Wicom Communications, a leading European provider of all-IP contact center solutions and VoIP enterprise telephony software, has announced that Deutsche Bahn has implemented a new contact center system jointly delivered by Wicom and HP. The new solution transforms DB Dialog's call centers into an all-IP environment based on Wicom CSS software.
DB Dialog is part of the Deutsche Bahn Group and specializes in customer services, managing call centers across multiple locations in Germany including Schwerin, Berlin, Hannover, Hamm, Karlsruhe and Frankfurt. DB Dialog’s call centers handle around twelve million customer contacts per year, nine million of which are telephone queries. At peak times, the call centers receive an average of one call per second.
“Working closely with Hewlett-Packard and DB Systems, the subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, we migrated DB's call center services to VoIP in only four months,” comments Stephan Bahr, Regional Sales Director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Wicom Communications. “DB Systems now operates the complete system, including Wicom’s software, from its two ICT centers in Berlin.”
At present, the new solution covers Deutsche Bahn’s BahnCard service, distributing incoming calls to 300 agents. By the middle of 2007, calls to the travel service and e-mail queries will also be included in the same system. “This scenario shows clearly the advantages of IP technology,” explains Stephan Bahr. “Since telephone conversations are now an IP application, they can be bundled together with e-mail services and run over the same corporate network.”
Simplified monitoring and standardized reporting are further advantages for DB Dialog, as IT administrators can quickly evaluate and analyze activities across six call centers. The easy-to-use interface allows potential resourcing problems to be recognized and addressed rapidly.
“With the help of the VoIP solution, we have successfully reduced costs while increasing service levels,” says Iris Gassi, Director, Customer Solutions at DB Dialog Telefonservice GmbH. “We can now deploy our existing resources more efficiently while offering our customers a faster and more capable service. Since DB Dialog’s call centers are connected via our data centers in Berlin, they can share call handling at peak times.”
“By the middle of the year, we plan to have up to 1,300 agents using the VoIP system, handling approximately 25,000 calls per day,” Ms. Gassi continues. “The system distributes customer queries intelligently across six locations, choosing the route that offers the shortest waiting times. We have already reaped the benefits of our virtual call center during the initial trial period, when it stood the test of successfully handling the sudden peak load of telephone queries during gale storm Kyrill.”
The joint Wicom and HP VoIP platform requires no heavy financial investment upfront, as it relies only on standard hardware components. Operation and maintenance costs are also low compared to conventional telephone systems. Call routing within the VoIP infrastructure is free, as it takes place over the company’s existing data network.
“VoIP supports our strategy of continuously improving the services we can offer our customers,” comments Iris Gassi. “The new system allows us to integrate new services, to develop our service offering and adapt to new challenges flexibly. In a short time, we have already managed to increase agent availability within our call center and utilize the expertise of our agents better than before.”