IBI Investments: Calling Under Fire (Case Study)
One of the biggest fears a company can experience is complete operation shut down during disaster. Last year, IBI Investments, experienced this exact situation when a floor of their building (below them) caught on fire. Fortunately all the workers were able to exit safely. Even more fortunately, the Tikal Networks IP-PBX and Crystal Call Center was hosted in a remote location. Tikal Networks developed a unique feature called “remote agent”. This feature gives every user the ability to call from a remote location and use all the features available at their desk. This gives any user the ability to keep on working without any change in features or operations. To assure complete uninterrupted operation, IBI’s IT management also took the precaution to host the telephony system off the premises. This way, no single event can prevent the operation from regular operation.
Tikal’s “remote agent” feature gives users one phone number and security code to call into the system. A caller can use the IP-PBX and the Call Center from any telephone: old fashion analog handset (POTS), cell phone, IP phone and a soft phone on a PC, can connect to the system and be recognized automatically. Even an old fashion pay phone or a phone in another location or a hosted remote office can be used as an agent’s call station. This feature enabled IBI IT staff to completely avoid any use of disaster recovery procedures needed by most IT applications. Agents simply moved to another location, in this case home or a cafe down the street, and continued working. This capability gives organizations the ability to also move positions anywhere, even globally, and prevent changes in how an agent uses the system.
Tikal’s policy of making complex and advanced telephony system work easily is the root of the “remote agent” features. When it comes to advanced IP-PBX and Call Centers, Tikal has made the user experience it’s number one mission. The realization of making agents the key to a successful operation comes from wide experience with call centers and IP-PBX installations. Experience with real mission critical operations, with conditions like interruption of power and evacuation of a facility, with highly skilled users and top tier operations at highly organized companies. In the case of IBI Investments, the agents are highly trained financial advisers. Much like front line call center agents, these skilled professionals need a simple to operate telephony system without the complexity of running a complex system. The last thing a financial adviser needs is a course on running a telephone system. They also need smooth integration with their other systems (CRM, account management, financial markets reporting and tracking) and as we saw recently, completely transparent disaster recovery operation. Just by luck, this is what Tikal Networks has been delivering the last eight years. In addition, Tikal Networks also has experience with a wide range of organizations. This gives every IT manager the ability to quickly describe their needs and receive a solution from Tikal’s technical support staff. In the case of the fire at IBI’s offices, the remote agent feature was explained and used in minutes. Immediately after the fire evacuations, agents called into the system to test this capability. The same day of the disaster, agents were working from local cafes and their homes without any need for support. This enabled the IBI technical team to deal with their most pressing disaster issues like taking care of their equipment in the abandoned location. When IBI returned to their regular location, Tikal’s system did not need any reconfiguration. Each agent’s system (PC) simply logged into the telephony system as before and all the configuration data was as it appeared before the evacuation. This one simple feature gives IT managers a glimpse of Tikal Networks’s experience and system capability. While the number of features run into the hundreds, configuration can be complex as you can imagine, Tikal Networks bring the human factor of daily operation. This is the intangible advantage we give our users.