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MilliporeSigma Turns Business Communications into a Science



  • Disparate business communications platforms not cost efficient

  • Specialized business units with varying needs

Value Created

  • User needs met with targeted solutions

  • Contact center operations see measurable improvements


  • Avaya Contact Center Elite

  • Avaya IX Workplace™

Health Sciences Industry Leader Uses Straightforward Business Logic for UC and CC Platform Selection

Leaders in the life sciences industry are future-oriented, rational, analytical, and data-driven. So, when MilliporeSigma was created by Merck KGaA’s $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, these qualities kicked in naturally as numerous decisions had to be made to position the new company for success.

One area that came under early scrutiny: what do to about the multiple different business communications platforms—including Avaya, Cisco and Mitel—supporting 50,000 employees in 67 countries. “Why are we running all these different platforms?” was one of the first questions asked by the CIO.

An analysis was organized. Industry analysts were surveyed. End users were interviewed. Specialized segments of the business—warehouse teams, call center supervisors, switchboard operators—were queried regarding needs and requirements. The focus: what solution would best serve the business?

Abandon time has gone way down. The response has been, ‘holy cow, we’re taking more calls with the same number of people.’

Poetry in Motion

The in-depth analyses led MilliporeSigma to select Avaya IX Workplace™ as the global standard for UC and audio conferencing, as well as Avaya IX Contact Center for customer facing voice applications.

“It’s all working beautifully” says Scott Rodgers, Telecommunications Manager, IT Infrastructure Technologies for North America & Latin America. “We looked at all the different options. The call center was a key driver. The call center supervisors did a side by-side comparison, and they liked Avaya better.”

Many of MilliporeSigma’s agents are technical specialists with specialized life sciences expertise. These high-end agents work from home a minimum of once a week. The Avaya client for home agents was deemed more powerful and friendlier to use than other solutions. In addition, call center supervisors liked the Avaya strong contact center reporting capabilities.

Since moving to Avaya IX Contact Center, noticeable improvements have been seen in average time-to-answer and call handle time. “Abandon time has gone way down,” says Rodgers. “The response has been, ‘holy cow, we’re taking more calls with the same number of people.’” Rodgers attributes the success to providing customer callers with more options and building better call flows using the new Avaya IX Contact Center capabilities.


Life is About Choices

For unified communications users outside the contact center, MilliporeSigma gives them a choice. Users who want a desk phone get Avaya IX Workplace, including a desk phone, an audio conferencing account, and other features. Users who only want a soft phone, and don’t want a desk phone, get Microsoft Teams. The split is approximately 50/50, with seamless interactions across vendor platforms being the common experience among the end user population.

The migration globally to the new standard is in the fourth year of a multiyear migration strategy.

During this period, MilliporeSigma primary customer excellence call centers have seen increases in volume. In addition, the business has experienced year-over-year growth. The firm’s customer engagement applications—courtesy of Avaya—have taken the steady uptick in calls and business volume in stride.

In the meantime, MilliporeSigma’s IT team in Bangalore is evaluating Avaya’s mobility application for IOS and Android phones. “Sales staff do a lot of travel to see customers,” comments Rodgers. “If everyone had Avaya’s Equinox application, we have unlimited data plans, a call goes across the data channel, we save money on that, and it looks like the sale person is sitting at their desk. It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

Future-oriented, rational, analytical, and data-driven—that’s the decision making process at MilliporeSigma. The outcomes feel like ‘no-brainers,’ but in reality entailed a great deal of careful thought combined with a sharp focus on the business.

About MilliporeSigma

MilliporeSigma is the name that the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates under in the U.S. and Canada. MilliporeSigma serves more than 1.5 million global customers in academia, biotech and pharma, and helps them to deliver the promise of their work better, faster and safer. MilliporeSigma’s purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community—and through that, to accelerate access to health for people everywhere.

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