Out-of-box system better suits to TV cable provider needs
Newspaper Rzeczpospolita – the interview conducted by Luke Dec with Maciej Ziemiański and Bartłomiej Mikołajczak from INEA about our SAP Contact Center implementation
Inea – the largest alternative telecommunications operator in the western part of Poland assumes doubling customers within five years. If the company wants to get the aim successfully it needs to increase its call center staff by 50%. The operator has recently completed the implementation of the new system dedicated to the customer service center management. The system is to meet new challenges. We are talking to Bartłomiej Mikołajczak and Maciej Ziemiański from INEA about objectives and implementation.
rpkom.pl: – How many contacts does INEA register in its customer service department?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak, Director of Sales and Sevice Department in INEA: – There are about 50 thousand. incoming phone calls, 500 chat requests and 400 e-mails.
– Has it required a new system?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: Last five years we noted a steady increase in incoming traffic average around 15-17 percent. yearly. Before we used to use our own call center system based on open source. This system has grown with us starting from 4-5 agents 10 years ago to 50 agents today. The old system has become insufficient.
– Was it the only reason?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: It was one of the main reasons. The second one was the need for more sophisticated statistical and analytical tools. The third, it was the strategic decision made earlier about the INEA migration to SAP solutions.
Maciej Ziemiański, IT Director : – The new system gives us completely new opportunities to manage incoming calls in the customer service center, provides agents scripts to facilitate their work and boosts business efficiency. The previous system was effective but there were problems with its stability.
– What about the optimization and scalability? Wasn’t possible to do?
Maciej Ziemiański: From the technical point of view it would be possible but its cost – in any way unjustifiable. Implementing the new system was more economically viable. The development of our own solution was more difficult because it required IT resources engagement. Having the ready and finished solution is much easier.
– Does the implementation mean staff cuts in IT department?
Maciej Ziemiański: No. However, we will change our IT staff profile from developers to internal support and purchase-quality-control teams. There are a few people in the INEA IT department but we also buy IT services in an outsourcing model. Summing, twenty six IT specialists work for us.
– What was the reason for choosing SAP BCM? Was there any choice, if you had earlier taken decision about the migration to SAP?
Maciej Ziemiański: It looked a little bit differently. Since the end of 2011 we have been looking for a CRM system. After examining a few possibilities we decided to choose the SAP solution. This meant that we also chose the integrated call center suite.
– Could it be possible to integrate any other vendor call center solution with SAP CRM?
Maciej Ziemiański: Probably yes. However the costs of that integration would be significant. None of competitive contact center systems has such advantages as SAP BCM does that would justify such an operation.
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: In comparison to our ex-system functionality SAP BCM covers our needs for next 4-5 years.
Maciej Ziemiański: The previous call center system was not able to support multi-channel communication. Before there was possible that one agent was talking on a phone and received a chat request at the same time. He could not respond within SLA. The new contact center system provides us with complete distribution of all communication channels.
While we are about it: which channels are the most popular among your customers?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: Of course, phone calls still are 80 – 90 percent. of all contacts. Chat contacts grow 2-3 percent. per year. The e-mail channel is stable and it is used primarily for complaint applications.
– When do you foresee the need of increasing the system capacity?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: Our company has concrete and long-term development plans which involve doubling of customers within five years. It means that our call center staff probably reaches 75-80 agents. SAP BCM easily copes with this number.
Maciej Ziemiański: The SAP BCM architecture is designed for unlimited scalability. We can easily scale the servers processing power where SAP BCM is installed. Of course, growing in user numbers requires expanding licenses. Licensing is based on the number of users.
– Before making the decision about the system choice, have you seen any reference implementation?
Maciej Ziemiański: Through a live visit – not. However, we verified references and obtained assurance that SAP BCM has been successfully implemented in several customers in Poland and works successfully.
– In Telco operators?
Maciej Ziemiański: We just based on implementations in the finance and insurance industry where call center traffic is very similar to ours. Finally, our technology partner convinced us and implemented this solution in INEA. I would like to note that the system was implemented according to the schedule.
– I don’t think it happens…
Maciej Ziemiański: Yet. In our case the SAP BCM implementation was completed to the plan-established-date.
– So, how did the implementation framework time look like?
Maciej Ziemiański: We have known about new system needs for several years. In 2009, we developed IT strategy for the whole company by 2018. One of the first implementations was Business Intelligence. At the turn of 2011 and 2012 we started searching for a CRM system. This project still runs and the SAP BCM implementation is a part of it. We will have been run the new CRM system productively by the new year beginning. The SAP CRM start will also strengthen the effectiveness of the SAP BCM.
– Than why didn’t you go live both system at the same time?
Maciej Ziemiański: The CRM configuration is complicated and must take time. We decided that there is no reason to delay the startup of the system to handle call center operations.
– Have you revised the call center indicators after the new system implementation? Have you achieved them?
Bartłomiej Mikołajczak: Indicators were not the central point of the project because it is a part of a larger deployment. We achieved good indicators working on the previous solution. However, we already know that SAP BCM reduces the time of each event with 10-15 seconds, just because it automatically opens customer files. Before the agent had to search it in the system.
Comparing April to March the service level increases by 5 per cent. We will be able to answer the question how big impact the implementation has on the customer service not earlier then in the end of April. We give ourselves this time for system-configuration-tuning. Ultimately, we aim to classic service level model which is 80/20 [80 percent. calls answered in 20 secondsl.
– What does the term „tuning system” mean?
Maciej Ziemiański: SAP BCM has a lot of parameters which previously we could not manage. For example, there are specifics parameters such as call routing or optimum time for each matter settlement or switching temp rate from one to another agent. We assume that we give ourselves three months to adjust the system in details.
– And finally, how much did it cost?
Maciej Ziemiański: Unfortunately I can’t give you exact amounts because of the agreements confidence. SAP BCM implementation costs are a small part of the total CRM budget in INEA.
– Was SAP the cheapest solution?
Maciej Ziemiański: Licensing costs were very similar while the costs of implementation services widely divergent. To the SAP solution advantage. We are talking about the whole implementation of the CRM system not only the call center suite.
– How much the IT system-modernization-program is going to cost?
Maciej Ziemiański: The amount will be around several million dollars.
– Thank you for the interview.
Łukasz Dec „Rzeczpospolita”
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