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Case Studies : Carrington Carr Holdings
Founded over 25 years ago in Leicester, Carrington Carr grew quickly to become one of the UK’s re-mortgage specialists. Relaunched as Carrington Carr Holdings following a management buyout in December 2008, the company has continued to expand – diversifying its product offering with a focus around the sales and marketing of products not covered by the original FSA-regulated part of the business.
The Consumer Money Matters division of the Carrington Carr business has experienced rapid growth and now supports over 150 field-based sales consultants. Since 2010 Carrington Carr has undergone further acquisitions and expansion, and there are now some 17 active companies trading within the group, with new and innovative products and services constantly evolving.
Working with a specialist communications technology partner
As Carrington Carr’s Head of Group IT, Anil Motivaras faces the challenge of ensuring that the company’s IT and communications infrastructure is flexible and agile enough to support this continued evolution. "When I joined the company in 2005 we were a very different operation, with just 300 people in the building, very few PCs, and two outdated NEC switches to support our escalating telephony requirements.
"Having recently implemented a robust communications platform at my previous organisation, it was immediately clear that Carrington Carr had an opportunity to unlock significant value by moving to a more stable telephony platform," he added. "As a specialist sales and marketing operation, it was essential that our sales teams weren’t delayed by telephony downtime. Addressing this was a key priority for the business."
Having already experienced the benefits of working with Avaya’s proven enterprise-class Communication Manager PBX and ACD routing engine, Anil Motivaras was keen for Carrington Carr to have a robust communications platform to support the business.
"We initially engaged Sabio, the specialist contact centre technology experts, to look at our existing infrastructure and advise on next steps," explained Anil. "Their conclusion was clear: our existing telephony was suffering too much downtime and placing a brake on our growth plans. Additionally, Sabio’s in-depth expertise meant they were able to build a clear business case for our communications refresh.
Putting a stable telephony infrastructure in place
"We went through a procurement process and were pleased to select Sabio to specify and implement a more flexible telephony approach based on an Avaya Communication Manager ACD softswitch," added Anil. "We wanted to work with a partner that not only offered an in-depth understanding of Avaya technology, but who could also make sure any solution would support our evolving business goals. As a proven Avaya Connect Platinum partner, Sabio was able to deliver on both counts."
By updating its core telephony infrastructure from out-of-support NEC switches to the more open and resilient Avaya Communication platform, Carrington Carr has been able to improve the efficiency of its overall call centre performance.
However the key benefit was clearly the reliability of the Avaya platform that Sabio implemented. It was estimated that the amount of sales downtime caused by issues with the previous generation telephony switches was causing Carrington Carr an unacceptable level of financial impact. Immediately the Avaya infrastructure was deployed the problem ceased, with the Avaya systems experiencing no downtime at all.
Remodelling the recording process
As a sales and marketing operation offering a broad range of financial products, remaining regulatory compliant was a key concern for Carrington Carr. While the company had a functional recording process in place, Anil Motivaras was keen to re-engineer the process.
"Our process wasn’t particularly stable, and retrieving calls for analysis was very resource-intensive," he explained. "In fact we needed a team in place just to retrieve the recordings so that we could meet our compliance requirements."
Sabio worked with Carrington Carr to implement Impact 360(R) Voice Recording to ensure full-time and compliance recording across all the company’s operations. "Compliance is essential for Carrington Carr. With Sabio helping us to deploy Impact 360(R) we now benefit from resilient recording across the business. We now only need one person to manage the whole process in contrast to a whole compliance team before. It’s a more reliable and flexible solution, and much more cost-effective for the business to use," added Anil.
Delivering agility to support Carrington Carr’s expansion
Building on the success of Sabio’s initial Avaya communications platform deployment, Carrington Carr quickly saw the benefits of a continued development programme for its robust Avaya infrastructure.
"Our business moves fast, and we’re recognised for our ability to identify new market opportunities and pursue them quickly," explains Anil. "For the IT team it was important that we had a communications platform in place that could always support innovation at Carrington Carr. So when we were tasked, for example, with supporting the opening of a new office in Derby we saw it as an opportunity rather than a challenge."
Working with Sabio, Carrington Carr upgraded to the latest version of Avaya Aura(R) Communication Manager with Release 16.3 of the Avaya Call Management System. A key goal for the upgrade was to ensure that new office locations such as Derby could benefit from exactly the same connectivity and contact centre and call recording functionality available at the Leicester head office. At the same time it had to provide a valuable additional network node for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes and help to reduce the company’s overall communications hardware footprint.
"Since the upgrade by Sabio we know we have a platform that will support Carrington Carr’s business evolution. It should allow us to deliver on our model of the business as a sales and marketing machine with the contact centre at its heart," added Anil Motivarus. "As a business, our contacts used to be 99% outbound, but with the fine-tuning of our financial services mix we’re now needing a much more blended contact centre approach for our inbound and outbound interactions."
Benefiting from exceptional reliability
Following the original decision to switch to an Avaya technology platform, Carrington Carr has benefited from exceptional reliability and the business continuity that results from a stable infrastructure.
To ensure continued performance Carrington Carr selected Sabio as its maintenance partner for its core Avaya and Verint solutions. "Unlike other providers where support issues are often farmed out to third parties, Sabio is able to handle almost all of our service calls directly from its specialist Glasgow-based support centre, and has strong relationships with our core technology vendors," said Anil. "Sabio is also continuing to add value through service, and we’re currently looking at their MaaS Monitoring-as-a-Service offering to provide us with even greater performance visibility – particularly for those times when our contact centre is operating outside of normal working hours."
Operating as a proven contact centre technology partner
Since first working with Carrington Carr in 2008, Sabio has consistently delivered for the business, operating alongside the IT Team as a trusted contact centre technology partner.
When Carrington Carr’s Avaya maintenance was recently due for renewal, Sabio secured the contract, building in specialist Consultancy time to help the IT and Infrastructure team refine its next contact centre and communications technology steps.
"We’re at an important phase in our technology development, and it really helps to have access to Sabio’s in-depth customer service consultancy expertise," said Anil. "For example, as part of the upgrade Sabio has made it easy for us to adopt SIP in the future - so we are currently looking closely at how SIP-enabled networking could help optimise our communications expenditure. We’re also considering our broader mobility strategy with a particular focus on how we can deliver more support for our remote sales force, and we’re also taking steps to replace our legacy Aspect dialler system.
"Sabio’s track record with Carrington Carr, coupled with its in-depth awareness of current contact centre best practice performance, gives them a great understanding of our business," he added. "Working with Sabio’s Consultants gives us a valuable sounding board, allowing us to track key technologies and strategies, and making sure that we only apply them when they’re right for Carrington Carr. When we first approached Sabio our telephony and contact centre infrastructure was holding us back – now it’s a major asset for Carrington Carr as we continue to grow our business."
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Sabio is a specialist customer service and contact centre systems integrator focused on delivering exceptional customer contact strategies and solutions based on best-of-breed technologies from partner organisations such as Avaya, Nuance and Verint. Sabio offers business consulting, systems integration and managed services and has worked with many major organisations across the UK including Argos, Brewin Dolphin, BT Business, Business Stream, Eurostar, Homeserve, Leeds City Council, Office Depot, Thames Water and the multi-award winning Lebara Mobile.
Published: Monday, April 7, 2014