Methven has been producing tapware in New Zealand since 1886. Methven stands for innovation and quality, so it was natural for Alan Henderson, Group Information Systems Manager, to select a new Unified Communications solution and Multimedia Contact Centre with the same attributes.
Methven’s New Zealand Customer Service Centre is still operating in Dunedin, and were receiving calls via an aging NEC PABX, using Automatic Call Distribution connecting via ISDN.
Having grown over the years, Methven now has offices in New Zealand, Australia (2004), China (2006) and the United Kingdom (2007). With each of the international offices using different voice and email systems, they were looking for a single platform that could be used from anywhere on any device.
Lexel deployed a cloud based Skype for Business platform along with AnyWhere 365 Contact Centre, which is a solution designed and created from other products in the Microsoft suite.
Lexel proposed Microsoft Skype for Business on-Premise, as the unified communications platform to provide telephony, presence, instant messaging, content sharing including multi-party audio and video conferencing facilities. Skype for Business would be deployed in high availability mode, with infrastructure installed in two diverse data centres. Redundant connections to the public phone network are provided by two SIP connections via two “Voice over Internet” secure gateways in the data centres. The Skype for Business clients run on workstations equipped with headsets, used to communicate with clients and colleagues.
In 2014 Lexel Systems has sought out a Contact Centre solution that;
- Was specifically built for Lync or now Skype for Business
- Could scale globally
- Would integrate with various CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics
- Could utilise other Microsoft backend products
- Could be installed and configured by Lexel UC Consultants
- Could be supported by Lexel’s Service Desk and UC Consultants
- Has a large installed customer base
After Lexel conducted a two and a half month “proof of concept” in October 2014, operating the software in our Services and Sales Desk, having received 5,425 calls and completed due diligence with numerous reference customers, Lexel chose to become a reseller of Anywhere365 by Workstreampeople in Nederland’s.
“My own concern about selecting a telephony and contact centre system is that the platform shouldbe able to be applied globally to the Methven business and that it will integrate in the future to online versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM. It is important that we leverage our existing investment in Microsoft products and ensure new services deployed follow the Methven roadmap which is to utilise Microsoft Cloud services such as Office365, Azure and the like. I think it will be a while before we get to the stage of installing Skype for Business Enterprise Voice in the United Kingdom and China, whereas Australia may be sooner.” – Alan Henderson, Group Information Systems Manager, Methven Limited.
During a similar duration at the end of 2015 Lexel received 14,624 calls.
Skype for Business, Anywhere365 and the Microsoft Ecosystem
Methven, like most companies today, already utilise many of the Microsoft applications that are required to deploy Anywhere365 and have the ability to configure and support these in-house. Anywhere365 can use SQL Standard, Enterprise or SQL Express (free) versions as well as SharePoint Standard, Enterprise or the Foundation (free) version. Anywhere365 can be deployed on a single virtual server or in a high availably mode using multiple server across multiple data centres.
Methven chose to deploy Anywhere365 with Skype for Business, as their requirements perfectly matched the attributes that Lexel had defined, with the added benefit that Anywhere365 is licensed based on feature sets with no agent license or software to install on the workstations. This meant that Methven could roll-out additional agents in Australia, United Kingdom and China, connecting back to the redundant infrastructure in New Zealand with no additional licensing costs. What makes Anywhere365 unique is that it uses the standard Skype for Business client software, eliminating troublesome agent applications.
Anywhere365 enhances the agent’s experience using plugins like Snapper for Agent info, Dialogue info, Statistics and Extension Window for CRM integration.
Alan chose Lexel Systems, because we are a renowned integrator of Skype for Business in New Zealand, having been a runner-up for the Microsoft Communication Partner awards in 2015. Lexel could also deploy a contact centre system that tightly integrated to Skype for Business as part of this end to end solution from a single integrator.
The solution went live on the 1 September 2015, taking 127 calls on the first day, with only some minor operational issues with answering and transferring calls. Recently one of the Dunedin agents needed to move to Taupo for personal reasons, but wanted to continue working as an agent for Methven. Alan accommodated this request by issuing him with a laptop and a headset so he could sign into the contact centre remotely. When the agent arrived in Taupo, he simply powered up his laptop, connected to the internet and continued to answer calls as if he was in the Dunedin contact centre.
Lexel is a New Zealand owned provider of ICT services and solutions to business. We focus on maximising business performance by using industry leading expertise and solutions to streamline IT infrastructure. Twenty seven years in the IT business, Lexel is a known and trusted partner.
We specialise in providing solution consulting, infrastructure design, implementation, project management, outsourcing, support services and procurement. To allow us to deliver this wide range of services, Lexel Systems has partnered with the main technology providers in New Zealand and we have secured the highest level of certifications possible with each of these partners.