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Pivotal Data accelerates digital transformation, enabling WFH customer solutions


Johannesburg, 21 May 2020
Read time 7min 10sec

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered the way the world operates. As governments across the globe instituted social distancing measures and sent economies into lockdown to contain the virus's spread, people and businesses had to adapt quickly to this new normal.

Those that had already begun their cloud migration were agile enough to quickly pivot their operations by leveraging their hosted solutions.

Proficient managed services providers were also able to seamlessly transition most businesses to a work from home (WFH) model.

“This first-mover advantage became apparent when numerous customers across various industry verticals asked us to implement workable WFH solutions. Within days following the lockdown announcement, we enabled several of our customers and their staff to effectively and efficiently work from home and sustain their operations amid the crisis,” says Bruce Arnold, CEO of Pivotal Data.

Youth employment accelerator turns UIF claims query handler

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a not-for-profit that works with partners to build solutions to youth unemployment, pivoted its contact centre to help government manage the anticipated explosion in UIF claims.

Pivotal Data currently provides an award-winning hosted Genesys customer experience solution in its contact centre that helps to introduce more youth into the economy and address the country's high youth unemployment rate. Harambee looked to Pivotal to scale in a time of crisis.

Harambee needed a contact centre solution that could rapidly scale its contact centre operation to many hundreds in a matter of days – an undertaking that typically takes several months.

Genesys Cloud, a pure cloud-based solution that Pivotal Data implemented, needed to accommodate an unknown volume of potential UIF claimants. And due to lockdown restrictions, agents required access from anywhere with a simple 3G connection or better.

The Pivotal Data team set up the project in less than 24 hours. By 20 April 2020, the non-profit was operational with 102 agents. Additional agents were added periodically in response to rising call volumes, and have now scaled to 500 agents.

From day one, the solution was able to manage over 600 concurrent calls throughout the day. By mid-May, 500 active agents were answering call volumes of between 30 000 to 33 000 per day. And that volume continues to be serviced every day.

Continuity in a virtual marketplace

When lockdown came into effect, a listed prepaid products and virtual merchandise distributor needed its Genesys Customer Interaction Centre to continue operating because it sat at the heart of its business value chain.

As an existing customer of a hosted Genesys PureConnect platform, Pivotal Data was able to rapidly provision remote working access for the 60 contact centre agents.

Pivotal Data's team fulfilled an advisory role, working with the customer’s connectivity provider during the initial stages of the transition to a WFH model.

The Pivotal Data team recommended the most appropriate configurations to create secure connections with the minimum specifications necessary to ensure quality, stable voice services to the customer’s remote workforce across a mixture of mobile and fixed-line connections.

The network set-up also ensured agents could only access the back-end systems they were authorised to use.

When staff took home the computers they use in the office, Pivotal Data collaborated with the company's internal IT team and had agents up and working in just three hours.

Enabling distance learning

Education was greatly impacted when lockdown restrictions were first announced on 23 March. In accordance with the government's mandate, one of South Africa's largest private education providers in Southern Africa decided to adopt the WFH discipline.

The company had just a few days to enable more than 1 500 users to work remotely. A critical component in this regard was keeping voice communication channels open to allow students to engage with teachers and staff.

Going ahead with its plans a few months earlier to adopt the Pivotal Voice and Pivotal on Demand platforms was one of the best decisions the organisation made, according to the company's IT executive.

This proved vital when the business had to pivot to a WFH model. With the Pivotal on Demand solution in place, all it took to support students during the lockdown was making sure contact centre agents had the correct log-in details. They could then easily connect from home using any reliable Internet connection.

The company provided agents with standard mobile data cards and the Pivotal platform ensured users with low connection speeds could still experience perfect voice call quality.

The Pivotal Voice solution enables staff to easily collaborate with each other in this WFH scenario, as they normally would in the school environment, by simply calling other users on their desk phone. Staff use a mix of devices, from handphones, a softphone and the mobile app, all of which work seamlessly. This exemplifies the solution's plug-and-play capabilities.

The solution has also enabled the customer to keep data and telephony costs down, even for calls made to other Internet-based users, with reduced rates for calls to landline or mobile numbers.

And the billing model for licensing ensures the customer remains in control of usage, with the ability to quickly add additional licences to any of its national locations. The ease of management to measure productivity is seamless.

“As an IT professional who has worked in the voice space for many years on various platforms, the Pivotal Voice and Pivotal on Demand platforms stack up among the highest in its class for service. In an age where quick and easy is made possible without compromising quality and efficiency, these platform have allowed me to provide a high level of business continuity,” says the education provider's IT executive.

Finding concrete WFH solutions

The local division of a multinational designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance habitat and construction materials required a WFH solution to continue operating during lockdown.

The company needed its 30 agents located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to access both e-mail and voice from home, so the company turned to Pivotal Data to make it happen.

However, there wasn't a straightforward workaround as the global parent company had implemented strict and lengthy security policies aligned with its international standards.

Pivotal Data's technicians worked tirelessly to meet the customer's unique requirements and in just two days created a secure workaround to make this complex WFH solution happen. Once configured, WFH agents could access a Genesys desktop application on the company network.

While the customer initially experienced a few voice quality issues, which were expected given the configuration requirements, Pivotal Data got it working smoothly after a day spent engaging with the agents. Since then, the customer has not had issues.

The show must go on

When lockdown regulations required brick-and-mortar storefronts and contact centre operations to close, a large national event and travel ticketing and transactional services provider contacted Pivotal Data to enable its contact centre and back-office staff with a WFH solution.

Within two days, Pivotal Data's team enabled WFH access for 50 remote contact centre agents and 100 remote back-office admin staff to the hosted system. This ensured staff could continue engaging with customers to resolve queries and access applications to perform their daily duties and complete tasks.

Desktop access via a Web interface allowed staff to connect from whatever device they had available at home, using whichever form of connectivity was available. Those without a fixed-line received mobile data.

The majority of the company's Johannesburg-based head office staff connected before lockdown went into effect, ensuring it remained business as usual. And there have been no logged faults since the WFH solution went live.

“This was a tumultuous time for everyone trying to get their staff up and running to work from home and Pivotal Data just made it a pleasant transition for us. They were readily available and willing to do what needed to be done,” says the company's tech support manager.

Editorial contacts
Pivotal Ingrid Green ingrid.green@pivotalgroup.co.za
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