Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Multicloud VoIP Customer Contact Management from Ontario Systems

Ontario Systems is the leader in the U.S. accounts receivable (AR) software market, supporting collections across the accounts receivable management, healthcare and government sectors. As you might expect, high-quality, real-time consumer and patient contact is a key element of AR systems and customer satisfaction is the key goal. This led us to partner with Datapipe, Equinix and multiple cloud service providers to deliver single-digit latency performance to our customers, while saving them 50% on networking costs.

This is how we did it.

Moving to VoIP and multicloud

We provide software and solutions that help our customers recover revenue efficiently and in compliance with market and government standards. Our customers use our products to automate their revenue recovery operations and reduced costs, providing enhanced service to their patients and clients. Reducing customer networking complexity and costs when accessing our customer contact management services was the driver behind us moving those systems to a more scalable, cost-efficient and higher-quality Voice over IP (VoIP), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform.

Ontario has always had a fully integrated contact management platform as part of its service offerings. Historically, these have been hardware devices designed to use legacy time-division multiplexing telephone networks. However, these solutions were increasingly becoming VoIP served from a SaaS platform. In 2013, we introduced a fully integrated SaaS-based, VoIP customer contact management platform, Contact Savvy. This industry-compliant solution was optimal for driving call agent efficiency because it included automated and manual dialing, interactive voice response, automated call distribution, automated messaging, and voice recording.

Almost immediately after it was launched, we began developing the next generation of Contact Savvy for the new Ontario Cloud that was anchored in Amazon Web Services (AWS), our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. AWS gives us high compute, memory, input/output, and data compliance and security standards, and telephony regulatory capabilities that enable Ontario's real-time application services and back-end processes. We also leveraged IBM SoftLayer as the IaaS provider for the real-time telephony portion of the platform. SoftLayer is one of the few cloud providers that offer bare metal servers in a quickly expandable cloud infrastructure, which were a perfect fit for our application needs. 

Tying it all together – clients and clouds – in an integrated, resilient system

We have been a longtime customer of Datapipe, a pioneer of managed services for public cloud platforms. We leveraged Datapipe's hardware and IT infrastructure, cloud, security, and compliance managed services to pull our VoIP, multicloud solution together.

Equinix provided the best point of presence for our solution, given that it had locations in Ashburn, Va., and San Jose, Calif., where AWS, SoftLayer and Datapipe were all colocated. Equinix has a history of building carrier-neutral data centers that provide prime locations for public and private interconnections among businesses.

We leveraged the Equinix Cloud Exchange to interconnect multiple network and cloud providers and customers over active-active 10 Gbps ports, much the same way as Equinix's Internet Exchange facilitates internet peering over a high-speed, low-latency and highly redundant interconnection fabric. This provided us with a key element of our network design—a unifying component of our network architecture that supports our multicloud solution with less than 2 milliseconds (ms) latency between the AWS and SoftLayer clouds.

The upgrades to our interconnection infrastructure brought our Contact Savvy platform closer to our customers, reducing our latency to connect them to the platform to less than 50 ms. The more efficient network infrastructure resulted in costs savings for both us and our customers—up to 50% when connecting to the Contact Savvy platform. We also built our IT and interconnection infrastructure with Datapipe and Equinix from the ground up with high availability. There is no single point of failure throughout the entire system.

Next steps – westward bound

The next step is to replicate our IT and interconnection infrastructure in Ashburn within an Equinix San Jose data center, for greater proximity to customers and cloud and network providers on the West Coast.

Datapipe and Equinix have helped us become better positioned for the future. We now have a solid strategy for our products, as well as our cloud infrastructure, architecture and vision.

Read our case study, "Ontario Systems," to learn more about how we leveraged Datapipe, Equinix and multicloud to deliver a higher-quality, more resilient SaaS-based, VoIP customer contact management system.

Also, please visit our "Client Spotlight" on Ontario Systems.

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