Northwest predominantly serves the Atlanta, Ga. area, but success has lead to continued growth and acquisition of other pest control companies throughout the region. Each acquisition brings its challenges for Matthew Metcalfe, Director of Information Systems, and his IT team.
“Northwest has a pretty aggressive growth plan and we’re on track to open probably one or two offices every year for the foreseeable future,” Metcalfe said. “We had some limitations with our existing phone system and it just did not grow. It did not scale beyond eight offices.”
New locations were often equipped with legacy and heterogeneous communications technology that did not easily integrate with the system at their headquarters. In addition, many of these “new” locations were and continue to be in rural areas not easily accessed by traditional telecom providers and carriers.
“At Northwest, the communications are pretty diverse,” Metcalfe said. “We have offices all over Georgia right now and are expanding into other states in the southeast, so our offices are typically sometimes rural. We were looking for a carrier that could provide solutions not just in the metro area but also in the outlying areas and also in the southeast.”
Metcalfe’s small IT team was also spending most of his time on small management tasks related to these various systems, including moves, adds and changes (MACs) and lost or forgotten passwords. Meanwhile, they have much bigger strategic issues on their hands, such as working to integrate the new branches.
SOLUTION AND RESULTS
With all of the new branches opening across the region, Northwest was able to use West Cloud Contact, an inbound hosted contact center suite formerly known as ControlMaxx, to better provide customer service. Incoming calls are now routed using Cloud Contact to the appropriate branch based on where the call originated from.
Northwest also uses VoiceMaxx hosted voice services, which operate over the Maxxis application aware network. The combination of cloud-based voice over a completely managed MPLS network means that not only does Northwest experience the best voice and data quality possible, but is able to easy implement all applications in new branches by just adding router and switch hardware - all other processes are delivered via the cloud. And with access to more than 8,000 rate centers in the U.S. and the ability to provide the best possible network connectivity in an area, Northwest’s rural locations perform just as well as it’s Atlanta headquarters.
“The whole process of bringing a new office online from circuits, to phones, to network, has all been consolidated into one entity,” Metcalfe said. “We worked with West Unified Communications Services to get it up and running and we don’t have any of those issues. So our growth plan is very much streamlined from a technology perspective.”
Northwest also leverages MaxxSecure, a managed security system, to protect all data coming in and out of their system. Like other cloud-based applications from West UC, MaxxSecure requires no on site hardware and is proactively managed by West UC, saving the IT department time and money.
“The service that Northwest gets from West UC is outstanding,” Metcalfe said. “We can send anything from a ticket to a critical issue and we know it’s going to get handled. If we have recurring issues, there’s a group on site that is responsive at West UC that really helps us, and works through it until it’s resolved.”