Established in the UK in 1996 and headquartered in the USA, Omega World Travel (Omega Travel) has over 40 highly trained executives that deliver cost-effective travel management services to a prestigious list of corporate business clients. Its London operation is situated in the West End of London, adjacent to the London School of Economics.
The company is one of the world’s leading business travel agencies and is ranked by Business Travel News as the third largest travel management company in the US and is featured in the top 20 in the UK. In addition to the UK, Omega Travel maintains a worldwide network of more than 100 wholly-owned offices, with offices in Japan, Guam, Bahrain and Romania.
In order to stay competitive and offer the best possible service to its clients, it was paramount that the company’s IT and telephony operation was managed as effectively and as efficiently as possible, says IT Manager at Omega Travel, Andrew Hussey. He explains, "Historically we had to manage two completely disparate systems, one for our telephony service which was run on ISDN lines and another for our IT services. The old telephony system was very expensive to operate and offered no integration whatsoever with our IT servers and business applications. The result was that our operational environment was extremely rigid and this put severe restrictions on how we managed our customer call interactions.“
He continues, “Furthermore, with the existing set-up we had no single point of contact when anything went wrong, so we had to endure what many companies face in this situation, all our existing suppliers passing the buck between each other when a problem arose.”
Three years ago the company had an opportunity to review its complete IT and telephony strategy and its existing suppliers. Andrew explains, “We wanted to address this problem and bring all our services under one umbrella with a single point of contact and also, if possible, find a supplier who could propose a more flexible and more cost-effective solution to our ancient ISDN lines.”
- Wanted a solution that could be flexed to meet its on-going business requirements, without the need to invest in rigid proprietary hardware products
- Reduce operating costs
- Find a one-stop-shop supplier that offered a fully integrated IT and telephony solution
- Replace existing ISDN lines with an IP-based alternative
- Wanted a telephony solution that could utilise its existing server Environment
After a thorough review of the market and potential suppliers, the company finally selected SwyxWare supplied by Swyx Gold Partner and unified communications specialist Elite Telecom.
Andrew Hussey explains why, “We had had previous experience of the Swyx solution and knew that, as it was a purely software based, it would offer all of the integration requirements that we needed. Elite Telecom added the final piece to the jigsaw as they were not only Swyx experts, but they also offered the complete IT and telephony support package we desired, including the ability to swap out our ISDN lines to a more business-effective SIP based solution. In short Elite Telecom ticked every box we had.”
According to Andrew the SwyxWare solution has been a great success. Here are the key areas where the company has benefitted most:
Support for remote and homeworking for key staff
The company can now offer a remote-working option to its key staff members and sales team. Using Swyx they can log directly into the company’s phone system from any location and the ‘rich presence’ feature enables reception and other staff to know if they are available for calls or busy. This has allowed some of it highly skilled female employees to better manage their child-care, creating a win/win situation for both parties.
Built-in system flexibility – “we can simply pick it up and take it with us.”
Swyx’s software licensing model enables Omega Travel to upsize the business on a per user basis without having to invest in expensive new hardware. This approach also adds another degree of flexibility, so if the company needs to move offices in the future, as Andrew says, “We can simply pick it up and take it with us”.
More integrated & personalised service for customers – using Swyx’s skin
Using a customised skin (on-screen softphone) and intelligent call routing, Omega Travel can ensure that calls are routed correctly to specific account managers who can, if required, answer in the name of their client. For example, Sunseeker representatives can be routed directly to the ‘Sunseeker’ travel desk.
The Omega World Travel customised skin that is fully integrated with Outlook, allows the customer account executives to action their calls more effectively. It provides a ‘pop-up’ balloon that provides all the inbound caller’s details, and with a single click on a branded on-screen button, they can instantly access key websites such as, EasyJet, Premier Inns and others as applicable.
Savings of 28% on operational telephony costs
Andrew Hussey has calculated that the consolidation of the old ISDN lines into SIP connections is saving the company around 28% per year compared with is previous costs, and this does not include the reduction in call costs the package also brings.
On-going yearly savings of £20,000 on conferencing costs
Prior to installing the SwyxWare solution within the SIP environment, Omega travel used to use a third-party teleconferencing facility for its conferences with its US office and subsidiaries. This used to cost the company around £2000 per month, but with SwyxWare this service is completely free for the UK office, and the US office now has only to pay local call charges, rather than expensive international telephony rates.
More assured business continuity with a single point of contact for all IT & telephony
Whilst Omega Travel can handle the day-to-day IT & telephony issues in-house, the company now has the reassurance that should there be a more serious problem they only need to make one call to make to ensure that the issue is resolved and business continuity is maintained.
In the future Omega Travel plans to exploit the integration possibilities further to enhance the benefits that SwyWare can bring to the business. This will include, adding SwyxMobile to their existing mobile phones for greater staff availability with lower costs and the possible integration with other Omega offices.
"The service provided by Elite Telecom has been excellent. I have developed a great relationship with the support team and the SwyxWare solution has met all our requirements. It has had a major impact on our business operation, and the cost savings it has delivered has made it a very worthwhile investment."
Andrew Hussey, IT Manager at Omega Travel