WRQ Verastream integrates BT Retail’s front- and back-end customer service systems
New single screen access delivers faster customer service response times
London, 18 September, 2003. BT Retail, the provider of communications services to over 20 million residential and business customers in the UK, has announced the successful implementation of WRQ Verastream® integration software. WRQ® has worked with BT Retail to integrate its Siebel front-end and multiple back-end systems to enhance speed of customer service and reduce IT costs through improved efficiency.
As with many of today’s customer contact centres, BT Retail had the challenge of integrating its back- and front-end systems, including a mixture of UNIX, HP and IBM mainframe systems. While orders for products and services are captured at the front-end with Siebel, the billing and maintenance applications reside on one mainframe and delivery and installation applications on another. This made overall visibility of the customer’s solution difficult.
Working with the host systems was therefore high-maintenance activity and accessing customer data could take a significant amount of time. BT Retail wanted a means to reduce costs and save this time, as well as improve its levels of customer service via faster response times and more efficient access to customer data.
BT Retail selected WRQ Verastream based on its unobtrusive and cost effective method of making host assets more adaptable. Verastream is a complete host integration platform that requires no changes to host code or associated business processes, thereby providing a quick time to market.
Verastream allows all the order information entered and held on BT Retail’s Siebel front-end to be made immediately available to the back-end systems, and vice versa. The contact centre representative is presented with all requested customer information on one screen, no matter its origin, at the click of a button. Implementing Verastream has also enabled BT Retail to reduce manual data entry requirements by increasing the amount of automation across a number of processes - for example, sending engineers to various customer premises.
Dave Rushton, BT Retail’s technical design authority for tactical systems says: “In BT Retail’s domain, speed of response is a critical element of customer satisfaction. Business customers calling in with a problem can’t afford to wait for contact centre representatives to negotiate screens on multiple back-end systems during a phone call. They’re losing money and patience while we’re trying to resolve a fault. We need to spend that time building a relationship with the customer and implementing WRQ Verastream has enabled us to address this balance. We’ve already seen customer satisfaction levels increase.
“Verastream also provided results faster than previous integration attempts which were based on distributed-computing environments, remote-procedure calls and message-queue technologies.”
Shaun Wolfe, president and COO of WRQ comments: “A significant Verastream advantage is its incremental approach to integration. It lets customers change individual business processes at their own pace, without tackling the entire IT infrastructure. Host systems are still a tremendous asset for organisations and the case of BT Retail is a great example of how businesses can make the most of their existing investments while meeting high standards of customer service. With a relatively small initial investment, BT Retail is reaping huge rewards.”
ABOUT BT RETAIL
BT Retail is the UK's largest communications service provider, by market share, to the residential and business markets. It trades under one of the UK's leading brands - BT - and is the prime channel to market for the other businesses in the BT group. It supplies a wide range of communication products and services, including voice, data, internet and multimedia services. It also offers a comprehensive range of managed and packaged communication solutions.
For 22 years, WRQ has been developing industry-leading software for simplifying host access and integration. WRQ Reflection® software connects web or Windows desktops to host applications, as well as file and print services. WRQ Verastream® software encapsulates host functionality into services for rapid reuse in web applications, packaged applications, and portals.
WRQ has the highest ratings in the technology sector for quality support and customer loyalty. With over six million users in 51 countries, it is one of the largest privately held software companies in the U.S. Four out of five Fortune 500 companies rely on WRQ daily.
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