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Comair selects Pivotal on Demand to modernise contact centre

Johannesburg, 09 Nov 2021
Read time 4min 50sec
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Comair has selected Pivotal Data’s Pivotal on Demand cloud-based solution to modernise its contact centre operation as part of the company’s broader digital transformation strategy.

The 77-year-old business that operates Kulula and BA in South Africa, in addition to various booking and travel businesses, recently embarked on an organisation-wide initiative to modernise its IT environment.

Fact sheet
Solution: Pivotal on Demand
Industry: Airline
Provider: Pivotal Data
User: Comair

“We audited our technology and IT infrastructure to identify the capabilities we had in place. We uncovered a highly complex, inefficient and expensive ‘spaghetti’ that consisted of multiple PABX systems and over 2 000 phone numbers,” explains Ryan Porter, Head of IT Operations at Comair.

“We also lacked critical functionality at both agent and manager levels to deliver superior customer experiences and service.”

With the company’s telephony costs becoming prohibitive and an inability to access important engagement capabilities to cater to shifting customer preferences, Comair went out to market to find competent partners that could support it on its digitalisation journey. “Every solution we plan to implement must be cloud-first or cloud-ready to easily integrate with other solutions that ultimately support a modern workforce with improved mobility and enhanced productivity and operational efficiency.”

Comair’s initial focus is on migrating its infrastructure to the cloud, transforming its legacy network and upgrading its existing PABX telephony system, of which the contact centre is a major component.

However, the legacy PABX system the call centre had in place lacked omnichannel engagement capabilities and couldn’t integrate digital tools like voice recording or data analytics and granular real-time reporting.

Ryan Porter, Head of IT Operations at Comair.
Ryan Porter, Head of IT Operations at Comair.

This lack of integration also meant Comair had to allocate dedicated agents in the call centre to manage e-mail queries via individual e-mail inboxes.

“This lack of e-mail integration was a major pain point in the operation,” affirms Porter.

Without a centrally managed omnichannel contact centre solution in place, Comair was unable to track how many e-mails came in and how long it took to respond.

According to Karl Reed, Pivotal Data’s Chief Solutions Officer, the call centre also suffered from poor call quality and dropped calls, which degraded the customer experience.

“Comair wanted to deliver a seamless customer experience and maintain a level of professionalism in the contact centre.”

Following extensive research to determine the best solutions available, Comair issued a closed request for proposals (RFP).

“After reading in a promotional e-mail about the work Pivotal Data did to support King Price with cloud-based contact centre capabilities, we included the company in the RFP process,” explains Porter.

Comair shortlisted Pivotal Data alongside another solution provider and ultimately won the pitch based on the Pivotal on Demand value proposition.

“With its true pay-per-use model, Pivotal on Demand was the most cost-effective solution, without compromising on features or functionality,” elaborates Porter.

Unlike other vendor solutions, which require you to pay for all licences whether in use or not, Pivotal on Demand allows users to scale up or down based on demand.

“The licensing costs from various other vendors were prohibitive. But with Pivotal on Demand, we only pay for the active seats in use. Moreover, the pricing model includes upgrades, SLAs and system maintenance.”

Furthermore, the Pivotal on Demand solution offers rich functionality, which allows Comair to extract customised reports from rich data sets to guide and inform decision-making.

“This was functionality we could not access with our PABX system,” states Porter.

According to Reed, Comair’s transition to a full-featured omnichannel cloud-based contact centre solution that offers better agent management and e-mail integration was quick and simple.

“Our solution is simple to set up, and implementation was complete in days. It is also easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface that is easy to navigate. It was simple enough that we were able to provide training to agents via Microsoft Teams.”

The Pivotal on Demand solution went live in October, effectively taking the contact centre operation from a basic call centre to a unified and advanced omnichannel solution.

With 180 seats, including 150 permanent agents and 30 seats ready to scale should demand dictate, the contact centre currently fields 400 inbound calls an hour on average.

The team also has the potential to work from home if necessary, which was very difficult to do with the PABX solution in place.

“Importantly, we can manage agent performance and CX delivery from a single platform and manage and integrate e-mail. Productivity is also improving due to access to various templates,” continues Porter.

And as a fully managed services provider, Pivotal Data can also provide another important element in Comair’s digitalisation plan – IP-based voice services.

Untangling the ‘spaghetti’ was vital to seamlessly integrate voice services across the organisation to streamline and rationalise our telephony system,” adds Porter.

“Everything is hosted on Pivotal infrastructure. We also provide the connectivity and minutes,” says Reed.

“We are already saving as much as 40% on telephony across the platform, including the contact centre. We will continue working with Pivotal Data to modernise all our telephony services and integrate additional solutions to build out new digital capabilities that enable us to engage with our customers when and how they want,” concludes Porter. 

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