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 Atereo’s Operator Console delivers reliability and performance improvements at Swansea University - Prifysgol Abertawe.

Swansea University is a research led university that has been making a difference since 1920. It thrives on exploration and discovery, and offers the right balance of excellent teaching and research, matched by an enviable quality of life for its students.  The University is committed to delivering an outstanding student experience; one part of this is a thoroughly professional switchboard service. In addition to internal and external calls, switchboard staff take calls for the IT Helpdesk and Media Helpdesk. 

The Problem

The old switchboard console required each member of the switchboard team to have two PCs, one of which was dedicated for the console and had to have a non-standard keyboard. 

These PCs were becoming unreliable and the University wanted a solution that would work from a single standard PC. 

In addition to the replacement of unreliable equipment, the University had the following requirements: 

  •  prioritisation of calls based on business rules
  • ability for callers to request a Welsh speaking operator
  • ability for switchboard staff to identify the type of call: Switchboard, IT Helpdesk, Media Helpdesk
  • ability for switchboard staff to easily manage outgoing messages and out-of-hours messages for planned events 
The Solution

As a long-time Atereo call logging and directory customer, the University’s choice of the Atereo Console made sense. Atereo worked closely with the University and was able to confirm that, through the use of different queues, a menu system and skills-based routing, it was possible to provide a solution to meet all of the University’s requirements. 

The Atereo Operator Console is now serving the needs of the switchboard team. 

Geraldine Roberts (Telephony Support Manager) and Peter Deacon (Telecoms Manager) have found the ability to manage outgoing messages particularly useful during planned IT changes. For example, during the change of email system, most callers could listen to the outgoing message with no need to speak to a member of staff. 

The switchboard team are making innovative use of the Atereo Console Voice Recording option. With consent from callers needing 2nd line IT support that the voice recording of the call can be emailed onwards, switchboard staff can very easily and professionally pass on complicated requests for help to 2nd line IT Support. The University chose a number of optional items from Atereo, including: 

  •  Voice Recording for every console position, which, in addition to the uses above, allows switchboard staff to record the entire call from the start, even if they are some way into it before recognising it as an abusive or threatening call 
  • Supervisor Wallboard, which displays real-time information on operator availability, queue length and handling times etc.  
The Benefits

 The benefits of the Atereo Console were quickly realised by switchboard staff.  In particular, its ease-of-use allowed them, with minimal training, to take advantage of a wide range of call handling features from a single PC.

The combination of an up-to-date directory and having all the functionality in a single place also improved the speed of call handling, providing a more professional service.

Through the use of different queues, switchboard staff now know which type of call they are answering - Switchboard, IT or Media - and in which language to respond to the caller.

Through the use of the Atereo Console’s powerful Management Information, it is now much easier to manage and monitor the busy times of switchboard staff.

Geraldine Roberts (Telephony Support Manager) observed, “Working with Atereo to deliver this solution has been a very positive experience for me and the team.”