Elisa to Develop Its New Contact Center on Microsoft Technology

NICE, France — May 16, 2006 — Today at TeleManagement World, Microsoft Corp. announced that Elisa Corp., Finland’s leading telecom company, has chosen the Microsoft® Customer Care Framework 2005 communications platform to improve its contact center. The new solution will improve the usability and support of customer processes, make customer service more efficient, and facilitate integration with existing business applications. Microsoft Customer Care Framework is designed to guide customer inquiries from multiple channels such as Elisa’s Web portal, e-mail and phone, and is flexible in allowing Elisa to adapt easily to different customer relationship management (CRM) strategies and customer care profiles. In addition, it will offer versatile self-service solutions and support automated processes.

The new platform will be used by over 2,500 customer service representatives in both Elisa’s own contact centers and those of its enterprise customers, providing them with a single, comprehensive view of the customer, which makes it easier and quicker to handle queries. Elisa needed to shift its focus from providing ongoing, costly integration application development to creating value for customers, and piloted the Customer Care Framework in depth for compatibility and integration before choosing to deploy it across its entire contact center.

“Our previous contact center solution did not offer us a suitably effective way to integrate systems, and our aim was to make agents work more efficiently,” said Sanna Korppoo, business manager at Elisa. “By utilizing Microsoft’s standardized interfaces and out-of-the-box integration tools, we’ve been able to reduce the time it takes for a single integration operation from weeks to days.”

The results demonstrate that Microsoft Customer Care Framework efficiently integrated separate back-office systems into a single user interface, making it easier for contact center agents to respond quickly to customers across a multichannel communications environment. With seamless interaction between telephone, e-mail and network services, the average handling time per customer has been significantly reduced.

Access to real-time information, coupled with an individual customer’s contact history, provides contact center agents with comprehensive, regularly updated data on services used by each customer. Having a more comprehensive view of customers’ needs has enabled Elisa to not only improve the services it offers, but build a closer relationship with its customers and help reduce churn. In addition to solving problems, the agents can now also up-sell new value-added products and services, generating additional revenue.

Microsoft Customer Care Framework is based on Microsoft’s latest .NET technology. SQL Server™ is used as a database and BizTalk® Server as an integration tool, while the server platform is Windows Server™. The workstations used by Elisa’s customer support agents are based on the Windows® XP Professional operating system and Microsoft Office applications. The familiarity of Microsoft’s desktop software also means that Elisa’s training costs are kept to a minimum, which is important in an industry where staff turnover is typically high.

“Maintaining customer loyalty is a major consideration for operators. Contact centers are often the first and only point of contact for existing subscribers, and the provision of high-quality, knowledgeable services at this critical point can help ensure that operators such as Elisa remain competitive,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Microsoft Customer Care Framework will help Elisa achieve this efficiently and cost-effectively.”

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