Telecom Argentina Deploys Microsoft Customer Care Framework 2005 to Improve Call Center Efficiency

NICE, France — May 16, 2006 — Today at TeleManagement World, Microsoft Corp. announced that Telecom Argentina is deploying Microsoft® Customer Care Framework 2005 to improve efficiency and revitalize obsolete support systems in six of its trouble-ticketing call centers across the country. The deployment is expected to be completed by November 2006.

The six call centers implementing Customer Care Framework specifically handle customers experiencing technical difficulties and traditionally have used up to 25 support applications to manage up to 10,000 customer requests per day. Telecom Argentina divides its customers into six market segments: residential and small business, Internet service provider (ISP) customers, wholesale, enterprise, an internal Network Operations Center (NOC), and its own IT help desk, each with its own call center. To date, any customer query that crosses more than one domain would be transferred between the relevant call centers to be resolved. For example, if a small-business customer has a problem with its fixed line and ISP services, the customer will need to interact with at least two call center agents before the problem can be resolved.

“This is not an ideal situation, and ultimately our aim is to reduce the volume of calls and call transfers by integrating all of the necessary applications, enabling a single customer services representative to have one view of the customer and close down any query quickly,” said Gabriel Serralta, IT manager of Telecom Argentina. “Using Microsoft’s Customer Care Framework will enable us to reduce the average call-handling time but also significantly improve our operational efficiencies in terms of time and cost. In addition, we are able to build a flexible, scalable service-oriented architecture, which helps us become less segregated and more customer-focused.”

Microsoft Customer Care Framework automates the delivery of customer information across multichannel environments, resulting in a vastly improved overall customer service experience. All the information needed by the call center agent is available through a single, easy-to-use interface, making the customer care process smoother and more intuitive. Another key benefit of Microsoft’s technology for Telecom Argentina is its flexibility as a development framework. It also has the potential to easily add new applications or upgrade existing ones, depending on future needs.

“Customer service is a critical component of a service provider’s business — it directly affects customer loyalty, which is at the heart of a service provider’s success,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “The Customer Care Framework was designed with this in mind and will allow operators such as Telecom Argentina to provide high-quality, well-informed customer service to their subscribers, helping to maintain a good relationship with them.”

The project is expected to last 14 months and will be implemented in a phased rollout. Much of the design and development has already been completed with residential, small-business and enterprise call centers due to go live in August, the ISP sector following in September, and wholesale and the NOC in November. The technology will be rolled out across the call centers initially so staff can be adequately trained. Telecom Argentina eventually plans to consolidate operations, further reducing costs.

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