Rest upgrades its remote work capability with Versent & AWS
July 12, 2021
In March 2020, the business landscape shifted dramatically as New South Wales went into its first phase of COVID-19 work-from-home restrictions. From small family businesses to ASX50 giants, NSW companies scrambled to address the seismic implications of decentralising their workforces overnight.
For Australian superannuation giant, Rest, digital transformation was a high priority in managing the shift to remote work arrangements. Rest engaged Versent to rapidly migrate their customer advice team to a cloud telephony system that would allow them to work remotely more efficiently and securely. Rest’s customer advice team was located at their Sydney CBD office, using a traditional phone solution that couldn’t route calls offsite. Working to a tight deadline dictated by COVID restrictions, Versent deployed a new cloud-based voicemail solution for Rest in just two weeks, enabling their smooth transition to a remote workforce.
The technical challenge
Rest’s telephone operators routinely handled highly confidential information about their clients. To deliver an effective solution for Rest, Versent needed to ensure adherence to strict security, compliance, and legislative standards.
After assessing Rest’s requirements, Versent immediately set up fifteen full-time customer advisors with secure work-from-home telephony capabilities. This system could also scale rapidly to deal with surges in enquiries from members, which were anticipated during the COVID crisis. As well as handling the immediate situation, this flexibility laid the foundations for feature enhancements of the platform.
Versent used Amazon Connect, a cloud-native contact centre solution, for Rest. Amazon Connect offered scalability and the capacity for rapid provisioning of services.
“Rest understood that we could deliver the right solution quickly, ensuring their employees could work safely and effectively from home,” said Elmar Schippers, Versent’s Principal Consultant on the Rest project. “They implicitly trusted our team, freeing us up to go as fast as we wanted.”
The Versent team mentored Rest employees throughout the transition to the new cloud system. Versent conducted training sessions and created user documentation to facilitate the Rest customer advisor’s quick move to the new technology.
Versent also created an AWS-native voicemail system to support the new cloud telephony platform.
“The ability to work from home has been the biggest benefit to our teams,” said Simon Smith, Rest’s General Manager Technology. “With the shut-down of our offices due to COVID-19, and financial markets playing havoc to our customers’ portfolios, being able to continue providing financial advice to them was critical. Versent got us there, and quickly.”
Fast positive outcomes
The Rest transformation project took just three weeks from kick-off to completion.
Simon Smith: “Versent were acutely aware of the timely nature of this project. As such, they pulled out all stops and created a temporary solution in a single week. This rapid deployment enabled us to vacate our Advice team from our office, with zero interruption to our customer services.”
Versent Managed Services (VMS) manages Rest’s new cloud system on an ongoing basis, relieving Rest from any concerns over system maintenance and IT support. A Versent engineer is always on-site during business hours to augment Rest’s support and delivery teams. This collaborative operational model has translated to faster response times, allowing task completion in minutes, compared with Rest’s previous system, where even simple support tickets could take hours or days.
David Sharpe, Versent’s Head of Services, said, “VMS, with our proactive site reliability engineering ethos, are constantly assessing Rest’s AWS environment to uncover further opportunities for cost and performance optimisation. VMS has a deep focus on automation and orchestration at scale, providing our clients with the freedom to run safely at speed. Through structured knowledge transfer, democratisation of data, VMS empowered Rest and provided ownership, so that Rest now has the internal skillsets to set and control their own destiny.”
Three months after implementing Rest’s solution, Versent Managed Services had enabled significantly improved service levels in both internal and external comm’s. Versent installed real-time AWS spend and compliance dashboards that improved data democracy and transparency. These enabled data-driven decision-making by both Rest and VMS. An AWS fee structure that better suited Rest’s needs was another major efficiency improvement. It decoupled the AWS spend from Managed Services fees, thus allowing both companies to drive down AWS spend together on a continuing basis.
“Versent accurately articulated and documented our needs and built a complete solution for us,” said Rest’s Simon Smith.
“Our previous telephony solution was a per-user pricing model – it was simply too expensive to onboard teams that would infrequently require call recording.”
“Some of the benefits our team have articulated to me include the platform’s usability and ease of use and the fact that Amazon likes to iterate very quickly, so there’s always new features and functionality,” Smith said. “For me, the eighty percent saving on our costs from a PBX perspective, moving from legacy to cloud, has always helped me when we’re reporting to the board.”
“With Amazon Connect’s pay-per-minute pricing, we could bring on these teams, enabling a better customer and business experience, as well as benefit from a more cost-efficient billing model.”
Want to know more about Versent’s cloud transformation work for Rest? Download the full case study.
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