RACV to overhaul data network

Will add new 550 seat contact centre solution, roll out SAP

Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) has announced that it will overhaul its existing data and voice networks in a bid to improve operational efficiency and reduce ICT costs.

The two-year upgrade, commencing early 2011 and to be carried out by NEC, will be carried out at the organisation’s operational headquarters, two club sites, six resorts in Victoria and Queensland and 40 retail outlets.

The upgrade for RACV’s 2500 staff includes four of NEC’ SV8500 communication servers at the organisation’s headquarters, a Genesys contact centre for 550 agents, and standalone SV8100 communications servers at its six resorts.

According to NEC, the contact centre platform will be voice recognition capable and will route traditional voice interactions with new technologies like Twitter and Facebook.

As part of the upgrade NEC will also rip and replace RACV’s full data network with a standards-based network using Cisco-based switch routers, servers and storage area network licences.

RACV’s server infrastructure will be replaced with an IBM virtual server farm with a view to increasing the speed at which staff can access applications. Two storage area network (SAN) platforms will provide a redundant storage system for the organisation.

According to RACV general manager of information technology and telecommunications, Martin Byrne, the upgrade will be “quite transformational” for the organisation.

“The business has outgrown the capability of the [existing] network,” he said. “It was multi-platform, multi-vendor and we just wanted to move to a single vendor… and reduce supplier costs. It also gives us multi-channel capabilities.”

Byrne said the importance of multi-channel capabilities could be seen in the diversity of means and ways members interacted with the organisation.

“A customer may start with the internet, then want to talk to someone, then send something in by fax,” he said. “[With the new contact centre] we can get a holistic view of the transaction.”

Byrne added that the network overhaul was part of a wider organisational IT transformation which would also involve the deployment of a major SAP implementation including financials, CRM and data warehousing.

The RACV would also overhaul its website with the goal of improving member accessibility and customer service.

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