Case study title

Voice and Network Services – Private Sector – Safestore

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The Overview

Voice and Network Services solutions for Safestore from GCI, including implementing a full disaster recovery site, replacing the existing ISDN setup with SIP.

Safestore, the UK’s largest provider of self-storage, has over 100 centres nationwide, each operating as separate entities. Alongside these, the Borehamwood-based head office houses the core administrative and management functions, plus an inbound contact centre.

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The Challenge

Customer billing for every Safestore site is handled centrally and all staff in the centres log on to the head office to access information and files; if anything failed centrally all connectivity with local stores would be lost. Following the loss of their La Défense store in Paris to a fire, Safestore recognised the critical need for a full disaster recovery solution that would incorporate a more robust telephony setup, as well as protect the company’s data and business operation in the event that the head office was not operational.

Additionally, Safestore’s policy of all stores operating with a local number meant calls were often missed due to minimum staff on site, and without the ability to report on calls Safestore were unable to understand the impact to their business. As part of streamlining its telephony infrastructure, Safestore therefore needed to route any calls that could not be answered locally to the contact centre. They also wanted peace of mind that they could continue work as normal from the new DR site with no need to re-direct telephone numbers.

The Solution

GCI created a full disaster recovery site in Bedford that replicates the Borehamwood head office and replaced the existing ISDN setup with 150 SIP channels, doubling the capacity and reducing cost by over 20%.

An Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise solution was installed at the head office, with an IP gateway installed at the Bedford site, which mirrors the main call server. A staged migration was enabled through SBC’s on both sites, allowing for SIP connectivity, enhancing the security and resilience of the telephony communication.

The Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch CC solution, embedded within the OmniPCX Enterprise, delivers contact centre capabilities such as Supervision for monitoring and reporting, and Distribution to manage voice traffic and offer cost-based routing.
Additionally, through the implementation of a GCI Inbound Solution, Safestore have successfully migrated the published number for each store into GCI’s non-geographic number service. Subsequently, they are now not only able to track calls, but send unanswered calls back to the central call centre at Borehamwood to ensure all calls are answered.

Following the successful eight-month rollout, GCI has been signed to provide ongoing support and management for the telephony and disaster recovery solution.

Enhanced customer experience – Call flows have been significantly improved as Safestore can now ensure all incoming calls reach the right person. If a call made to a store is not answered in five rings then it is delivered to the contact centre at head office, with a clear indicator of where it was diverted from. Additionally, implementation of Call Recording for all incoming and outbound calls at the contact centre has provided Safestore with monitoring capabilities, giving them insight into service quality and enabling them to undertake staff training as and when required.

Driving efficiency – The GCI solution has enabled Safestore to be quicker, smarter and better at what they do. No more missed calls means no opportunities for new business are missed, preventing prospects from calling the competition, and customers always reach a member of staff who can help them.

Business continuity – By replicating the head office in Bedford, GCI has delivered a robust disaster recovery approach, ensuring the company can operate seamlessly in the event of a critical issue. The contact centre can operate effectively at the second site without the need for time consuming number re-directing and all customer billing information and critical data is retained safely.

ROI – Safestore used Auditel, the UK’s leading Cost Management Consultancy, to carry out a detailed review of their telecom costs. Using their extensive experience and state of the art tools, Auditel were able to confirm that real savings in excess of 20% were achieved. Additionally, through GCI’s new Inbound solution, Safestore have benefited from improved reporting resulting in a reduction in unanswered calls and subsequent lost sales.

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