• New communications platform supported by Dell Storage and Dell Servers improves communication between guests and staff;
• Virtualised IT environment reduces server hardware requirements by 80 per cent;
• Aspect Workforce Management and Unified IP solutions helps predict staff levels and manage the costs associated with a transient workforce.
The Edwardian Group London, which includes the May Fair and Radisson Blu Edwardian London hotel portfolios, has partnered with Dell and Aspect to refresh its customer contact centre with an updated communications platform, based on a new IT infrastructure.
A collection of luxury hotels in prime locations in London, Heathrow, Guildford and Manchester, The Edwardian Group London welcomes over 1.2 million guests every year. Through introducing a new customer contact centre, The Edwardian Group London is now able to offer guests the ability to contact staff on a range of platforms and improve their overall experience from the initial booking through to their stay at the hotel. The hotel group also now has the ability to better execute the distribution of its workforce with the goal to reduce costs associated with managing constantly shifting staff levels.
To achieve these goals, it was necessary for The Edwardian Group London to evolve its existing customer contact centre from a voice-only system reliant on phone-based communication to a more progressive and scalable solution. A new infrastructure was needed to enable guests to contact the hotel group on a variety of different platforms including email, instant messaging (IM) and social networking, as well as improve communication between staff. To deliver this multi-platform technology, the existing Alcatel PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system needed to be updated.
The Edwardian Group London approached Dell and Aspect, a provider of customer contact and enterprise workforce optimisation software, to explore the feasibility of implementing Microsoft Lync to help improve communication channels between staff and with guests to enhance the customer experience. The initial requirements then expanded to incorporate the development of a new customer contact centre to broaden the communication platforms through which guests are able to contact hotel staff, as well as helping the hotel to better manage its staffing levels and associated costs.
To support the new communication platforms, The Edwardian Group London will introduce infrastructure from Dell including Dell EqualLogic storage and Dell PowerEdge R620 rack servers with VMware vSphere 5 licensing for 20 virtual machines. Virtualising the IT environment and consolidating the physical infrastructure has enabled The Edwardian Group London to dramatically reduce the amount of servers needed from almost 30 down to just five, bringing down cost while simultaneously improving computing power.
To ensure that the new infrastructure would support full-service, innovative communications that benefitted both guests and staff, Dell partnered with Aspect and broke the project down into three specific areas:
• The integration of Microsoft Lync with the existing Alcatel telephone system to improve communication channels between staff across all 14 hotels in the UK by enabling admin/office users access to Lync conference and voice features. The Microsoft Lync software is closely integrated with Aspect’s Unified IP customer engagement software, to bring improved collaboration capabilities to The Edwardian Group London’s workforce.
• An updated customer contact centre based on Aspect’s Unified IP 7.1 for 150 agents to replace the existing contact centre technology that was unable to accommodate additional staff requirements during peak periods. The new software simplifies and streamlines agent administration to provide the right staff support at any given time from any hotel. It also manages potential overflow to home workers at peak times and enables the reservations team to obtain customer contact information through a wider variety of methods including instant messaging, email, SMS, social networks and mobile applications.
• The ability to forecast resource requirements with Aspect Workforce Management for 200 people which delivers seamless enterprise engagement. This improves employee productivity and staff deployment efficiency leading ultimately to improved call waiting times, service levels and customer satisfaction.
“Our communications platform is critical to the high level of service that we offer our guests by widening the means in which they can reach our staff; whether that is to make a reservation or order room service,” said Iype Abraham, Commercial Development Director at The Edwardian Group London. “We also needed to improve the way we manage a very transient workforce and ensure that we have the right amount of people available to support guest enquiries at any one time. The new solution helps us predict staff levels and improve our understanding of the costs of managing a large, fluid workforce. We can easily scale the system to meet our requirements which is important in supporting our business growth.”
“Our work with The Edwardian Group London is a clear demonstration of how Dell can tailor solutions to challenge the traditional rules of telecoms and customer contact centres by creating customised, end-to-end solutions that provide complete flexibility for the customer,” said Aisling Keegan, General Manager and Executive Director for Preferred Accounts, Dell UK. “We are committed to offering our customers solutions that are designed to address their specific needs and meet evolving requirements faster and more effectively than ever before, enabling high levels of service and increased competitive advantage.”
“The deployment of Aspect’s integrated Unified and Workforce platforms gives The Edwardian Group London a strategic technology investment that provides them flexibility for future growth, something that their old PBX was unable to provide,” said Mark King, Senior Vice President, Europe and Africa at Aspect. “Our ability to integrate multiple legacy processes and systems not only creates a competitive differentiator for The Edwardian Group London, it will also help them in their goal to deliver consistently exceptional guest experiences.”
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Aspect’s (aspect.com) fully-integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern contact centre management: customer interaction management, workforce optimisation, and back-office. We help the world’s most demanding contact centres seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences.