Oxigen is Ireland’s largest waste management and recycling company.
Established in 1987 by Sean Doyle, the company now manages the waste streams of 100,000 domestic, commercial and industrial customers in an environmentally efficient manner throughout Leinster and the rest of Ireland. The group, which employs 400 people, comprises Oxigen Environmental, Oxigen Commercial, Cavan Waste Disposal, Retech Plastics, Oxigen Water and Oxigen Power. Between these four companies Oxigen manages waste and material streams, water supply and waste water treatment and energy generation. It operates six main sites plus 17 civic amenity sites throughout Ireland.
Partly because of acquisition the company had inherited different telephony platforms. The company had over 50 individual telephone fixed lines. Line rental and maintenance were a significant cost.
The company has two in house IT specialists who had to spend a lot of time liaising with sites and with eircom when issues arose. The lack of telecommunications integration and interconnectivity across the company was a big challenge.
Oxigen receives some 180,000 calls per year. Many of these are sales calls. If agents were busy then not only were many of these calls lost but the company could not tell how many. In a highly competitive market, the cost of dropped sales was huge. Customer service was also being affecred as calls were stockpiled into the main Dundalk call centre and could not be routed to other sites where capacity at any given time was available. Because of the diverse nature of the telecommunications platforms, reporting was limited and restricted to out of date and administration heavy Excel spreadsheets.
“This gave us an inadequate view of the business and performance,” commented Cathal O’Neill, Head of Finance and Administration, Oxigen. “We knew we had a problem but because of our legacy telecommunications infrastructure we could not even identify the scale of it.” Oxigen was an Three mobile customer. As a result of the strong relationship and lower cost it had earlier switched its fixed line business to Three.
Oxigen identified the strong business need for a more integrated telecommunications infrastructure. It spoke to a number of providers and liked Three’s Unified Communications approach, which incorporated a cloud based Three Managed WAN & Hosted Voice telephony. “Cost is a huge issue for us,” O’Neill added. “We liked the cost benefits of a managed rather than an in-house solution. With our small IT team the advantages of external support were very attractive.
Three combined Oxigen's fixed and mobile telephone, voicemail, instant messaging and video conferencing operations into a single managed cloud-based service with no upfront capital expenditure. The service is charged on the basis of a monthly rental and number of users.
The Three Unified Communications approach eliminated the need for Oxigen to have expensive PBX systems or line rental on site. Instead, centralised telephony and communications services are hosted and located separately in Three’s two Irish data centres, where the latest virtualisation and unified communications technology has been installed.
Three’s Managed WAN (Wide Area Network) is a long distance communications network that covers a wide geographic area or in Oxigen’s case its country wide sites.
This allows Oxigen to connect its Dundalk head office and remote sites over a fully managed IP network. Three Managed WAN is a purpose built resilient MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) infrastructure.
Following the implementation, Oxigen’s primary site in Dundalk is fully resilient using fibre and Three’s Wireless Leased Line. There are a further three leased lines plus six DSL sites using Three’s 3G network as a backup. The hosted telephony solution is for 81 Oxigen users including 22 call centre agents.
One of the big wins for Oxigen from its new, state-of-the-art communications system is far greater visibility and ability to manage the business. “We now have an up-to-date reporting system from number of calls and speed of response to individual agent performance,” Oxigen’s Cathal O’Neill said.
Some 95% of calls into Oxigen are now captured within 20 seconds. If Dundalk is at capacity, calls are routed seamlessly to another site. “We are not missing sales calls and customer service has been boosted considerably.” Calls between sites are now internal so there are no expensive long distance call charges. The cost of over 50 fixed lines including rental for fax, modem and DSL has been axed. Oxigen was also able to cancel maintenance contracts on legacy PBX systems in each office.
“Three’s support has been super. In the past if there was an issue or fault on a line we had to wait for eircom to divert lines. Now we have a fully resilient system and one point of contact for support,” said Stephen Cowley, IT Manager at Oxigen.
“Our marketing capability has been boosted,” added Cathal O’Neill. “We can now roll out a single national number for people to call.”
The WAN also ensures security and quality of service. “When you are on a sales or service call a good quality line is very important,” he adds.
The system includes a call recording function not just for service reasons but for compliance.
“Overall it has been a great experience working with Three to implement a unified comms infrastructure. This is a great example of how the latest ICT technology can help to solve core business challenges without breaking the bank,” said O’Neill.