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Leading Canadian Insurance Group Selects Avaya to Raise the Bar in Customer Service and Call Center Efficiency

06-10-2004
  • SSQ Financial Group Decreases Call Overflow by Over 96 percent and Streamlines Work for 250 Agents Using Avaya MultiVantage Communications Applications

Avaya announced that SSQ Financial Group has chosen Avaya MultiVantage™ Communication Applications to improve customer service, productivity and efficiency.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, today announced that SSQ Financial Group has chosen Avaya MultiVantage™ Communication Applications to improve customer service, productivity and efficiency.

SSQ Financial Group is a persified financial institution that creates insurance plans and provides insurance services to unions, professional associations, businesses and inpiduals.

With the new solution SSQ has linked four call centers and reduced call overflow by more than 96 percent. Overflow was a significant issue for SSQ, with customers either getting a busy signal when calling, or experiencing long waiting times before being able to reach an agent. In addition, SSQ did not have access to a skill based routing solution to ensure the most appropriate agents were being assigned to calls.

"Using Avaya solutions, we have seen a decrease in overflow calls from 400 per day down to 15," said Eric Bourbeau, IT Manager at SSQ Financial Group. "We can now ensure that our customers are speaking with the employees who are better suited to answer their questions, ensuring our customers are receiving the timely attention they need."

SSQ turned to Cygnal Technologies, Avaya's Platinum Business Partner, to upgrade the existing Avaya communications server in the company's head office in Quebec City to Avaya Communication Manager and Avaya Call Management System (CMS), the company's flagship IP telephony and contact center software from the MultiVantage applications suite. Cygnal then extended the applications and capabilities of the head office, to SSQ locations in Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City using Avaya media servers and media gateways.

"We wanted to provide better services to customers and more efficient tools to our internal teams in our branch offices," explained Bourbeau. "Using the Avaya solutions, we can personalize service, better monitor and evaluate calls, and redirect calls to other agents, regardless of geographic location."

Using an IP network, SSQ is able to reduce costs in multiple ways. Centralizing operations and distributing applications over the network to other offices allows SSQ to reduce management and administration requirements for voice systems at four separate locations to a single step. Networking and inter-office calling costs are also reduced. In addition, the migration to the new Avaya solution enabled SSQ to retain a large portion of its current equipment, which reduced the company's total cost of ownership.

Contact center applications improve customer service through faster, more equitable distribution of calls among the entire agent staff, creating a better-balanced workload that puts less stress on agents. Customers are routed quickly to the agent most suited to help. Managers have a clearer view of current and historical call activity that allows them to make immediate changes to meet demand and strategically plan staff assignments.

"We're excited that leading companies like SSQ are realizing they can extend valuable features and capabilities typically found in the head office to branch locations with Avaya solutions," said Mario Belanger, president, Avaya Canada. "Fueled by the versatility of IP telephony companies can see a high return on their technology investment gaining efficiencies and enhancing customer services without increasing workloads."

About Cygnal Technologies
Cygnal Technologies Corporation is a leading Canadian provider of network solutions including the design, installation, maintenance and management of wired and wireless communication networks. The Company offers a full range of technologies and solutions for public sector and enterprise customers. Cygnal has expertise in voice, video and data solutions over traditional and next generation converged technologies.

Cygnal Technologies Corporation is headquartered in Markham, Ontario and has approximately 650 employees supporting end-user customers and business partners through 15 offices across Canada, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, London, Kitchener, Burlington, Brampton, Markham, Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax. Cygnal common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CYN. For further information: please visit their Web site at www.cygnal.ca

About SSQ Financial Group
With an annual turnover of $1 billion, SSQ Financial Group stands out as a leading persified financial institution proud of its mutual character. The Group serves some one million customers and employs over 1,000 people. SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc., the Group's main company, is an industry leader in group insurance and a rising star in the investment and retirement sector. SSQ Financial Group also is involved in property and casualty insurance (SSQ General Insurance Company Inc.) as well as realty management (SSQ Realty Inc.). SSQ Financial Group is among Canada's 50 best managed companies.

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 or http://www.avaya.ca

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