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Ebookers Selects CCT to Provide £2.5 Million Avaya IP Contact Center System

06-15-2004
  • 'Virtual' contact center for leading pan-European retail online travel agency enables delivery of superior customer service and reduces costs

Business communications specialist Call Centre Technology (CCT) and Avaya announced the completion of a £2.5 million contract win with ebookers plc, a leading pan-European online travel agency.

Business communications specialist Call Centre Technology (CCT) and Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, have today announced the completion of a £2.5 million contract win with ebookers plc (LSE:EBR, NASDAQ:EBKR), a leading pan-European online travel agency. The new technology will allow ebookers to enhance service by centralizing and managing customer contact across web, phone, e-mail and fax for the first time.

CCT has just completed the successful implementation of a multimedia contact center system based on Avaya technology, to support all of ebookers' online operations including ebookers.com, Travelbag, Flightbookers, Mr Jet and Bridge the World. The Avaya multimedia platform will enable agents to seamlessly handle all Web, phone, fax and e-mail-based customer communications. Agents are provided with a single integrated-view of previous customer contact across all channels, allowing them to complete transactions and resolve enquiries faster and more effectively. For ebookers, the new technology delivers significant cost savings, and enables the company to enhance efficiency and provide superior customer service.

The new contact center system links 1,000 agents located in 38 sites in 11 countries across the UK, mainland Europe and India, to create one of the world's largest 'virtual' contact centers.

The virtual contact center will enable ebookers to make more efficient use of resources and ensure high service standards are met consistently, even during peak periods. Using skills-based routing software in conjunction with IP Telephony, overflow calls are intelligently routed across ebookers' converged voice and data network to the best skilled agent at no extra cost to the customer or ebookers, irrespective of the agent's location. For example, in France, if all agents in Paris are unavailable to handle enquiries they are routed to Dublin to be handled by French-speaking agents without incurring any delay or cost for the customer.

This capability allows all available sales and customer service agents to be treated as a single, 'virtual' global resource. This means ebookers can distribute calls across all its sites and locations to ensure agent time is used optimally and peaks in call volumes are handled more efficiently.

"Technology is a critical component of our business strategy," said Dinesh Dhamija, CEO at ebookers plc. "We operate in a fiercely competitive market where success is defined by keen pricing and delivery of the best customer experience. We continually explore how we can exploit new technology to enhance service delivery and create cost savings that can be passed on to our customers. We selected CCT because it demonstrated a deep understanding of our business approach and has a proven track record in implementing large IP-based contact centers."

"ebookers is well known for its innovative and highly-competitive business model built around the use of state-of-the-art technology," said Russell Attwood, CEO at CCT. "Technology, however, can only be an enabler and the real key to success is people and processes. ebookers has an equal focus on this softer side of its operations, and it was a great business compliment that CCT was chosen to provide specialist consultancy and outsourcing services in addition to our technology know-how."

"The virtual contact center is an important strategic investment for ebookers - the IP Telephony contact center will help drive down costs and also provide visibility across every agent and location. This will make a massive difference by giving the management team critical business intelligence to ensure resources are deployed effectively and enhance customer service," added Clive Sawkins, vice-president for Avaya in the UK and Ireland.

In the future, ebookers plans to roll out a range of new applications to support customer self-service including Interactive Response, customer/agent Web collaboration and Web chat. Also ebookers is developing a home working capability which will provide staff with more flexibility and reduce office overheads.

The contact center uses software from Avaya including open standards-based MultiVantage™ Communications Applications and Avaya Global Services portfolio with Avaya Communication Manager for IP telephony; Avaya Interaction Center - a multimedia contact center which allows agents to handle enquiries by either Web, phone, e-mail or fax; Avaya Interactive Response - which creates a self-service facility, enabling ebookers to provide a more flexible service (customers will be able to check flight availability and make bookings and payments, with an option to be connected to an agent at any time, should they need assistance - his service will free up agent time to handle more complex customer enquiries) and Skills-based routing software - automatically directing calls to the most appropriate agent for the job.

About ebookers plc
ebookers is a leading pan-European online retail leisure specialist with Web sites in 12 European countries - UK, France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. It specialises in the mid- and long-haul modular leisure segments of the European travel industry. It also specialises in selling discount merchant fares, which are negotiated directly with leading travel suppliers in order to help them sell their excess capacity without damaging their pricing structure and brands. ebookers has a low-cost BPO facility in New Delhi, India - Tecnovate - with a staff of over 600, which carries out 13 separate functions from e-mail sales to software development. The company has a multi brand marketing strategy. Its brands include ebookers.com, Flightbookers, Travelbag, Travelbag Adventures Bridge the World, and MrJet. ebookers plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and quoted on Nasdaq in the United States of America.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

About CCT
Call Centre Technology (CCT) is a leading business communications specialist.

It provides a complete portfolio of business communications and call/contact center solutions, from consultancy, outsourcing, staff recruitment and training to technology, ongoing support and managed services.

CCT has over 400 customers from a broad spectrum of markets, including finance & banking, travel & tourism, mail order, publishing and public sectors. It has helped blue-chip companies such as AXA PPP, The Daily Telegraph, EasyJet, Jaguar, Holiday Autos, The Number 118 118 and Securicor enhance the effectiveness of their communications infrastructure and strategies to deliver increased business returns.

CCT is a customer-focused organisation. 70% of its staff are project management and engineering professionals, meaning it can operate to the highest levels of service and support within its industry. The business communications specialist has an extremely high customer retention rate at 97%. It also has one of the highest engineer-client ratios in its field and has the capability to provide 24/7/365 support across the UK.

The depth and breadth of its portfolio means CCT is fully equipped to handle any customer requirement. It has successfully installed over 250 call/contact centers across 500 sites in the UK and Europe, including Europe's largest IP-based contact center.

The business communications specialist has strategic partnerships with market-leaders Avaya and BT. It is an Avaya Platinum Business Partner and is fully accredited to implement and support the entire Avaya product range.

Founded in 1997, CCT has 150 staff and is headquartered in Bristol with offices across the UK. It is a profitable, fully-funded and rapidly growing business. www.callct.co.uk

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