Client & project background
Thunder Oilfield Services provides customized offshore crane management services to clients in the oil & gas industry. The company currently operates out of two facilities strategically located near industry critical hubs in Chonburi-Sattahip (head office) and Songkhla. The company is in the process of opening a Bangkok office, and has plans for expansion to Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. Thunder’s employees also operate on client sites and other remote locations in the field. Being in a position to communicate over the phone easily & reliably, no matter where, is now a critical success factor to the business.
As the quality and capabilities of the company’s existing analog PBX phone system was no longer satisfactory, Thunder asked their network administrator to identify an affordable VoiP solution that would allow high quality calls between phones in an office, between facilities and of course with the outside world. The company then turned to Bangkok IT & VoIP specialist SoftControl to advise on and deliver a best fit IP phone solution to Thunder.
Firstly, the new phone system would need to eliminate all the problems of the current analog phone system, among them
- inconsistent call quality
- high long distance calling costs
- high infrastructure costs (separate internet + analog telephony infrastructures)
- adding additional users to the analog systems requires significant investments
- field staff having to use mobile phones, making it difficult to control calls, call quality and customer satisfaction
- no integrated customer relationship management – with separate analog and cellular phone systems staff have to keep separate customer contact lists and customer calls and other engagements cannot be captured for quality control and relationship management
Additionally, the company manager stressed that high call quality and the ability to quickly and reliably connect callers with the right staff or with the right voicemail options would contribute significantly to a professional company image and improve customer relations.
A further requirement was to give all staff remote access to using their phone, including to all features and voicemail. With a system dependent on internet connectivity, an additional requirement was to have redundancy built into the system, so that phone service is still guaranteed should the internet ever go down.
Finally, with the company currently opening a new office in Bangkok, and plans to expand to neighboring countries, the new system would need to be easily and affordably scalable, and quickly deployed to any new location
Who was involved?
- Thunder Oilfield’s company manager:
customer specs & requirements, decision-making
VoIP provider, hosting, project management, training
- 78 Thunder staff:
users of 43 VoIP phones in two office locations and in the field
How the project was delivered
Before VoIP can be implemented in an organization, the network must be checked, optimized and sometimes upgraded to the required VoIP-capable specifications.
Under SoftControl’s instructions, Thunder carried out a network audit and it was determined that the existing network needed both optimization and upgrading. The company then upgraded the network infrastructure according to SoftControl’s specifications, and in the process eliminated a host of other existing and potential issues, resulting in a more reliable network and greatly increased quality of service (QoS).
- set up the enterprise ‘telephony-software-as-a-service’ (TSaaS) to be hosted on a server in SoftControl’s secure Bangkok data centre configured
- configured and delivered 43 phones to Thunder’s offices
- set up 3 DID numbers (Bangkok, Songkhla, Chonburi-Sattahip) plus 43 extensions
- connected the phone for live dial tone status
- designed the internal voice response (IVR) for Thunder (which Thunder subsequently recorded themselves)
- and provided training of the new handsets and TSaaS features and administration to Thunder Oilfield staff
All additional requirements are logged and implemented as per the required time schedule. For example, with plans to expand regionally, Thunder now has the confidence it can connect to any new abroad location as soon as required.
Outcomes and benefits
Thunder can now rely on a fully functional state-of-the-art VoiP system. To this date there have been no disruptions or other problems. The company now enjoys the following outcomes and business benefits:
- Free calls between all offices (locally & internationally)
- Reduced long-distance phone call costs (e.g. all calls in Thailand are THB .75 per minute)
- Maximum of 15 concurrent calls with the freedom to enable more when required (compared to 5 previously with 5 analog numbers)
- Only one central contact list to be managed
- Easy passing of calls to the right people or voicemail, even when they are away from the office
- Easy remote access to PBX features, contact information and voicemail
- High call quality-of-service (QoS)
- Powerful VoIP features for call management
- Ability to quickly & affordably scale up when new offices or facilities are opened and new users are added
- Better quality local network through VoIP-necessitated network upgrade & optimization
- SoftControl TSaaS hosting ensures that problems are identified and resolved before they affect users or callers
- Improved business continuity because incoming phone calls can automatically be re-routed to mobile phones if the internet ever goes down.
- Excellent adoption of the new system by staff and increased phone user satisfaction
- Reportedly increased customer engagement because of quicker responses and improved communication