Aspect drives IP transition strategy for Garlands


By Aspect Software


IN 2004, Garlands embarked on an ambitious technology strategy involving a multi-million pound investment programme.  It aimed to:


• Create a 21st century IT infrastructure to build competitive advantage through technology leadership

• Streamline costs/processes

• Improve customer satisfaction by adding recording/analytics, and supporting new interaction channels (automation, video, collaboration, etc.)


Solution  Garlands first created a “Reference Architecture” that supported a transition to IP-based systems while allowing the company to leverage existing assets (ACDs, call recording, MIS systems, and more) to obtain maximum value.

A technologically-advanced IP contact centre, using commercially-proven, leading edge IP hardware and software solutions, was then added using:


• Uniphi Connect contact management software to work with the company's existing Aspect(r) CallCenter ACDs

• PerformanceEdge workforce management

• Cisco CallManager IP-PBX software

• eTalk Qfiniti contact recording, quality management and speech analytics

• Unified Command and Control Reporting


The launch of Garlands’ IP infrastructure provided the opportunity to advance to next-generation capabilities.  It extended its Aspect eWorkforce Management capabilities by investing in the Empower enhancement package.   This enables advisors to view a snapshot of the Garlands’ resource scheduling database on their desktop screens and request changes, such as holidays, as appropriate.  If advisors need time off at short notice, they can put in requests and automatically receive responses without managers and MIS department planners needing to intervene.

Garlands also invested in Aspect eWorkforce Management - Perform.  This provides an at-a-glance view of agent activity in real time and compares it to scheduled activities, registering adherence deviations in real time and producing historical reports.

In 2007, Garlands extended the capabilities of its Aspect CallCenter ACDs by investing in Uniphi Connect, a SIP-compliant product that delivers IP-based functionality to agent desktops. As Uniphi Connect was rolled out, advisors were equipped with Aspect TeleSet 3 handsets and Cisco/3Com IP handsets.

Soon, Garlands plans to migrate from its existing ACDs to the software-based Aspect  Unified IP, delivering advanced features while allowing Garlands choice of transport (SIP-based VoIP or traditional voice).


Results  The new infrastructure has exceeded expectations in terms of performance, flexibility, business agility, cost savings and resilience. Uptime has improved from 99.6 percent to 99.9 percent.

When a recent client was launched, all phases of go-live -- from planning to full technology implementation -- were completed in three days.  The IP-enabled contact centre has also: played a significant role in four business wins in 2006-2007 worth more than £12 million; delivered enhanced business agility and technology thought leadership; and reduced technology footprint and administrative costs (with the cost of technology-enabling new advisors falling by 50 per cent and IT operating costs by 25 per cent).

Garlands has also seen improvements in overall customer satisfaction and agent performance with speech analytics moving quality to the next level -- with greater customer knowledge and customer choice, creating additional business opportunities.  One client has seen a 15 per cent quality improvement.

Based in the North East of England, Garlands’ 3,000 agents handle more than 36 million calls per annum.  In 2007, the company was named "Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year" at the 2007 National Outsourcing Association Awards.