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Juma Technology Helps Leading Travel Management Firm Retain Staff, Improve Customer Service with Avaya IP Telephony

04-03-2007
  • Solution for home-based agents improves morale and boosts productivity; Design, installation and support provided by Avaya's North American "BusinessPartner of the Year for Converged Solutions"

Juma Technology earned a "BusinessPartner of the Year for Converged Solutions" award from Avaya.

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – As a systems integrator skilled in voice and data communications, Juma Technology knows the pressure companies face to get the most out of their communications investments. Combining their understanding of the customer with their experience in IP telephony has recently earned Juma a "BusinessPartner of the Year for Converged Solutions" award from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services.

 

One company benefiting from Juma's expertise is Austin Travel, a top 50 travel management firm. When the Long Island company decided to relocate employees to its corporate headquarters in Melville, N.Y., longer commutes and skyrocketing gas prices made several of its best corporate travel consultants unsure about remaining with the company.

 

"These were very good agents, but the commute presented a hardship for them," said Stewart Austin, senior vice president for information technology at Austin Travel. "We agreed we would try to come up with a way to let them work from home."

 

Juma recommended that Austin Travel merge voice and data networks and migrate to IP telephony, a technology that allows companies to easily and cost-effectively support a distributed workforce. Juma upgraded Austin Travel's data network infrastructure to accommodate the bandwidth and quality of service demands of IP telephony and to protect the company's investment in an existing voice system based on Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software.

 

Now, in each Austin Travel agent's home office, an Avaya 4620 IP telephone set offers the same advanced calling features and functions available at the company's headquarters. To keep remote access secure, the home-based agents log into the network through NetScreen firewall products from Avaya alliance partner Juniper Networks, protecting the Austin Travel network from intrusions and attacks. Setup is simple, so no site visit is required by the information technology team.

 

With many of its agents now working from home, Austin Travel says that square-footage requirements at headquarters have dropped – as have stress levels. Conversely, employee morale, productivity and service have increased. Clients are complimenting the firm on the professionalism and positive attitude of its agents, and on the improved service received outside of normal business hours when special conditions arise.

 

"In the past, snow days were always the worst for us," Austin said. "Those were the days our clients needed us the most since they were dealing with cancelled flights and delays. But it would take longer for agents to get to work, if they could get there at all. Now they can simply log in from home. That's been a huge boon."

 

Employee retention also has improved. When one of the company's most skilled agents moved from New York to Florida, she was able to take her home office setup along and continue to work for Austin Travel without missing a beat.

 

With a laptop computer and an IP phone, agents on the road supporting corporate conferences and meetings can handle onsite travel arrangements for clients as seamlessly as if they were in the office. An Avaya Extension to Cellular application allows incoming office calls to ring simultaneously on an employee's cell phone – enabling them to be reached through a single number whether they are on the road, at home or in the office.

 

To support growth, Austin Travel now can recruit agents from anywhere in the country and can easily launch new branch sites – such as its new three-person office in New York City.

 

"We no longer need to wait on the phone company to install lines," Austin said. "All we need is a broadband connection and we're done. That means we can open a new office in days, not weeks or months. If a building is lit and has Internet connectivity, we can be up and running right away."

 

"Juma Technology has proved to be a great partner to us," Austin added. "I normally don’t hire people on the spot, but the first time the Juma team came to see me, one of their employees solved a problem in the first two to three minutes he was onsite. Since then they've given me invaluable advice on how to use our investment in Avaya technology to open up new possibilities for our business." 

 

About Avaya
Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large. For more information visit the Avaya Web site, www.avaya.com

 

About Juma Technology
Juma Technology is a highly skilled telecommunications and information technology systems integrator specializing in converged voice and data network deployments. Juma's practice areas span both voice and data communications technologies, which enables customers to benefit from an expertise across a broad spectrum of business-critical requirements. Juma is a leader in providing integrated business communications and services, helping customers leverage network convergence to achieve business goals.

 

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