Contact centre takes the IP plunge

Car insurance firm Budget Direct has upgraded its contact centre to VoIP.

Car insurance firm Budget Direct has upgraded its contact centre to VoIP.

Budget Direct, a member of the global Budget Insurance Group of Companies, is a car insurance firm situated in Queensland. The company invests heavily in technology to ensure it is able to meet the demand for its services as well as maintain its growth strategy.

More than 5000 motor vehicle insurance policies are issued by the company each week, and with a large proportion being completed over the phone, maintaining a state-of-the-art communications infrastructure is essential for Budget Direct.

According to Paul Malt, director of technology, the opening of a new contact centre provided the catalyst to upgrade the company's existing telephony infrastructure.

"Building our own purpose-built $8 million centre in Birtinya on the Sunshine Coast provided us with the perfect opportunity to complete our IP transformation, move to a virtual contact centre environment as well as streamline our business continuity strategy.

"We have already started site preparation for our next centre at North Lakes on the outskirts of Brisbane, with construction due to start any day. This refresh also provides the building blocks for that $12 million project," Malt said.

The new facilities are part of an intensive expansion program for Budget Direct, incorporating an increase in the company's service capabilities for its growing customer base. With the Birtinya Centre not yet officially opened, Budget Direct has secured temporary office space in North Lakes, which is being used as a recruitment and training centre to ensure staff will be fully operational in the new North Lakes centre from day one.

According to Malt, NSC Enterprise Solutions was selected to implement the new system because of its reputation in the Queensland market.

As part of its technology upgrade, Budget Direct moved from an existing digital telephony infrastructure to a full IP solution. They company now has in place an Avaya 8720 media server in each site and Avaya Enterprise Survivable Servers (ESS) provide increased communications continuity in the event of an emergency.

"The ESS significantly boosts our business continuity," said Malt. "Should there be an issue with any site, the system automatically switches across to the other server ensuring we are able to continue operating as usual without any degradation to our business."

Malt said the company is an early adopter when it comes to technology and the introduction of IP technology into the contact centre was a natural progression. "Using the latest IP telephony also facilitates the integration of Verint call recording into the customer file," he said.

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