8x8’s Phone Service and Contact Center Solution Gives MOBI Flexibility to Grow
MOBI is a cloud-based managed mobility service provider that found itself limited by an on-premises phone system. Advanced features such as call recording were not readily available, and call quality was sometimes poor. The company was also vulnerable whenever severe weather struck or the building lost power. MOBI’s management decided to follow their own business model and move communications to the cloud. Now a combined 8x8 contact center and phone solution from 8x8 provides the advanced features MOBI needs—and ensures business continuity whenever disaster strikes.
MOBI was founded in 2008 as a managed mobility service (MMS) provider. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, MOBI uses cloud-based software to centralize the management of mobile devices by integrating with wireless carriers, mobile device management (MDM) software, corporate IT systems, and more. In addition to its SaaS platform, MOBI provides a range of services that help organizations cost-eﬀectively manage their mobile devices. These services include:
- Help Desk
- Device Logistics
- Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Engineering
- Expense Management
As a result, MOBI customers achieve enhanced control, greater visibility, reduced costs, and increased efficiency when managing their mobile devices.
Need to Evolve Communications Drives Move to the Cloud
Despite being a cloud-based company itself, for many years MOBI used an on-premises PBX system. Over time, however, the need to upgrade MOBI’s contact center and phone features revealed the limits of this hardware solution.
“We needed to evolve our services, but the cost to upgrade our installed hardware was huge,” recalls Derek McCauley, director of Service Delivery for MOBI. “For example, we wanted to add call recording to our contact center and enable remote access for agents. We also wanted to improve our reporting and analytics capabilities, because the existing interface was not user-friendly.”
MOBI Systems Engineer Jerome Liwanag notes that call recording was not readily available on the previous system—and there were call quality issues as well. These were handled by a solution partner “who would play the blame game with the carrier.”
“It was like we were being forced to upgrade because our system couldn’t provide the features or the call quality we needed,” he says.
Meanwhile, MOBI’s CTO Eric Sendelbach had concerns about the company’s disaster recovery plan. In the event of severe weather or power outages, he wanted to ensure business continuity by moving communications to the cloud. That led the MOBI team to evaluate a number of cloud-based service providers—including 8x8.
8x8 Handles Everything Under One Roof
What impressed Liwanag most during the selection process was that 8x8 “handles everything under one roof. The contact center is integrated with the phone system, and 8x8 provides its own direct support. Some of the other vendors we looked at require carrier support, which would have put us back in the same problematic situation as before.”
McCauley points out that “8x8’s ﬂexible telephony platform is similar to our own SaaS-based business model. It made us realize that 8x8 is a good fit for our company.”
The MOBI team particularly appreciated 8x8’s willingness to customize its platform and develop new features to enhance MOBI’s contact center solution.
“8x8 has agreed to develop concurrent call and chat for us,” says Liwanag. “Other cloud systems we evaluated can’t handle that kind of advanced feature.”
Overnight Migration Gets New Service Ready by Monday
MOBI signed an 8x8 contract in December 2014, but delayed implementation until its current service contract expired the following April. In the interim, the MOBI team worked closely with 8x8 to plan the deployment and ensure network readiness.
“8x8 tested our network and sent a report with recommendations on what to upgrade,” says Liwanag. “Based on that, we increased our bandwidth from 50 to 100 Mbps to make sure we had plenty of room for voice traffic.”
McCauley attended weekly conference calls with 8x8 to talk through various aspects of the rollout. Porting over existing telephone numbers took the most time, and he also set aside some time for training. But when deployment day arrived, MOBI completed its migration to 8x8 service in just a few hours.
“We started around 8 p.m. on a Friday night, and finished reprogramming all our phones by 1 a.m. Saturday morning,” says McCauley. “8x8 gave us great support throughout the process. Their technical team worked outside of standard business hours to help us and make sure everything went smoothly.”
The following Monday morning MOBI employees began using the new 8x8 contact center and phone service, and the company hasn’t looked back since.
DIY Reporting and Management Offload IT Department
From an administrative perspective, one of the major benefits of the 8x8 service is that contact center managers can now run reports and manage queues themselves, without IT assistance.
“With 8x8, supervisors can easily find, run, and save the reports they need to stay on top of contact center metrics,” says McCauley. “And they can add or remove agents from queues as needed. Doing things directly saves a lot of time.”
Liwanag agrees. “In the past, managers would constantly reach out to me to provide contact center statistics. Now they can run their own reports, which frees me up to focus on maintaining the network.”
Work-from-Home Capability Enhances Business Continuity
According to Billy Calhoun, Service Metrics Manager at MOBI, contact center agents like the new 8x8 client interface, which is much more user-friendly than the previous system. Agents can easily switch states if they need to wrap up a call or take a break. However, the 8x8 feature they like most is the ability to work from home.
“Previously we didn’t see the need for remote agent access, but having that capability is key to our business continuity,” says Calhoun. “In addition to winter storms, there are sometimes power outages that aﬀ ect our building. With 8x8, our agents can work from home just as productively as they do in the office.”
McCauley adds that even when there is no disaster, it’s beneficial to allow agents to work from home as needed.
“Sometimes an agent has a family or personal situation that makes it difficult for them to come into the office,” he says. “Now they can log in from home and work remotely without leaving their assigned queue.”
Call Recording and Monitoring Improve Employee Training
8x8 call recording and monitoring have improved training for MOBI employees, particularly new contact center agents.
“Before, we let new agents take actual calls, we have them listen to recorded ones,” explains McCauley. “The recordings give them a clear idea of what we expect from them in terms of customer care.”
Managers can also use 8x8 monitoring tools to listen in—and jump in—if an agent needs coaching or assistance during a call.
“Before, the only option we had was to put the call on speakerphone so the supervisor could hear what the agent was saying,” says Calhoun. “8x8’s monitoring features are much more sophisticated. Callers don’t even have to know that a supervisor is listening in. But if the supervisor needs to intervene, they can join the call and help the agent out.”
8x8 API Enables Customized Features
Liwanag is a big fan of 8x8’s API because it enables customization of standard features. For example, MOBI used the API to modify the standard contact center wallboard and create a “call board” instead.”
The openness of the 8x8 system is fantastic,” says Liwanag. “It lets us develop our own tools so we can manage our contact center in whatever way best suits our business.”
McCauley concurs, saying that “customizing our 8x8 tools helps us balance our workload with our work culture here at MOBI.”
8x8’s API also allows MOBI to integrate new technologies into its platform, such as Teleopti Workforce Management (WFM) for Contact Centers. “Seamless integration with Teleopti lets us bring in call statistics captured by 8x8 and more accurately forecast our staffing needs and schedules,” says McCauley. “By collaborating with 8x8, we have significantly increased the efficiency of our contact center.”
A Partner That Moves Your Business Forward
While MOBI currently has one location in Indianapolis, the team there sees growth coming.
“8x8 will help us move forward,” says McCauley. “Their cloud communications are scalable across any geography, which will make it easy for our own cloud-based SaaS business to expand.”