UCS Technology Services (UCS-TS), a solutions provider to the top retailers in South Africa, from point of sale through to central systems, has multiple branches across the country including "call/service desks" at various locations.

With a central call logging function and multiple "resolver" groups located throughout South Africa, UCS-TS wanted to create an integrated system for customers seeking support across a wide range of services.
This included helpdesk, on-site services, training services, managed services, set-up services and service delivery management, in order to improve customer satisfaction levels.
In addition, UCS wanted to increase its contact centre capability, and make use of the additional functionality and cost saving features of an internal VoIP system.
The company turned to Connection Telecom, who had an existing relationship with UCS-TS and had been supporting one of their VoIP systems and Zycko, a distributor of leading edge ICT solutions.
A new phone system was implemented, consisting of a range of handsets across the Polycom range, including the SoundPoint IP 331, SoundPoint IP 450, the SoundStation IP 7000 for conferencing ability, and the high-end SoundPoint IP 650 for reception areas.
"The Polycom handsets provide reliable, high quality VoIP extensions at attractive price points," says Gail Holt, MD at Zycko, official distributor of Polycom VoIP products.
"By incorporating the entry level 331 units for most users and then the higher end high definition (HD) units for executives and conferencing, Connection Telecom tailored a solution to meet the business needs of UCS-TS, enabling them to take advantage of the cost saving capabilities of VoIP and the added functionality it provides."
"We chose the Polycom handsets from Zycko for a number of reasons, including the quality and robustness of the units," says Rob Lith, business development director at Connection Telecom.
"The overall return on investment of this type of system is excellent as the Polycom units are based on open standards, so they are flexible and can be integrated into existing systems. They also offer superb voice clarity and Zycko offers outstanding support to resellers such as ourselves."
The upgraded system was implemented in UCS-TS offices across the country, from Bloemfontein where the main call desk is situated, to Centurion, Durban, Newlands and Braamfontein.
The new handsets deliver excellent sound quality along with enterprise features, ease and efficiency of operation and robust solution that simplifies provisioning, management and support.
"One of our key requirements was the ability to implement voice recording tools so that we could not only comply with legal regulations, but also use the recorded conversations for quality control and staff training to improve our customer service," says Edward Hinchcliffe from UCS-TS.
"The new system provides us with the ability to manage incoming calls, see how many people are queuing and measure how long they have been on hold for. These key metrics can help us to escalate calls through the right channels and ensure greater levels of service for our customers."
Aside from improved levels of customer service, the new system delivers a cost-effective solution for geographically dispersed operations such as UCS-TS.
Inter-branch calls can be routed through one platform using VoIP which offers cost savings and with this system it is not necessary to have all call centre agents in one location, which was ideal for UCS-TS.
An integrated VoIP system also negates the need for cumbersome traditional infrastructure and makes maintenance easier as faulty units can quickly be swapped out.
"At a business level, the solution can also be integrated into the company's computer systems as with UCS-TS, providing benefits such as the ability to incorporate caller ID so that caller records can be quickly accessed, and business systems can be integrated into telephony, making the solution a business tool rather than merely a means to make phone calls," Lith adds.
While the system is in its early days at UCS-TS, having just been implemented nationally, it is already delivering on expected benefits and with metrics available to measure against performance management becomes a simpler task for improved internal efficiency and customer efficiency at the end of the day.