Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Sydney, NSW - 27 May 2010 - By turning to IPscape's cloud based call centre solution for its customer contact centre, Sydney company Tony Ferguson Weightloss has successfully managed its launch into the UK and gained new flexibility in how it handles customers.

Head of technology Julian Lamb and call centre manager Daniel Silvestro began searching for a new contact centre solution late last year to support the launch of the brand into pharmacies throughout the UK.

Lamb says the customer contact centre is a vital element in the Tony Ferguson philosophy to provide 24 by 7 telephone support and encouragement to customers anywhere in the world.

“We had a traditional hardware PABX call centre onsite, but it was licensed for just 24 concurrent users, and the cost to upgrade it was substantial and would require more hardware and infrastructure,” Lamb says. “The call centre itself only had seats for 20 staff. Our thinking was that we would require a lot more agents than that to be able to service the requirements out of the UK, and hence the hardware solution wasn’t going to cut it.”

So Lamb and Silvestro turned to the cloud for a solution, selecting a contact centre management system from Sydney-based IPscape. Rather than being installed on premises, the IPscape application is hosted on the web and delivered to users via their web browser. The new system was installed in mid-April, just a week before the company’s UK launch on April 21.

Because the new system is web-based, Lamb says Tony Ferguson Weightloss has been able to increase the size of its call centre beyond the 20 physical call centre seats in its Penrith office.

“Because it is web-based, if a desk has a PC and a telephone, then it is able to be used as a call centre desk,” Lamb says. “If we need more staff we just deploy them to other desks in the building.”

As predicted, call volumes leapt dramatically after the UK launch, increasing by up to 50 percent. Lamb says the flexibility of the IPscape system has enabled Tony Ferguson Weightloss to run up to 40 call centre agents simultaneously within its offices, in addition to a 20 agent overflow contact centre in Queensland.

The flexibility of being able to deploy call centre workers anywhere means in future Lamb will consider allowing some to work from home.

“We’re examining the opportunities to provide more flexible work opportunities for our staff, such as mothers with children who could realistically work the nightshift from their own home using this technology,” Lamb says. “We could potentially utilise resources anywhere in Australia, or even in other countries, but right now we are keeping all of the jobs here.”

The fact that Lamb was able to install the system quickly and ramp up capacity at will has given him a margin of comfort in knowing the contact centre can handle the growth of the business. He says he was also impressed by the software’s reporting capabilities, which provide real-time information on call centre performance, and the fact that it integrates easily with’s customer and sales management system which the company uses.

“You don’t want to over-capitalise on system for a peak period that can happen when you launch something that is new and exciting, and conversely you don’t want to lose the momentum that is generated in that time by not being able to handle the calls,” Lamb says.

IPscape’s chief executive officer Simon Burke says Tony Ferguson Weightloss is a great example of how IPscape delivers a customer service solution which is simple, clever and fast.

“The alternative they would face is going through a systems integration and consulting exercise with new hardware and software purchases,” Burke says. “All of those things take time and are very expensive.”

Burke says his company’s software is meeting the needs of customers who are looking to be able to bring new products and services to market quickly. In one instance it was able to relocate a 100 seat call centre for Teleconnexions in just two hours after power was inadvertently cut off at its primary site.

“What we are seeing companies do is make the customer service environment agile and dynamic, and they need the contact centre environment set up really fast,” Burke says. “Traditional call centre technology is very hard to change and very inflexible and we have worked really hard at providing a technology service that provides that agility.”

He says that IPscape provides an additional benefit through a pricing model that charges on a per-second of usage basis, rather than on the number of seats deployed.

“We’re not forcing clients to be locked into any technology infrastructure or any contract,” Burke says. “It is simply a usage-based model that they can try out. If it doesn't fit their needs then it is not locked in.”

IPscape is also expanding its presence in the UK market, and Burke says that the launch of Tony Ferguson Weightloss there provides a strong reference. The company joined the NSW Government’s Australian Technology Showcase in October 2007 has been growing at a rapid rate, being named 84th in BRW’s Faster Starters list for 2010, 25th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and winning the top award at the Tech23 showcase in 2009. IPscape has also added noted IT industry figure and former executive chairman of Australian security company 90East John Palfreyman to its board of directors.

“The company has moved firmly from being start-up business three years ago to something where we are now in a position to move ahead with credibility and a clear vision of growth in Australia and into the UK,” Burke says.



Calls from UK expansion answered in Penrith



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