Eagle Tele Services
Full-Service Call Center Turns to Switchvox
Eagle Tele-Services is a full-service call center providing the commercial trucking industry with continuous after-hour road service. Eagle’s call center supports a number of independent tire dealers, as well as the American Commercial Tire Network, Michelin Americas Truck Tires, and Yokohama Commercial Tire throughout North America. Started more than 10 years ago, their call center located in Powhatan, Virginia, 30 miles west of Richmond, is the heart of operations.
Eagle Tele-Services had outgrown their legacy phone system, which was stable, but simply too limited to handle their call volume. According to Eagle IT manager Coleman Austin, they had been happy with the decade-old system and initially looked to simply upgrade with the same provider but found that it would be too expensive. “I was familiar with open source technology and had some knowledge of what Asterisk could do,” Austin says. “When we saw that [our current provider] was going to cost a quarter of a million dollars, it was well outside our budget so we had to look for an alternative.” Asterisk is an open source telecommunications framework that lets programmers build communications applications like IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, and conference servers. Sponsored and maintained by Sangoma, Asterisk is also the engine that drives their all-inclusive commercial Switchvox phone system. “At first I was concerned about taking on an Asterisk system because I thought it was more suited to the technician or programmer, and I was concerned it would have too steep a learning curve. That was when I learned about Switchvox.”
Solutions from Sangoma
Powered by Asterisk, Switchvox offers users the flexibility and affordability of open source, but it does not require any technical knowledge of Asterisk at all. The team at Eagle was able to see its true ease of use through a Switchvox demo and some training via webinars. Austin says the system was so simple to use, extensive training wasn’t necessary, and they were able to jump right in and start using it. Setting up and installing Switchvox was simple. Already wired for VoIP, they had to perform a few workarounds in order to integrate the existing Cisco infrastructure. They replaced some of the PoE switches and modified the customizable configuration to fit Eagle’s managerial structure. Eagle is also using a mixture of telephone sets, including some Sangoma IP phones. The system also integrates easily with the phones they already had.
The Switchvox system gives Eagle a whole menu of features and functionality including advanced IVR capabilities, detailed reporting, mobility, and voicemail/email integration, so they can email straight from the system. It also provides an easy Switchboard interface, and call recording for training purposes. Austin says their favorite feature is the built-in call queues, which are imperative to accurately distributing calls within a large and busy call center environment. “The way the call center is set up, we have representatives who work only with, for instance, Michelin clients or only with Yokohama customers, but some of the representatives are skilled at working with multiple clients. The way the queues are set up, if all the Michelin reps are on the phone, that call may be routed automatically to a Yokohama queue, but only to those reps that are knowledgeable about Michelin as well. It is a complex system with many rules, but we are able to easily and quickly program those queues to do whatever we need.”