A Direct Line for Customers


MIB AG offers a variety of services to increase the market value of real estate, optimize operating costs, and offer an attractive working environment to its tenants. The company manages about 1,200 buildings. To offer the greatest range of management services, MIB AG decided to implement SAP R/3 in the year of 1997. Today it uses SAP solutions for real estate, financial accounting, asset accounting, service management, and plant maintenance to optimize processes and customer services.

To react quickly to customer inquiries, MIB operates a central call center at its Winterthur, Switzerland location. All service calls and outage reports go to the call center. Incoming calls were distributed by using features of the telephone system. However, the disadvantage of not being able to redirect and process calls quickly enough became apparent. Incoming faxes were received on a central fax machine and were assigned manually. Calls were distributed by the free-fall principle: they were routed to the first available employee based upon a fixed list.

Competitive Advantages with SAP Integration

MIB therefore decided to adopt Multimedia Contact Center (MMCC) by Cycos AG, a solution designed especially to assign tasks in call centers, switchboards, and help desks. Because MMCC offers full integration into the interaction center capability of SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), it creates clear competitive advantages for SAP users. Inquiries by e-mail, fax, telephone, the World Wide Web, Short Message Service (SMS), and answering machines are prioritized and distributed immediately. This ability ensures that MIB employees can be reached at the maximum level.
“It was important for us to offer MIB AG a process-oriented solution that would enable the best possible connections between data and communications,” says Tanja Eichenberger, project director of the participating consulting firm, itelligence AG, in Switzerland. The MIB help desk began detailed planning in September 2002. MMCC was installed in October and linked to the SAP R/3 test environment. The follow-on MIB-specific settings in Customizing were completed by itelligence with intensive tests at the beginning of February 2003. Because the tests showed completely seamless operations, the solution went live in mid-February.
Cycos connected MMCC over the proprietary SAP interfaces SAPconnect and SAPphone, which allowed for problem-free integration into the existing SAP environment. The complete integration of MMCC into SAP applications immediately displays all the customer data related to an outage report or a call to the MIB employee. The SAP solution automatically selects the master data required to display the data. In the interaction center, employees also receive notifications sent by fax, e-mail, or SMS without any delays at their usual workstations. Employees can also transmit messages to customers directly from the SAP client.

Unifying the Data View and Communications

The entire solution is linked to SAP Business Workflow. For example, the database and telephony are synchronized for incoming calls to retrieve customer-specific documents in the SAP applications automatically. When the telephone rings at an employees’ workstation, the caller is identified by telephone number. The caller’s master data is simultaneously retrieved from SAP R/3. This approach enables linking all the notes from the conversation (including appendices with documents, work items, or business objects) and storing everything in a customer history.
The MMCC solution and its link to SAP were implemented to improve processes at the MIB call center. MIB also wanted to create the preconditions for elevated statistics on the number of calls, the workload on employees in the call center, and the number of outage reports. MIB has achieved all of these goals. Today the help desk has automatic performance indicators that enable managers to draw conclusions about help desk efficiency. In the past, the performance indicators were maintained manually; this source of errors is now excluded. Employees in the call center can now concentrate on their core business. For example, management can determine how many calls are coming from specific buildings. The previous solution did not allow this kind of transparency.

Redirecting According to Employee Group

“The faster that an employee on the help desk at MIB can determine what building a call comes from, the more efficiently the problem can be rectified. Since most of the data relevant to the help desk is stored in the SAP R/3 system at MIB, integration of a call center into SAP is the best solution. The certification of mrs (message routing system) for SAP meant that we could link the solutions without difficulties,” adds Eichenberger.
MIB also implemented redirection according to working groups and specialized employee abilities. Each group handles a different caller region. Callers are directed to the correct, competent contact person for the quickest possible solution of their problems. E-mails and faxes are also redirected according to groups and abilities; they reach the personal inboxes of the agents. The supervisor can modify the configuration of the groups and the rules.

Because MMCC offers real-time monitoring, supervisors can intervene in the routings at any time, such as the peak load for an individual employee. A threshold assistant triggers an alarm for supervisors and indicates a critical situation. Supervisors can also redirect conversation to an external service provider or cut into a call with a voice box to ask for more detailed information from a caller. Callers use the telephone keypad to route themselves through a menu that takes them to the correct contact person.
“Our goal was to increase customer satisfaction with a professional call center,” summarizes Monica Dreher, project director at MIB. “The ability to link MMCC directly to the SAP interaction center enabled us to realize a thin (and therefore cost-effective) solution that also offers all the functions of a large call center.” As a solution for an initial six agents, the Winterthur location is a pilot project. Additional locations will be added in the future.

Tobias Müller
Tobias Müller