Computerland bites into VoIP baking

New Zealand VoIP implementations remain relatively rare, although system installers say they're carrying out a fair number of hybrid - combining IP with legacy phones - deployments.

New Zealand VoIP implementations remain relatively rare, although system installers say they’re carrying out a fair number of hybrid — combining IP with legacy phones — deployments.

The country’s biggest VoIP site, and for a while one of the biggest in the world, remains the Ministry of Social Development, whose then head, Margaret Bazley, said the system was a cost saver. Today, one installer says it is working on a “large rollout for a telco”, but won’t name names.

Computer reseller Computerland is eating its own dogfood by using voice over IP technology at its contact centres.

A VoIP Cisco-Zeacom package, which Computerland resells and implements for customers, is used at its Wellington and Auckland contact centres for voice and data communication. After initial tweaking and a few reboots, says chief technology strategist Damien Toman, “it’s been going great”.

“Voice quality is no worse than with our old PABX system.”

The two centres are both served by a single Cisco Call Manager and a single Zeacom server, connected over a WAN.

“We have a virtual contact centre. It’s as if Auckland and Wellington were in the same place.”

The plan longer term is to implement a Call Manager cluster and Zeacom server in Auckland.

The present arrangement, which has been in place two months, means that the Zeacom server allows more than just voice calls and has the ability to also put emails in queue for service, Toman says.

Zeacom also allows for web-based interaction between customers and contact centre staffers. Computerland plans to implement that in the future.

Saving money on the old PABX system and call management centre, both from Ericsson, wasn’t the immediate goal, Toman says.

“The criterion was primarily to give us virtual helpdesk capability across Wellington and Auckland and provide a full service, not just voice calls. Long-term, we should be able to both save money and provide a better service.”

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