RSA Medical Manages Hyper Growth

100-2,499 Employees
Customer Engagement

Today’s customer relationships are ongoing conversations that unfold across time and channels. Phone, video, email, chat, social: It’s all one integrated omnichannel now. Done right, seamless execution pays off in increased revenue and higher lifetime value of customers. Our customer engagement solutions make it possible. 

Our Avaya solution has opened up a whole new perspective on how we can do business, and how we provide a very satisfying experience for our customers and clients.

– Brion Murdock, Network Operations Manager, RSA Medical

 

Benefits

Improved Customer Service
Increased Productivity
Reduce Cost

Chicago-Based Healthcare Firm Cures Growth Challenges With Remote Agents

CAPEX/OPEX Benefits Won with Avaya VDI Agent

RSA Medical, a leading provider of medical assessment and management services for health insurance companies, was in demand and poised to grow. But they faced a hurdle: minimal room for staff expansion at their contact center facility. To avoid incurring the expense of constructing an additional building, RSA began exploring the possibility of a remote agent solution.

Despite an apparently lower-cost operational expense model, the idea of a work-at-home, remote agent workforce was initially met with concern by upper-level management. Questions centered on issues such as security, quality of service (QoS), and call continuity.

A Promising Solution

“We were planning to add about 250 new agents to the workforce almost immediately,” says Brion Murdock, RSA Medical’s Network Operations Manager. “Using a remote agent solution was attractive because we would see significant savings versus establishing a second location to house the new agents. However, we have a lot of restrictions when it comes to what people can see and do in the field.”

 

“We had to achieve high quality audio and an environment where calls would not be interrupted.”

Brion Murdock, Network Operations Manager, RSA Medical

Brion continues, “That’s when Avaya and our Avaya channel partner approached us with an innovative solution — Avaya VDI Agent. It looked promising.”

Opening New Doors to Security, Quality, and Cost Savings

After further investigation, it appeared that RSA Medical’s concerns about adopting a home agent model were addressed by Avaya VDI Agent, at least on paper. As a logical next step, they launched a controlled trial of the application. To the surprise of doubters, the trial demonstrated that the Avaya application would be a viable, valuable solution for the growing company.

“Avaya VDI Agent definitely opened up new doors for RSA Medical,” Murdock recalls. “Our management had been skeptical about moving toward a home agent strategy, because of concerns about security, quality of service, and the cost of setting up and maintaining equipment for work-at-home stations. However, when we trialed the solution with about 20 agents, we saw how it addressed all the concerns related to our particular business. At that point, our move toward the home agent scenario became pretty much a slam dunk. We currently have about 50 remote agents, and we plan to have several hundred more in the near future.”

SECURITY

With Avaya VDI Agent, thin client data is locked and does not persist between sessions, enhancing security while extending the solution’s reach. RSA Medical wanted to use Microsoft Windows Embedded for its remote agents, because of the platform’s strengths in security, management, and user experience.

“Through research, we learned that most softphone clients do not work well with Windows Embedded. It was a huge advantage that Avaya VDI Agent is certified for the platform that we preferred,” Murdock says. “Enabling remote agents to work well in Windows Embedded went a long way in resolving our concerns about security and always-on functionality.”

QUALITY OF SERVICE

Call quality was an equally important consideration because RSA Medical harvests information that is often complex, such as medical history and personal background, requiring contacts with insurance applicants as well as medical professionals. The importance of obtaining accurate information, and of working successfully with all the parties involved, makes quality of service a vital concern. The company is also subject to fines if there are complaints regarding quality of service, such as dropped calls or poor audio.

“We’ve had excellent voice quality with Avaya VDI Agent, across the board,” Murdock states. “In fact, the general perception is that we get better sound using a quality headset with VDI Agent than we do even with a good telephone handset.”

“With Avaya VDI agent, sound quality problems are essentially non-existent.”

Brion Murdock, Network Operations Manager, RSA Medical

RSA Medical

COST SAVINGS

Murdock believes that without the levels of security and voice quality provided by Avaya VDI Agent, RSA Medical would not have been able to pursue work-at-home agents. “If we had not been able to feel comfortable with the security and voice quality that we could provide for a remote workforce, we would have needed to go to the expense of either acquiring or building another physical facility, and hoping the labor pool in that area could provide all the agents we needed. So clearly, we were looking at a huge cost savings in not having to provide more physical workspace.”

