the lines coming from the government’s existing switches, and configuring the software call system to read and distribute calls coming down the lines.
  • The system incorporating unified messaging that enabled all client interactions (voice mails, e-mails, and faxes) to be stored on the Microsoft Exchange server.
  • The system including Automated Call Distribution (ACD)/Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities with the ability to handle any number of call queues. The ACD/IVR includes VIP routing capabilities and a rules based call distribution system.
  • SII surveyed the existing ACD and IVR system to design the new ACD and IVR system, developing call workflow schematics, and programming the IVR and ACD system.
  • SII configured the system to accept faxes from a single Direct Inward Dial (DID) number and routed these faxes to a single mailbox in Exchange. The system accepts faxes on the main AF Help Desk number and routes the faxes to the recipient electronically to mailboxes in Outlook
  • SII configured the system to use a software phone feature that provides a toolbar on the workstation allowing agents to manipulate call events. SII created a public address list of speed-dial phone numbers including mobile and pager numbers for those people designated by the government as escalation points in emergency situations.
  • Integrated BMC Remedy Action Request System (ARS) into the contact center system to provide automated “screen pops” of help desk trouble tickets fully populated with customer and previous problem information simultaneous with the arrival of the voice call.
  • Set up help desk trouble tickets so that they are sent and received to field technicians using the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) interface and wireless communications.
  • Provided end-user and system administration training and wrote complete documentation for server installation and configuration, server administration, system operations, and software customizations.

SII provides onsite technical support services at the Pentagon to:

  • Maintained servers at the latest software release and security compliancy with all Army information assurance requirements.
  • Provided end user, desktop, and telephone hardware/software installation related to the Genesys system providing customized call trees, interactive voice recordings, and routing configurations based on customer requirements
  • Provided end user Supervisor and Agent training and technical support to system customers.
  • Provided upgrade projects to the Genesys and supporting systems for the improvement of service quality and capacity.
  • Provided troubleshooting IT and determination of root cause of outages and system supporting the Genesys system.
  • Provide consulting and analyzing system improvements and enhancements to meet customer requirements.
  • Provide reports on the systems health, performance, and capacity as required.
  • Providing documentation of all system components, wiring, cross connects, and demarcation points.
  • Manage Remedy tickets/queues for proper work flow and resolution of faults.
  • Attend meetings, workgroups forums, and Tiger teams as needed.
  • Maintain professional attitude in face of high pressure working environment.
  • Provide all other services required in support of the Genesys ACD system.

Results

  • SII connected subsequent groups as part of the USAITA’s modernization, integration and consolidation effort:
  • Connect a second 35-seat technical help desk located in Roslyn, Virginia, serving the contact center for the Defense Telecommunications Services – Washington (DTS-W). DTS-W provides telecommunications equipment, facilities, and services, including support for command, control, communications, and intelligence organizations for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense agencies, and field offices within the NCR. The DTS-W agents are connected back to the main Pentagon IC server via two point-to-point T-1 tie lines from Verizon.
  • Installed a 40-seat 24x7x365 help desk call center in support of the Air Force (AF) NCR (AFNCR) (formally both 844th Communications Squadron (CG) and AF Pentagon Communications Agency – AFPCA ) to provide responsive, professional phone-level support to Headquarters AF (HAF) Enterprise customers. This help desk primarily supports computer problems and requests but also serves as the AF “One-Stop-Shop” for all Information Technology (IT) related outages and System Control (SYSCON) duties.

Eight of these groups are now utilizing the Genesys software with two more slated to join in 2014.