Australian financial software vendor Reckon
will dump its existing call centre technology provider
Interactive Intelligence (II) in favour of a Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) solution from Avaya.
Reckon -- which sells the Quicken, QuickBooks and APS software
suites -- has three call centres in Australia as well as
facilities in New Zealand, servicing the company's local customers -- 400,000 small
business, 290,000 individuals and 25,000 accountancy firms.
While the company had previously used US-based II's Enterprise
Interaction Center (EIC) technology, it has now signed a contract with Avaya
and communications integrator NSC for a replacement solution
consisting of 183 IP handsets and softphones, and associated hardware and
Reckon's group chief executive Clive Rabie told ZDNet
Australia in a phone interview last week his company needed a new system due to multiple recent acquisitions including Elite Tax Technology and Desktop Super.
The decision to dump II was related to the vendor's inability to provide local support, as well as the need for a more redundant system.
II "was not well supported in Australia, we had to make sure
we had a lot of in-house expertise in order to manage the
system," Rabie said, describing the in-house support as "quite
Reckon had purchased the II solution around five years ago
and quickly terminated their maintenance agreement after
discovering it could not be depended upon.
Rabie said the choice to replace the system was not easy but
had to be made.
"I suppose if you said to me: 'Would you like to go and change a phone system?' My answer would be no," he said.
"But if I had to stand up in front of all the shareholders and
say: 'Sorry guys, we didn't make money this year because we just
didn't want to spend half a million dollars on a new phone
system, so the three thousand calls that we get a day just didn't
come in.' I would be shot," he said.
Choosing a replacement
Reckon evaluated solutions from four
vendors, including II, with Avaya eventually being
chosen due to "good as gold" support, a good design for a
redundant system, and references from other customers.
"At the end of the day we were lucky enough to be able to ask
who had a good reputation in town," said Rabie. "We were taken to a couple of sites that Avaya was in and everyone over there seemed very happy."
IP telephony was chosen due to the need to better integrate
telephony with Reckon's existing support systems.
The rollout will start this month in several different
sites and is expected to be completed in two to three months time.
Reckon will also implement Avaya's Local Survivability
Processing technology at a second site, according to a
statement from Avaya, which will constitute "a business continuity
platform for the company."
"Should there be an outage on the main site, calls are
automatically re-routed to the second site," the statement
Along with the 183 handsets and software phones, Reckon has
purchased Avaya's Interaction Center and Call Management System
and Operation software suites.
"Huawei power over Ethernet switches will upgrade the data
network to ensure the smooth implementation of the new IP
telephony solution," the statement said.