CompNow is an Australian-owned business providing IT solutions for retail, corporate, government, education and pro video. It is the largest Apple reseller in Australia. CompNow has stores in Victoria and New South Wales and a retail presence in a number of universities, all of which need intelligent communication solutions to best service its customers. CompNow’s existing phone system was ageing and restrictive both in functionality and the ability to expand, providing the impetus for the business to seek a new solution.
CompNow had a traditional phone system which was restrictive due to limited functionality and ability to expand. Any features added to the base system, such as voicemail to email, were considered optional extras further increasing the cost of telephony.
Robert Ruigrok, CFO, CompNow, said, “CompNow reviewed its existing phone system and decided there had to be a more cost-effective and contemporary system on the market, which is why we researched the market and chose Digium’s Switchvox.”
CompNow has numerous sites, from its head office in South Melbourne, warehouse in Malvern to retail stores in Geelong and Crows Nest and university outlets at UNSW, RMIT, Monash University and UTS. CompNow’s customers include consumers, businesses and students, all of which require different methods of communication and different times they want to connect to CompNow.
Qtec Systems, a leading Switchvox reseller, provided CompNow with a complete Digium Switchvox voice over IP (VoIP) telephony platform, which included professional services for configuration, on-going support, and system management and upgrades.
Switchvox is a pure IP PBX, enabling CompNow to integrate the phone system partially or totally to its data network. The Switchvox platform delivers advanced functionality including conference bridging, call recording, call queues, interactive voice response (IVR) functionality and a full suite of unified communications features.
The implementation included one AA305 Switchvox server located in CompNow’s South Melbourne head office, another AA305 in Crows Nest and an AA65 server in its Malvern warehouse. The Geelong and university sites have handsets that are connected back to the central IP PBX at South Melbourne. There are more than 125 IP handsets operational across CompNow’s warehouse, offices and stores.
Ruigrok said, “All the extra features and functionality, including conference calls, voicemail and fax to email and call centre help desk functionality that CompNow was looking for came out of the box with Digium Switchvox, making it a very attractive proposition.”
CompNow also had a GSM gateway installed enabling calls to be made from CompNow locations to mobile users as mobile calls, reducing expensive fixed to mobile network tariffs.
Given the large volume of calls coming into CompNow’s sales and support divisions, the system was built, configured and tested before implementation began in each site. Phones were migrated after hours, which meant CompNow experienced little to no downtime and business risks were minimised.
Digium Switchvox lets CompNow intelligently use VoIP to reduce telephony costs through the ability to internally route calls between offices based on customer requirement and volume of traffic. All calls between head office, the warehouse and stores are achieved by simply dialling an extension number and travel via their internal network at no additional cost. Converging voice and data onto a single common network also means less equipment and easier integration for IT staff.
The systems is easy-to-use and customisable, letting CompNow manage phone calls and integrate with its other business applications such as their customer relationship management (CRM) system. The system delivers advanced communications that enhances CompNow’s telephony experience, improves customer service and optimises operational productivity via reducing costs and intelligent call routing.
The system gives CompNow sophisticated call handling, which can be centrally or remotely managed, and includes the flexibility to accommodate their various customers’ requirements, such as the ability to redirect calls during school holidays or in busy periods.
Digium Switchvox lets CompNow simplify moves, adds and changes within the system, without requiring a technician to be on-site. It enhances mobility beyond traditional dial-up networks and future-proofs the network by supporting web-enabled applications through the phone system.
Ruigrok said, “Digium Switchvox gives CompNow the ability to intelligently handle our customers calls based on their needs. For example a student at RMIT can easily ring a dedicated number and be directed to a local person, a call centre or IVR for assistance.”
In addition the open-standards system lets CompNow choose a mix of standards-based session initiated protocol (SIP) handsets with a variety of functions to meet the needs of each site from conference phones, executive phones, video phones, and task worker phones. It also lets mobile workers and sales people use PC-based soft phones, meaning they are part of the system without having a physical handset.
CompNow’s hardware costs are reduced by only needing to have handsets at its Geelong and university sites that link back to the central IP PBX rather than their own telephony servers. Ruigrok said, “Switchvox lets CompNow serve our customers better, giving us more points of presence in more places and the connectivity to help our customers better with little associated costs.”
CompNow’s system is upgraded with new features twice a year as part of its maintenance agreement, reducing the cost of upgrades and improvements to the system.
James Turner, managing director, Qtec, said, “CompNow understands the value of technology to its business, which makes for a great partnership. It advocates leading technologies to its customers and has adopted the same view for itself by investing in Switchvox, which has been a very successful move. Qtec looks forward to helping CompNow grow further using its new found communication capabilities.”