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May 27, 2005

Improved service delivery with interactive voice response system

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© Reuse this A medical scheme administra- tion company, Sovereign Health, has recently imple- mented an interactive voice response (IVR) system to improve its service delivery to providers. The company implemented this solution as part of its ongo- ing drive to deliver outstanding service to providers, particularly with regard to member benefit queries.

“Our providers required a communication medium that enabled easy assistance with queries regarding member be-nefits,” says Alan Hockey, oper-ations director at Sovereign Health. “To tackle this need, the com-pany had two options. One was to supplement the contact centre with additional agents to deal with these calls; the other was to automate the process, using an IVR system,” he explains.

Analog and Digital Communications, Sovereign Health’s voice services provider, proposed a solution that seam- lessly integrated with its exist- ing Avaya INDeX PABX system and Oracle database. The IVR system that was im-plemented is a component of the Avaya IP Office Voicemail Pro and connects through an El Q- Sig connection to the INDeX system.

“As a company, we deliver high-quality and cost-effective healthcare to our members; therefore a system that could meet these expectations had to be implemented,” says Hockey.

“Analog and Digital Commun-ications suggested this solution – which proved to be the answer,” he adds.

In conjunction with 2Cana Solutions – Sovereign Health’s data services provider – Analog and Digital Communications was able to integrate the IVR System with the customer’s Oracle database. The basic call flow allows a provider to dial in to the IVR System and enter its practice number for validation. It can then enter the member’s number and dependent code, which the system will confirm. Finally, the value of the requir-ed benefit is entered and the sys-tem then runs a database query to establish whether the specified value is available. All data during the call is captured in Sovereign’s work- flow management system and provided with a reference number.

Additionally, the Avaya Voicemail Pro Manager pro- vides the ability to construct powerful interactive systems based upon dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) telephone key entry. As a caller passes through any part of a defined call flow, the system is capable of inter-acting with most third-party databases through the use of the standards-based ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) interface. The system is thus capable of retrieving information from, as well as writing information in, a database.

“The system is currently processing approximately 1 400 calls daily and we have had very positive feedback from our pro-viders,” says Hockey. “The speed at which provid- ers are able to process multiple benefit checks during a single call is a great advantage, and interaction with the IVR system is faster and more convenient than speaking to an agent. “We are already planning to implement this system in other business units.” Kathea Communications – sole provider for the Avaya IP Office product suite locally – believes that the implementation of the Avaya Voicemail Pro Manager will not only extend the company’s service offerings, but will also improve its ability to provide high-end cost-effect- ive voice solutions that deliver true business benefits. “Due to the strength and capabilities of this product, it is perfectly suited to organisations with communication environments that include a service contact centre,” says Al McKie, Avaya Business De-velopment at Kathea Communications. “This solution is designed to meet customers’ specific requirements and we expect the imp-lementation to add value to Sovereign Health’s service delivery.” Kathea Communications will be offering this product through its national base of accredited partners, which includes some of South Africa’s major IT cor-porations.

Avaya designs, builds and manages communications net-works for more than a million businesses worldwide, includ- ing over 90% of the Fortune 500. Focused on businesses large and small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet protocol telephony systems and communications software appli- cations and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications – and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services – Avaya helps customers’ existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. Kathea is a dynamic supplier and value-added distributor of products and services for the telecommunications sector. Through its considerable network of accredited partners and resellers, Kathea focuses on technologies that cover the switching, video and voice con-ferencing, call centre and hospitality sector. Kathea represents Avaya, GN Netcom, Polycom and Nortel in the local market and is therefore able to provide products and services that are world class. Backed by extensive indu- stry experience, strong market partnerships and a success-driven team, Kathea is committed to creating value in the telecommunications distribution chain.
Edited by: Nelendhre Moodley
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