Are Media's Contact Center Transformation

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When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Are Media knew it was time to upgrade to a cloud-based omnichannel contact center. In a remarkably short period of time, the multimedia conglomerate was up and running with agents working remotely in Australia and the Philippines – managing customer conversations across Voice and Email with Amazon Simple Email Service through a single agent inbox.

About Are Media

Are Media is a multimedia conglomerate that operates globally and owns dozens of magazine titles. Within Australia and New Zealand they have grown to become the region’s leading multi-channel publisher, connecting with 6 in 10 Australian women. The regional contact center for Are Media is serving customers in Australia and New Zealand.


Prior to March 2020 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), Are Media operated a contact center in Sydney that used Telephony-as-a-Service out of a data center as well as using a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) service to manage the load. During the pandemic lockdown, Are Media was unable to service customers since the on-premise call center software could not be accessed by agents working from home.

Majdi Jebril, Head of IT for Are Media in Australia, recognized the need for agents to work remotely, and for a solution that could bring together voice and email. It was clear that Are Media needed a cloud-based solution. Majdi and his team quickly identified Amazon Connect as an option but there was a gap since they needed their contact center to handle voice and email.


A cloud based contact center to handle voice and email channels

After some research into a few different Amazon Connect partners, the team at Are Media chose Local Measure’s Engage for Amazon Connect. Voice and email were critical for the omnichannel solution they sought, hence Local Measure also used Amazon Simple Email Service “We could not have completed our migration if we had not had Local Measure because email is essential to our solution.” The team at Are Media are also looking at different use cases for Tasks, an automated workflow feature that allows supervisors to create task templates for commonly requested activities, giving agents a one-click button to perform those tasks. Web chat will be the next communication channel that the contact center includes.

“Local Measure was the easiest to integrate of all the solutions we looked at, and the resourcing was exceptional. After we reached out to them, they gathered the requirements and within a span of two or three days we had a solution.”

“From an integration point of view, it couldn’t have been easier since everything was within the Amazon ecosystem, we didn’t have to integrate with external email or tech environments.”

“At the first meeting with Local Measure, everybody who needed to be involved was there including PMs and CSMs — all of that helped us get going quickly. It was very collaborative and together we were able to come up with an end-to-end plan.”

Alister Sheppard, Vice President of Customer Success at Local Measure, commented, “The Are Media solution implementation was one of the quickest ramp ups we have ever done. Coupling this with meeting bespoke solution customizations and cross-timezone operational on-boarding and training, we were extremely proud to deliver the effective working solution on time.”


Simplified procurement process

Engage for Amazon Connect is available on AWS Marketplace so procurement was as simple as going to Marketplace and clicking approve. Compared with the lengthy and complicated contracts of other vendors, this was easier and faster for the Are Media team.

Reduced implementation cost by 40%

The Are Media team did a cost comparison between Engage for Amazon Connect and other vendors and found the solution to have an implementation cost that was 40% less expensive.

Training time up to 75% faster

Jebril, who was part of the project from inception through delivery and change management, believes the training component exceeded expectations, “Alister Sheppard from Local Measure managed the training and I was very impressed. It was precise, concise and fun. I’ve never seen training done like this. There was laughter. It made everyone want to listen and focus.”

“Post-implementation support can be exhausting. With Engage for Amazon Connect, there was no need to repeat training, everything was recorded so agents could refresh easily if needed.”

“From creation of a new agent until when they start servicing a customer, it used to take 4–7 days. Now it’s 1–2 days max.”

Enabled business growth

Shortly after Are Media began using Engage for Amazon Connect, the business acquired 14 more magazines. “Having Engage for Amazon Connect helped during our period of growth. Because it’s just a single system, it meant that onboarding could happen faster and training time was reduced. It streamlined the whole service process.”

“We’re always evolving as an organization and so our requirements evolve. A feature request requires a significant amount of time and cost to implement, additional deployment requirements etc. With Local Measure, because of how they operate (using an agile method), they have been able to deliver on feature requests in a much faster and agile way than most technology providers.” — Majdi Jebril, Head of IT, Are Media

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