NEC Group Transforms Ticket Office with Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Solutions

Alcatel-Lucent has announced that The NEC Group has deployed its IP telephony and contact centre solutions at The NEC Group’s venues throughout Birmingham – including the NEC Exhibition Centre, the UK’s largest exhibition venue – to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs and improve sales.

The deployment, which was completed by Alcatel-Lucent’s business partner Amillan over a six-month period, allows The NEC Group to become a more responsive, with a new converged voice and data platform providing 2,000 employees with improved access to colleagues and free internal telephone calls. The NEC Group has also installed a dedicated 80-seat contact centre, designed to streamline and manage call-handling at peak periods and help agents improve ticket sales.

The IP telephony solution is based on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise platform and OmniTouch Contact Center Premium software. Thanks to its new contact centre, The Ticket Factory will benefit from a more dynamic approach to call-handling. Call volumes often rise substantially as tickets are released for new events, or in the run up to the event itself, making it vital for The NEC Group to gain insight into how The Ticket Factory is coping with demand. OmniTouch Contact Centre Premium connects knowledge amongst its agents, and provides critical real-time information on operational support status, enabling additional resources to be easily allocated from elsewhere in the business where necessary, in order to maintain a high level of customer service at all times.

As the centre is already a ‘green field’ site, specifically developed from the ground up for The NEC Group, there were no physical inhibitors or legacy systems preventing the organisation from moving over to a converged IP network.

“The evolution of The NEC Group box office into national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory last year meant that we required a more advanced approach to contact centre telephony. Given the obvious cost-savings and efficiencies that could be achieved through convergence, it made sense to transform the entire network and migrate to IP,” said Andrew McManus, IT Director at The NEC Group. “We were looking for close integration between the ticket office and other facilities at The NEC, and had a tight timescale for deployment. Alcatel-Lucent and Amillan were able to meet these requirements exactly, delivering the project on time and on budget.”

The NEC Group, which has an existing Alcatel-Lucent data network, opted for Alcatel-Lucent and Amillan’s offering based on the strength of its product portfolio and The NEC Group’s desire to partner with a single communications provider for all of its telephony solutions. The Group was also impressed by Amillan’s expertise and the accuracy with which it conducted and then delivered upon its initial project scoping.

“The NEC Group’s new network supports the company’s overall improvement strategy, while it also differentiates The Ticket Factory from many rival event sales outlets, through the increased flexibility that it can now provide both clients and customers,” said Martin Ratcliffe, business development manager at Amillan. “The deployment will also give the organisation a platform on which to make further improvements to its communications infrastructure, supporting its growth objectives in both the short and long term.”

“When it comes to live events, The NEC Group is one of the biggest brands in Europe, a position it has achieved by consistently raising the bar when it comes to service delivery,” said David Parker, Vice President for Alcatel-Lucent’s enterprise activities in UK and Ireland. “Dynamic enterprises like The NEC Group understand that continued service innovation requires a communications infrastructure which can support business now and in the future, meeting customers changing requirements as well as maximising employees’ ability to share knowledge and collaborate in real-time.”

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