Compare Plans

GELSENWASSER AG relocates its communication landscape into the private cloud

Gelsenwasser AG

The energy market is in a massive state of flux, and customers' need for advice is correspondingly high. GELSENWASSER AG is responding to this with a comprehensive range of information and optimized communication processes. An innovative solution from Avaya sets the course for this. The redundantly designed communication platform through the GELSENWASSER private cloud ensures that the availability of all branches is always guaranteed, fault reports are processed by the control center as quickly as possible, employees are relieved, and customers are advised appropriately.

> 80

Investment companies

> 70

cities and communes


calls per day without human intervention


  • Consolidate decentralized communication landscape in a centralized network
  • Need to optimize cross-location fault reporting and work processes

Value Created

  • Redundant telecommunications network to increase reliability
  • Intelligent speech recognition relieves employees in the service center
  • Integrated control center solution simplifies fault processing
  • Hybrid working model improves work-life balance

GELSENWASSER AG bundles more than 80 affiliated companies under its umbrella, which offer a wide range of services, e.g. for infrastructure, renewable energies and digital networks. "Smooth communication processes have therefore always been a key success factor for us," says Jörg Florian-Koppenhöhl, Project Manager at GELSENWASSER AG.

Both the range of solutions and the expert support from Avaya have contributed to the success of the mammoth telephone system replacement project."

— Jörg Florian-Koppenhöhl, Project Manager GELSENWASSER AG

Smooth communication is the end-all/be-all

An IP-based solution based on Avaya Aura and a redundant Avaya Collaboration Pod, to which the Gelsenwasser locations are connected via media gateways, provides the basis for fail-safe communication. While the 35 branches in Germany, between Altenberge and Bad Oeynhausen used to communicate via their own telephone systems, all calls are now routed via the two Avaya Pod-Fx servers in the Gelsenwasser data centers in Herne and Gelsenkirchen.

"This simplifies operation and increases stability," says the project manager. Where decentralized communication servers previously made it difficult to reliably control incoming and outgoing telephone calls, two exchange lines with 500 channels each now ensure maximum transparency and reliable accessibility. "If one server fails, the second one automatically takes over," explains Florian-Koppenhöhl. Even in the extremely unlikely event that both data centers are unavailable, his team has made provisions: "If all else fails, the locations can switch back to decentralized exchange lines in no time at all," says the project manager, referring to the emergency offices and satellite telephones integrated into the network.

Another advantage of the communication solution from the private cloud is its scalability. On the one hand, this supports the utility's growth strategy. On the other hand, affiliated companies can also be easily integrated into the Gelsenwasser communications network swiftly without disruption and thus benefit from the advantages of IP telephony. This is an important aspect which, for example, recently made it much easier for two associated companies to merge to form the new Weserstadtwerke Service GmbH.

As a utility company, Gelsenwasser is one of the operators of critical infrastructures (KRITIS) and must therefore also ensure fail-safe operation of the communications landscape. The company decided to replace its decentralized telephony landscape with a centralized, redundant communications platform from the private cloud. "A mammoth project, but one that went off without a hitch with the support of Avaya," says Florian-Koppenhöhl. "Both the range of solutions and the expert support of the Avaya teams contributed significantly to the success."

Employees are further relieved by intelligent self-services and can devote themselves to more productive tasks."

— Jörg Florian-Koppenhöhl, Project Manager GELSENWASSER AG

Hybrid working models made usable

The new communication solution also benefits the work-life balance of the Gelsenwasser workforce. "Our employees can now choose where they want to work. Thanks to Avaya's newly designed standardized numbering plan, they can always be reached at their personal extension regardless of whether they are in the office, working from home or on site with the customer," explains the project manager. This is well received: after all, since the Coronavirus pandemic, many Gelsenwasser employees have also come to appreciate the benefits of hybrid working.

The accessibility of critical extensions, such as the terminals at the utility's flood storage facilities, is also guaranteed. This means that technicians can pass on status reports and repair requirements reliably and promptly when servicing the tanks. "Avaya is one of the few providers that can connect end devices over a distance of up to 12 kilometers (about 7.46 mi) without additional amplifiers," points out Florian-Koppenhöhl.

Seamlessly integrated control center solution

Another aspect which Avaya was able to score points with Gelsenwasser: The new control center software from Engelbart Software GmbH fits seamlessly into the communications network. And that's a good thing. After all, the utility's control centers also receive fault reports from customers - around the clock. During the day, five decentralized units deal with incidents, while the main control center in Haltern am See is responsible at night. It is important that all the information required for troubleshooting is available at the touch of a button. To ensure this, the communication platform was interlinked with both the SAP software and the Avaya Contact Center solution. This means that instead of having to laboriously gather contact addresses and fault descriptions from different systems, the control center employees responsible have all the information they need directly on the screen. "This noticeably speeds up the processing of incidents," says Florian-Koppenhöhl.

Standard tasks are completed automatically

Meanwhile, employees in the customer service center are relieved by intelligent self-services. "They no longer have to deal with repetitive standard tasks such as recording meter readings," explains the Gelsenwasser project manager. The multi-channel platform Avaya Experience Portal creates the conditions for this. Depending on the request, it routes callers either to an employee or directly to an intelligent service, which converts the meter reading transmitted by voice into numbers and automatically records them in the system. Around 10,000 calls a day can be recorded without any human intervention.

Any queries that arise in the customer service center in Recklinghausen are now increasingly being handled by external nearshore call centers. "These were easily integrated into the private cloud of the communication network via Avaya VDI Client and can intervene where automatic speech recognition reaches its limits," says Florian-Koppenhöhl. The advantage: the highly qualified employees in the customer service center of Erenja AG & Co KG, a wholly owned subsidiary of GELSENWASSER AG, are further relieved and can devote themselves to more productive tasks.

Avaya is one of the few providers that can connect analog end devices over a distance of up to 12 kilometers without additional amplifiers."

— Jörg Florian-Koppenhöhl, Project Manager GELSENWASSER AG


Founded in 1887 to supply the northern Westphalian coalfield and its inhabitants with water, Gelsenwasser AG now serves households and municipalities, utilities and industrial companies in more than 70 towns and communities. The listed public limited company based in Gelsenkirchen offers its customers a wide range of services relating to water, electricity and gas supply, wastewater disposal, decentralized energy generation and digital networks. In addition, there are cooperations with around 30 utility companies that procure drinking water or natural gas for their customers via "Team blau-grün". 

Loading page...
Error: There was a problem processing your request.