Real People, the financial services group, uses world-class technologies to ensure that its business processes can adapt quickly and efficiently to a fast-changing market.

Real People has grown exponentially over the last few years. With 2-million clients on its books, and handling between five and six million transactions per month, the company’s contact centre systems and infrastructure have become especially critical to its goal of providing an effective and efficient financial service to the emerging market.

Three years ago, Real People started the process of implementing an enterprise-class contact centre and telephony environment. The company needed a solution that could support inbound and outbound contact centre functionality across a range of applications, including sales, general queries and debt collection. One of the key requirements of this solution was the ability to grow alongside the business in a modular fashion, explains Bevan Knott, CIO at Real People.

The company partnered with leading ICT solutions provider, Business Connexion, to implement a full telephony solution that includes PBX, IP-telephony in the campus area network, and contact centre software and hardware, giving it a vital edge in a competitive market. Supplied, implemented and supported by Business Connexion, this solution is a flexible platform that supports Real People as its needs evolve and its business grows.

At the heart of the chosen solution is a Nortel PBX as well as the Nortel Contact Center suite (formerly known as Symposium), which allows Real People to run world-class inbound and outbound contact centres. The integrated system offers a uniform set of tools for inbound and outbound functionality, and the company is currently piloting inbound and outbound email and fax functionality on the system.

Knott explains that Real People chose this solution because it is a standards-based and modular product that can scale up to meet the company's needs as it continues to grow. “The solution caters for Web and voice-over-IP (VOIP) contacts,” he says.

In addition, the system offers rich, real-time and customisable reports that allow supervisors to track the performance of the call centre, identify problems and reallocate resources when necessary. The contact centre solution is integrated with Real People's back-office applications to give agents easy access to information about callers.

Real People appointed Business Connexion as its infrastructure outsourcing partner in August 2005, but the relationship between the two companies dates back. “One important factor in the relationship is the strong presence that Business Connexion offers in the East London region and its knowledge of our business sector”, says Knott.

"Business Connexion can offer us a depth of services and a level of support that no other player in the region can. Over the years, Business Connexion has supported us through our rapid growth from a medium-sized business into one of the largest employers in the East London area," he adds.

Jaco Moolman, regional executive at Business Connexion, East London, adds: "Business Connexion has worked closely with Real People for a number of years, and we're proud to have supported the company's growth into a significant financial services player. Real People's use of technology has enabled the company to compete profitably in an ever-changing market.”