| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The aim of this project is to establish the Saudi National Contact Center (NCC) which will serve as a single point of contact for all interactions with the Saudi government agencies for all inquiries about the e-services of the agencies.
The National Contact Center will play an important role towards achieving the e-Government Program (YESSER) goals; it will provide a central access point for all citizens, residents, and businesses in Saudi Arabia.
The project consists of two major phases, the solution development phase (6 Months) and the operation phase (36 Months). Throughout the project life cycle there are many milestones that have been divided as per the following time period:
-Deliver final analyses document for NCC CRM & Portal
-Deliver The call center system architect and workflow document
-Sign SLA with government agencies & Yesser
-Complete NCC CRM & Portal implementation
-Complete NCC call center systems implementation
-Complete integration with Government Agencies system and databases.
-Start the Quality monitoring program
-Start NCC Operation
-Complete updating Knowledge base system for current GA services.
-Deliver quality monitoring results and improvement plan.
-Signing final acceptance
-Closing & handover
Major Deliverables by End of Month 3:
-Project Scope Document
-Project Management Plan
-Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
-NCC SharePoint Portal with Modules:
Knowledge Management System
Document Management System
Major Deliverables by End of Month 6:
-Call Center Business Processes
-System Integration with government agencies
-Avaya Call Management System
-Web Chat and Multimedia collaboration
-Speechlog Recording System
-Inbound & Outbound Voice Services
-Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services:
-CRM Business Management
-In Bound Services
-Out Bound Services
-Case routing workflow
-Case assignment workflow
-Case resolution workflow
-Monitoring & Reporting
-Call Center Operations
-Fully implemented call center business processes identified in envisioning and planning phase.
-In- Bound and out-Bound Services.
-NCC portal with related information and modules.
-Data &Telecom integration with related agencies.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initial idea for the national contact centre was suggested by the project sponsor Yesser, who represent the Saudi National e-Government program. Following the initial concept a request for proposal was developed by Deloitte and issued by Yesser to a number of private companies and from that, Smart Link Customer Contact and Outsourcing Services, put forward a successful operating model and project plan for running the national contact centre.
Once the partnership between Yesser and Smart Link was established, Amer was created and a number of government agencies joined the scheme, such as: Saudi E-government Portal, Department of Zakat and Income Tax, Ministry of Civil Services, Saudi Post, National Center for Digital Certifications, SADAD payment system, Communications and Information Technology commission.
The technological development of the call centre was a joint venture between several subject matter experts. These were: Avaya who provided knowledge required for configuration and integration of the unified support number and calling systems; a company called SURE, who provided expertise on the configuration and development of a Microsoft dynamics customer relationship management system; Deloitte who developed the RFP and Smart Link, who project managed the implementation process and now oversee the operation of the national contact centre.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The total financial cost for the Amer national contact centre will be distributed over three and half years and is budgeted to be $10.6 Million.
The initiation phase which lasted 6 months, represented 10% of the total cost and it was invested in the development of technology, software, premises creation and other resourcing costs.
In order to meet the objectives of the national contact centre; the project team evaluated several technological systems to select the right solution which mean the needs of the national contact centre, ensuring that any system chosen would enhance the process of communication for the end user. The specific system selected within the national contact centre, is the Avaya Aura contact centre (AACC). Using AACC we have enabled our customers to communicate through multiple channels, which are combined on one screen that individual agents can manage, thus eliminating the inefficiency of using multiple systems.
In addition to the Avaya telephony system, Amer have also invested in the development of a Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management system, which is a distinguished CRM product, known for being both user friendly and up-to-date with the latest features required for successful contact centre management, allowing for the attainment of national contact centre objectives. Following the successful development of Microsoft Dynamics for the NCC, it has also been rolled out to our partners in other government agencies, to ensure a unified system between both parties and cases can now be raised, handled and resolved, all within the same system.
