Cordes GmbH & Co. KG
More than 2,500, 1,200 of them with estos software
The Cordes group of companies is one of the largest in Germany within the timber industry. The Cordes Group includes wholesalers and retailers such as Osmo as well as well-known industrial companies with a total of about 2,500 employees. Good service, a high level of customer satisfaction and the constant striving to improve both are what drive the entire group of companies. Software that makes communication with customers, distributors, business partners, and suppliers more efficient supports this: Since 2014, around 1,200 users at 21 locations have been benefiting from the unified communications & CTI software suite from estos in the office, at home, and in the field.
The general standardization of the ICT structure, including the integration of softphones and mobile terminals, as well as the integration of the Voxtron Communication Center with the ProCall 7 Enterprise unified communications software used, were the reasons for the Cordes Group to update ProCall Enterprise as quickly as possible. The underlying TC infrastructure of the individual companies should and will also be brought up to the same level piece by piece. Last but not least, it is planned to make all applications available centrally via Citrix Virtual Desktops.
Integration with the Voxtron Communication Center
Customer service plays a key role at the specialist wood retailer: long waiting times on the phone – this will be a thing of the past for the Group's customers in the future. For the first time – initially implemented at the Wickert Wood Retail branch and planned company-wide – the integration of ProCall Enterprise with the Voxtron Communication Center. This is intended to improve the accessibility of employees. The VCC ensures that callers are intelligently transferred to a free and competent contact person. Despite this, if a call cannot be answered, the call-back will be distributed automatically. Authorized employees log into the VCC via a separate tab provided in the ProCall client. They are assigned to a queue according to preconfigured parameters, and the telephone status – free or busy – is synchronized. The VCC client itself is not visible.
The advantage: Users do not have to familiarize themselves with a new interface, they work in a familiar application. "This also makes it easier to update the software," says Sascha Wrobel, IT consultant at the supporting partner SNcom. "In principle, the integration was simple," he continues. "Via the respective API and the SDK, together with the team from estos, we integrated the VCC clients as a website. In addition, we have also connected the CRM used, a proprietary development of the Cordes group of companies. Thanks to the professional cooperation, the integration was implemented smoothly and quickly." The plan is to integrate further communication channels such as e-mail or chat with external people. The technical requirements have already been created by the choice of integration.
The update to ProCall 7 Enterprise
"We already moved our software to a data center two years ago," recalls Marco Schmidt, Head of IT at OSMO. "Now ProCall 7 Enterprise also runs via the server in Dortmund." The ECSTA middleware from estos provides the connection to the PBXs from Alcatel, innovaphone, AVAYA and Telecom. In the long term, all branches are to be equipped with IP-based innovaphone PBX systems.
"As soon as a site migrates, we simply replace ECSTA," explains Marco Schmidt. "The current MetaDirectory from estos is already available as a central telephone directory for the innovaphone PBX." The LDAP server combines all company data in a single consistent directory. In this way, employees – depending on their authorization – receive quick results on their contact search.
Presence management for decentralized workstations
"We also see the optimizations for decentralized workstations as one of the key benefits of ProCall 7 Enterprise," explains Marco Schmidt. "And by that, I don't just mean the move to a home office." OSMO employees are often on the road in warehouses, manufacturing workshops or even in the field with customers. The mobile phone is a constant companion. The presence management system from ProCall Enterprise helps to keep track of who can be reached when, how and where. With version 7, the interface has become even clearer: The contact card provides an overview of whether, where and how colleagues can be reached.
"I find out much more than just seeing if a colleague is at his desk," enthuses Thomas Schulenberg, an employee at Osmo Holz und Color, a company of the Cordes Group. "I know who is present or in an appointment, who works from home or is currently mobile in the warehouse or at the customer's site. Accordingly, I can call the person, start a text or VideoChat, or write an e-mail simply by clicking the mouse." ProCall Enterprise's SIP softphone features ensure that home office employees can be reached at the official phone number, and ProCall Mobile Apps integrate mobile users.
One data center – all components: ProCall Enterprise provides the UCC functionalities. MetaDirectory Enterprise combines the various data sources into a single LDAP-based directory. Authorizations regulate which persons may access which customer data. The ECSTA series creates the connection to the respective telephone system.
An MPLS operated by Deutsche Telekom establishes the secure connection to the 21 branch offices. ProCall clients are installed on the virtual desktops at the respective workstations, and employees are connected on the move via the ProCall Mobile app: Selected UCC functions such as access to contacts, VideoChat or softphone functions can be used via smartphone.
"The estos ProCall 7 Enterprise software offers huge added value for the Cordes group of companies," sums up Sascha Wrobel. Improved customer service is just one of the benefits. "The facilitations in daily communication and cooperation, both internally and externally, are particularly appreciated by our employees.
In the current situation, in which work is done from the home office as far as possible, the advantages of the unified communications software become even clearer," adds Marco Schmidt.