Scottish Power has gained 10 times the call centre capacity and reduced technology support and maintenance costs by 41% through virtualisation.
The utility company, which supplies electricity and gas to more than five million customers in the UK, has linked its six contact centre sites into a single, virtualised network.
In the past, there was no integration between contact centres that were focused on either business or home users, and there was no way of moving calls between sites based on demand or call type, said Carl Young, head of major projects at Scottish Power.
The Siemens Hipath DX/Genesys integrated contact centre, supplied by Siemens Enterprise Communications, has enabled Scottish Power to expand its base call capacity to 250,000 calls an hour on a pay-as-you-go basis.
"The previous capacity was 22,000 local calls an hour, but we did not need that much locally all the time. We were paying for infrastructure we just did not need," said Young.
The system has helped Scottish Power increase the accuracy with which it processes calls, cutting the number of calls that need to be re-transferred by 74%. Better matching of calls to agents and more calls being resolved first time has improved service levels by 31%.
The Siemens call centre technology also enables customers to access additional services. This has increased the utility company's revenue by improving cash collection by 56% and increasing the number of direct debit customers by 19%, said Young.
Young said a common reporting infrastructure had made it easier to compare performance across the contact centre operations, and centralised reporting had made it easier to identify and meet increased call demands.