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Delivered by Foehn
Travelpack is one of the UK’s largest independent travel companies specialising in tours, holidays and flights to destinations around the world including India, Indian Ocean, USA, Canada, the Far East, Middle East and Africa. The company has been providing travel advice and making bookings for customers since November 1981.
Travelpack has two offices in the UK- Wembley and Glasgow – four offices in India and one in Canada. Although the company now sells many of its services online, Travelpack continues to rely on its telephony services to support its customers and communicate internally and between offices.
“Historically we had an Avaya Communications Manager system in place for around 10 years,” explains Tim Bushell, IT Director for Travelpack. “This was originally installed when the company had over 300 staff and did most things that we needed it to do.”
As has been the case with many travel companies in recent years, the Internet has provided an alternative means of marketing and selling services and staff numbers were reduced by Travelpack to reflect the change. The company was also reviewing its remote working set up so that more homeworkers could be accommodated.
“Our requirement and the specification for our telephony services altered about two years ago,” says Tim. “The primary reason was to drive down costs”.
With a potential upgrade cost looming in the region of £100,000, Travelpack decided to review other possible telephony alternatives.
“There wasn’t much wrong with the system we had in place, but it was getting old and we began to ask questions about whether or not we should change,” explains Tim. “Fundamentally we wanted to see if there was something better to replace the Avaya system that would save us money and enable us to do more.”
Travelpack’s IT team had historically “played around” with Asterisk, the open source communications platform. “We were comfortable with its capabilities,” says Tim.
With most of the company’s IT hosted within the Rackspace environment, Travelpack decided that its communications set up should follow suit.
“I did a Google search and eventually came across Foehn,” explains Tim. “I did also consider a couple of other alternative suppliers, but Foehn demonstrated that they knew Asterisk and we felt comfortable that they could provide us with what we needed.”
“We did also consider installing an open source telephony solution ourselves, but in the end we decided that as it was so critical to our business, we should rely on the experts,” adds Tim.
Foehn provided Travelpack with a 150 seat hosted PBX solution, which not only enabled the company to reduce its telephony costs but also provided far more in the way of features and benefits.
“We couldn’t do much with the Avaya system and trying to get meaningful data out of it wasn’t easy,” explains Tim.
In contrast, the customisable dashboard displays supplied by Foehn are easy to use and enable Travelpack to pull in key performance indicators from a variety of sources into meaningful views. Foehn also integrated Queuemetrics, call centre software, as part of the solution to provide a much richer interface and enhanced information to Travelpack agents than previously.
“There are many more features that we can now use,” comments Tim, “including the internal call conferencing facility that everyone in the company seems to love! And the flexibility of the system means that we can incorporate more home workers rather than everyone heading in to work at an office.”
“We’re very pleased with the system. Overall, we’ve saved money on maintenance and the support from Foehn is great.”
Tim Bushell, IT Director for Travelpack