I recently bumped into Denise Barlow from the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce at a local chamber event. After a short chat she was singing our praises for one of her customers, Mercator Media. Whom we had recently installed a new phone system for.
It was only after this chat that I could step back and think about why it was such a big deal.
6 months ago we were presented with a problem for a new customer of ours, Mercator Media.
They were suffering from a range of issues that were having a significant impact on the business, causing them to lose productivity.
The main issue lay with the Microsoft Lync phone system that had been recently implemented.
Since day 1, the installation was plagued with issues ranging from being unable to transfer calls, through to the wrong caller ID being displayed when they called out to potential customers.
Now, whilst we have a reasonable amount of knowledge of the Microsoft Lync product, we hold no accreditations for Microsoft Lync, something we were very open about in our initial discussions when looking at resolving these issues.
What we do have, like Liam Neeson, are a particular set of skills...
…and whilst we were by no means experts in resolving the long list of issues, we agreed to have our best go at doing what we could.
A short amount of time later, with some very frantic clever googling expertise, we had resolved the two major issues. Something that nobody as of yet had been able to do.
Whilst the major issues were fixed for now, there were still many further issues in the background causing instability and the call monitoring and reporting software was still not working; something that was vital for the day to day running of the company.
After further discussions, we agreed to send in a Microsoft Lync certified engineer to look over the system and provide advice on where to go from there. It wasn't good news.
The advice given was that the system didn't follow anything near best practices, needed additional servers to be installed, and essentially needed completely re-working to be set up correctly.
The additional time and parts required to do this came to a considerable amount and required serious consideration as to the direction the firm took going forward.
We decided to have a look to see if there were any other options out there.
An extreme option was the option of starting from scratch by replacing the existing telephony system with a brand new one. Surprisingly, this option actually worked out as a much better solution than the other option of repairing the existing system.
We could guarantee the service they would receive, and more importantly, GUARANTEE that absolutely all of the issues they had experienced over the last few months would disappear overnight, when the new system was installed.
It also worked out to be more cost effective in the long term to install the new telephony system than it would be to repair the configuration issues in the existing system that the previous supplier had installed.
Furthermore, call monitoring and reporting came as one with the new system so there was no delay in having to source a third party vendor to integrate their software into it. There was also a further benefit that call recording was included in the new solution without any additional installation requirements; this was a new feature for the company and a very beneficial one!
Roll on 4 months and there I am, bumping into Denise at the Chamber event, who is gleefully telling me how we have made a huge difference to her job. She can now listen to calls that have been recorded, (she provides telephone training to Mercator) and she can do that from her car whilst she's driving, when she's out and about or on her way to a meeting.
The recordings are conveniently accessible and it's revolutionised her job role.
No longer does Denise need to log into a clunky program to sift through thousands of phone calls, but instead can listen to important calls on the fly, allowing an immediate response if one is required.
Mercator are also very pleased with their new phone system and have praised the ease of the transition from the old system. With minimal training they were able to get back up and running and put the previous issues behind them.
Just brilliant, and I'm so glad to hear this kind of feedback that I thought I would share it with you this month.