To boost the knowledge and maintain the quality of information among NCC agents we have used a knowledge management system to unify the information and represent as repository of the government agencies service catalogue that the agents can refer to when answering customer questions.
A strict set of evaluation criteria’s for technology partners and for partners whom were selected for participation in initiating the National Contact Centre were put in place. During the initiation phase of the NCC, multiple resources were used from different parties and we have utilized Deloitte as a consultant , using their capabilities to help build and develop the RFP which resulted in a focused and targeted scope of NCC services.
Microsoft consultants were engaged during the analyses phase of NCC CRM system to ensure all the objectives stated in the RFP were reflected in the design of CRM solution which resulted in a very successful implementation of the MS dynamics system.
The whole project of NCC was sponsored and funded by the Saudi E- Government program (Yesser).
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Before DZIT (department of Zakat and income tax) joined the NCC, they had no automation for supporting their clients, seldom support channels and centralized offices for support. On average they were received around 20 calls per day. In order to get assistance, beneficiaries had to visit DZIT offices, sometimes having to travel considerable distance to a regional office, in order to complete paper work and submit an application. This resulted in lost time and money for beneficiaries whom had to queue up in line and wait their turn during official working hours 8am – 2 pm, with no ticketing system to track their application progress.
After joining NCC, things have changed for DZIT clients, who now benefit from a toll free number and 8 support channels. Engagement resulted of DZIT users has consistently increased week-by-week, starting at under a hundred calls per week upon induction and now averages circa 700 calls per week.
The DZIT example is indicative of concrete outputs visible across all government agencies attached to AMER. These output listed are: less time consuming, less cost, faster service, multichannel support, in addition to organizing users complaints.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
To ensure a successful implementation we have explored different aspects of the Contact Center operations as follow:
Control the project implementation by implementing the PMI standards throughout each of the project phases; from initiation of the project (signing the project charter) to the planning and approval of the project scope, time, cost, human resources, risk and procurement management plans, creating baselines and setting project delivery milestones to executing the plan as per the approved plans and monitoring and controlling the project life cycle by ensuring the project deliverables meets the set requirements and approved by the sponsor to the final approval and project closure.
Establishing a solid and unique Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) of the contact center operation to ensure a smooth are provided within a timely manner.
Created a very comprehensive Service Level Agreement with the contact center operator that covers and control all of the required components including but not limited to availability, quality, service conditions, KPI’s.
Applied Quality Monitoring plan, QM program measures how will agents comply with internal policies and procedures and interact with customers by phone, email, SMS, Fax and web chat. The QM program will also go beyond these basics. It will combine the results of customer satisfaction surveys with internal measurements to provide a 360-degree view of the customer experience. NCC Quality Monitoring program is designed to demonstrate the contact center commitment to its customers and agents, and is essential for building world-class contact centers. Key benefits are varying and can be summarized as the following: increase Customer Satisfaction, Increase agents Efficiency, and Tune the training programs, Enhance the overall quality performance.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
There were two main problems at the implementation stage of the national contact centre, these were:
1. Time: The project took a lot longer to develop than was initially anticipated. This was due to involvement from several technology companies, which each had a dependency on one another. Due to late delivery of a couple of technological components, we were unable to commence operations until several months after than planned launch.
2. Mindset: The government agencies which were onboarded to the National Contact Centre were required to complete a handover of their call centre operations. Some government agencies were reluctant to complete the required handover documentation, or comply with the required processes and procedures put in place by Amer. This further delayed implementation, while conversations were held with the government agencies to emphasis and explain the importance of the handover process.
In order to overcome and address the problems encountered during implementation, the Amer project team ensured that they communicated and explained the value of the NCC to government agencies and the positive impact it would have improving the accuracy, integrity, availability and cost effectiveness.
To combat the delayed project launch, Amer increased their efforts in recruitment which allowed for government agencies to be onboarded at a quicker rate than planned. This resulted in the national contact centre actually being able to service more customers than was initially forecast, for the same period, has there not been the delay.