Avaya VDI Agent also minimized capital and operating expenditures by eliminating the need for endpoints, hard phones, and trunking — thereby reducing physical equipment in agents’ homes. Avaya VDI Agent extends high-quality, reliable voice and data capabilities to nearly any device that an agent uses, coupled with a USB headset. The solution is implemented through an inexpensive thin client VDI brick that contains no sensitive information. Even if the brick is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced easily.

“Being able to eliminate the cost of outfitting each remote agent with a phone and computer, which could be subject to damage in a home environment, is a huge benefit,” Murdock says. “Since we are not providing these items, we don’t have to worry about loss on hardware.”

 

“Our set-up cost for a remote agent is now in the hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands.”

Brion Murdock, Network Operations Manager, RSA Medical

RSA Medical estimates that avoided expense on equipment alone is at least $1,200 per remote agent, a total of almost $300,000 for the 250+ remote agents being added in 2014- 2015.

User Satisfaction Runs High

Avaya VDI Agent enables contact center agents to access their calls, applications, and media from almost any desktop client they choose, regardless of their physical location. Applications and data are available through a ‘lightweight’ cross-platform UI that remains on screen at all times. When clicked, the UI expands into the full client interface. Agents find the GUI easy to work with. Downtime is prevented because the system establishes a continuous connection, even if a virtual session is lost. Most importantly, the softphone – utilizing USB headphones – provides excellent sound quality, consistently praised by agents, supervisors, and QA staff.

Murdock comments, “Our agents and quality management people are excited about the quality of the calls, both from the sound perspective and the call continuity aspect. With these features in place, they feel confident about being able to provide an excellent customer experience from beginning to end.”

Backend Benefits and Business Value

For the IT manager, deployment and support of virtualized agents is simplified with Avaya VDI Agent. According to Murdock, bandwidth requirements are modest, accommodating remote agents with varying levels of connectivity. The system also provides centralized call recording, which is essential to meeting regulatory requirements.

To preserve sound quality throughout the duration of a call, Avaya VDI Agent utilizes the media card on the VDI brick — bypassing the voice and media transportation in the virtual session that tends to degrade sound quality. This is done by using a shared control capability in Avaya Aura Communication Manager and allowing an application like Avaya one-X Agent running in the virtual session to control Avaya VDI Agent running locally on the VDI brick.

A Session Down UI built into Avaya VDI Agent continues to function independently in the event that a virtual session is interrupted. This redundancy gives agents a reliable, high-quality backup that helps keep them connected and productive.

 

RSA Medical

Murdock says, “From the company’s perspective, using Avaya VDI Agent’s thin client with Windows Embedded is extremely valuable because the platform can be locked down, preventing users from making any actual changes to the hard drive. Instead, everything is centralized in memory and is highly secure. We have also instituted a sophisticated authentication system that limits agents to business uses of the system. Agents are inhibited from unauthorized operation of the phone, such as making personal outgoing calls.”

Most importantly, Avaya VDI agent is an enabler of corporate growth. The system’s agile scalability provides the capability to ramp up quickly and easily, and to deploy agents far beyond the geographical limitations of the physical contact center, thus expanding access to a broader pool of qualified agents.

The remote agent model at RSA Medical neatly addresses business continuity goals. “If we experience any level of outage or failure at the physical contact center, we can quickly move work out to the remote agents to avoid interruption of service,” Murdock comments.

Murdock concludes, “Avaya VDI Agent has opened up a whole new perspective on how we can do business, and how we provide a very satisfying experience for our customers and clients. It has helped to maximize cost savings, operational efficiencies, security, quality of service, and growth potential for us. We currently have plans to expand the workforce by 400 agents for seasonal contracts, and about 250 of them will be remote agents.”

 

“We appreciate the guidance and assistance that we’ve received from our Avaya channel partner and the Avaya team in selecting and deploying a VDI system that works so well for us. It has really been a win-win experience.”

Brion Murdock, Network Operations Manager, RSA Medical

RSA Medical now saves over $1200 in hardware costs for each and every remote agent added.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
RSA Medical
  • Headquarters:

  • United States

  • # Employees:

  • 500

RSA Medical is a leading provider of medical assessment and medical management for patients interacting with life and health insurance companies. By combining both medicine and sophisticated proprietary technology, its clinicians are improving the manner in which insurance carriers grant services to patients and interact with providers. RSA Medical will continue to advocate for its patients in navigating any and all insurance interactions to both mitigate and prevent disease.

What our Customers are saying
“With Avaya VDI agent, sound quality problems are essentially non-existent.”

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  • Brion Murdock

  • RSA Medical

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