Sometimes it takes a major global event to spur business action. As we move through our second year of the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve witnessed a number of rapid transformations. For Are Media, the pandemic meant that it was time to expedite their plans of moving from on-premise contact center software to CCaaS.

Are Media is a multimedia conglomerate that operates worldwide and owns more than 600 magazines, over 400 digital products and 50 radio and TV stations. In Australia and New Zealand they have grown to become the region’s leading multi-channel publisher, connecting with 6 in 10 Australian women. Prior to March 2020, 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 in the Philippines to manage the customer contact load. 

Moving to Amazon Connect & Engage for Amazon Connect

During the initial pandemic lockdown in 2020, Are Media was unable to service customers since the on-premise call center software could not be accessed by agents working from home. They  were also nearing the end of their existing contact center software contract so they began looking at other vendor options. As an existing customer of AWS services, Are Media decided that Amazon Connect would be a good solution, but they wanted to include email as an additional channel to voice communication. In order to fill this gap, Are Media looked at AWS partner organizations including Local Measure. 

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. In addition to being less expensive, Local Measure’s solution was clearly going to be quick and simple to implement, thanks in part to its availability through AWS Marketplace. Majdi Jebril, Head of IT for Are Media commented, “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.” The time to value also proved exceptional, “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.”

“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.”

Support levels that exceeded all expectation

During software procurement, a lot of the focus tends to be on product capabilities, however in Are Media’s case, the implementation, training and support offered by Local Measure had a significant impact on the business’ operations. Jebril reported, “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.”

When it came to agent training, Jebril added “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.”

Feature requests also get actioned very quickly, which Jebril attributes to the agile methodology used by Local Measure. All in all, having things move along quickly, in one single system helped propel business growth when the business acquired a number of new magazines. Future plans include adopting more communication channels into the agent desktop and automating frequent agent tasks through the Tasks feature.

Read the full case study here.