lm group relies on the European leading provider of phone and network services to support its call centre operations
For a geographically distributed company, whose core business is based on electronic purchases
and effective customer service, the availability of a reliable and efficient telco infrastructure is the main mission-critical success factor.
This is why lm group, one of the world’s leading online travel companies, chose Colt as its main operator to optimise its phone lines and Internet connections to support its call centre operations.
A multinational online travel group
“lm group – explains GiuseppeArcoraci, the company’s Network Manager since 2018 – is a multinational listed company managing a portfolio of well-known brands such as Lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, Weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost and Hotelscan. It currently employs over 1,200 people across its European offices and its Indian branch, in Bangalore”.
Every month, the Group reaches 60 million users through its websites and mobile apps, available in 17 languages and 40 countries. Every day, around 23,300 passengers travel around the world thanks to its range of services, covering the entire customer journey. In 2019, the turnover was €337.8 million.
Leading voice and data operator for distributed contact centres
In 2015, following the acquisition of the British brand Lastminute.com (the current company name is derived from its acronym), the Group underwent a revamping process.
In the past, most of the Group transactions and business was handled through contact centre. The networks were managed by third parties, who were unable to guarantee efficiency and quality of service.
Hence the decision to rely on Colt, which was already a Group provider, as the main reliable carrier for voice services across Europe. The contract was signed at the end of 2018 and the project was consolidated between the end of 2020 and early 2021.
The partnership has also been extended to data traffic. “Thinking about network services – explains the Network Manager – the main need was to connect the various national offices within the internal contact centre system, supporting the customer service activities of all our operators. We therefore continued our partnership with Colt, which managed the implementation of Mpls (Multiprotocol Label Switching) connections across local facilities. We then gradually replaced all the local providers we were working with for Internet connections, with the aim of centralising and consolidating voice and data services under a single brand”.
Reliable connections for superior service quality
Today, almost 100% of lm group’s voice traffic is based on Colt’s phone network. Giuseppe Arcoraci is very happy of the project that has been developed: the infrastructure is robust and well-established, capable of meeting all of the group’s current needs. “We have practically activated the main phone numbers on Colt connections – explains the Network Manager –. Voice traffic is delivered on the partner’s proprietary connections, from phone switches located in the various countries to the call centre system. Colt also manages the data traffic to the operators’ routing point.
Thus, according to Arcoraci, service levels can be improved by virtue of two factors: convergence towards a single operator managing end-to-end connections; the robustness of the infrastructure and solutions provided by Colt.
“We are starting measuring – continues the Network Manager – the service quality and making economic comparisons with the previous situation. Having one main operator, providing connectivity from the contact centre to the end customer, also simplifies monitoring activities: we have been able to install measurement systems that allow us to keep our phone service performance under control at all times”.
The importance of a partner with an international reach
Arcoraci highlights another reason behind the partner selection. “We turned to Colt because it has good availability of proprietary fibre in all the main countries where lm group operates: Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK. This gives us the certainty of extremely reliable connections at competitive prices, matching our business needs”.
According to the Network Manager, the partner should become a point of reference also for the few external contact centres engaged by lm group: “We have recommended Colt to all the operators we are working with to simplify and standardise management procedures, activation times, contract specifications and so on. We’re very happy with the people at Colt and how responsive they’ve been to meet our needs”.
The human relationship between customer and provider
Colt’s availability was also evident during the most difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of March 2020, all our employees have been working remotely, connecting to the company’s network nodes. We had to switch to smart working in a very short period of time and without any major problems, because we were already technologically equipped for remote working. The network infrastructure perfectly supported the changeover for 1,200 people who were able to work from home in just a few days. For the future, our priority is to continue to invest in solutions improving the connections between employees’ homes and the company’s core systems, which are currently distributed over two data centres”.
Arcoraci concludes with some thoughts on the partnership with the English carrier: “Colt supported us in the most critical steps, for example in completing the transfer of numbers from one operator to another, or in solving problems caused by complex bureaucratic procedures and organisational gaps. The human factor is essential for a good relationship between customer and provider”.
Im group (lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, Weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost e Hotelscan)
Travel: online products & services for travel & leisure industry
To centralise the company’s voice and data traffic, especially for customer service activities via contact centres. The goal is to provide more reliable connections and improve service levels