An insurance broker can’t do without effective telephony. Groupe Bokiau chose Belgacom Unify to optimise its customer service and open the door for unified communications. Whether they call the head office in Namur or the office in Charleroi, Liège or Ciney, customers of insurance broker Bokiau are guaranteed that an agent will pick up to answer. Or, how Belgacom Unify increases customer satisfaction.
Groupe Bokiau is already using IP telephony since 2010, when Serge Busain became ICT Manager. The technology enabled the insurer to easily implement an effective and transparent inter-site call routing system for callers. It’s particularly helpful for ensuring quality service even when employees are ill or on holiday. “The central office in Namur was moving to a building in Wierde. It was urgent that we find a solution for our telephony and network given that our supplier’s fibre didn’t reach all the way out there at the time,” he recalled.
Looking for a solution
The ideal partner had to provide broadband and be able to connect the central Namur site with the three remote sites scattered across the Walloon region. In addition, the main requirement had to be addressed: the proposed solution had to be able to handle complex call flows. “The telephone exchange at the head office in Namur is managed by an operator who dispatches the calls. The other sites don’t have one and manage calls differently, taking into account the size of each portfolio, the type of clientele, and people’s different work schedules …” Busain explained. “We wanted our new IP exchange to open the door to Unified Communications while staying within the budget limits we had set, given that our move was going to be quite costly.”
Time and money saved
“Belgacom was the obvious choice,” he noted, referring to the system’s great value for money and much more besides. “We were reassured when we brought in market-leading IP telephony professionals like Telindus and Escaux. We were sure we could rely on their expertise in this field and in telecoms and IT.” In addition, the solution they supplied is truly ‘global’ given that Portima’s ‘Brio’ insurance and claims management software, which Bokiau uses, is available on the Belgacom Explore network. “‘Global’ also means that no one passes the buck if there’s a problem because there’s only one interlocutor. In any event, our salesperson knows how to find the right people quickly and IT support is both fast and of high quality,” Busain continued.
The telephony worked without a hitch when the offices opened on the Monday following the move in April 2011. An exchange in Namur, a voice/data router in the other sites … that’s it. “We kept the same phones because the solution is open and uses a standard protocol! The initial exchange training I received at Escaux and then, later on, from VMS/DRS was also very helpful,” said Busain enthusiastically. He was joined by Renier Hoedemakers, the CEO of Bokiau who added: “The procedures and planning defined by Belgacom enabled us to meet our deadlines. Being unreachable isn’t an option for us!”
The project was extended a few months ago. “We want to develop our disaster recovery. Only a few numbers are being re-routed now, but we’re planning an expansion to the offices. That way, thanks to a redundant system, a system crash in Namur will not impact the remote sites that depend on the Namur exchange.” Other projects are under study: CTI (computer-telephony integration), mobility via the ‘one number for calling’ function, and the integration of mobile phones.
Groupe Bokiau is an independent insurance broker that provides customized solutions to individuals, the self-employed and corporations in Belgium. Established in 1875, it became part of the Flemish Van Bessel group in 2009. It now has 60 employees at four sites in Wallonia and 125 employees at four sites in Flanders. The Group generates 20 million euros in commissions annually.
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