Success Story

Plieger empowers its operations with OpenScape Business

Since working with Unify, telephone operators are better capable of steering the process. They themselves can determine where callers should be routed, for example which internal staff they should be connected to. If a caller comes in via a particular number, this is visible to the operators and they can connect the caller immediately to the appropriate employee”, says John van Schaijk, manager ICT at Plieger.

Plieger is a wholesaler for sanitary, heating, electric and installation equipment with 55 locations all across the Netherlands. The company has been around for one hundred years and employs 750 employees. Their head office and central warehousing are located in Zaltbommel. Installers, plumbers, retailers and building merchants all go to Plieger for more than 150 thousand products. “Easy communication is vital to us because we are a sales organisation. People have to be able to contact us and we have to be able to contact others.

We operate in a rather traditional market. Installers almost always approach us by telephone and they have to be able to reach us quickly the moment they need something. If they cannot reach us quickly enough, we lose customers.”

Simple  management

Plieger runs OpenScape Business. “We have reception desks, connectivity software for the telephone exchanges and administration software that enables us to manage the other exchanges out of one central location.” The management is fully maintained in cooperation with partner ZG Telecom. “The management has become much simpler. We manage all exchanges out of one location and that creates massive time savings. When everything is up and running by the middle of 2019, I expect that we will spend 40 to 50 percent less time on management, because we will no longer have to physically visit each Plieger location. Commissioning too will be reduced from months to days.”

Double connections at a number of locations

Plieger chose this Unify platform, because a large part of its exchanges can be relatively easily converted to VoIP and connected to the Unify platform. “Part of the telephone exchanges will be converted so that we can use those if the main network should fail.” Plieger chose  a cost-efficient replacement trajectory that will take three quarter year. Devices will be replaced at the time when they are written off. The new network is built for a high level of availability so a number of locations have double connections. “Our primary lines are  expensive and fast. The backup-lines have less capacity, but they ensure that we will be able to work on for a while if the primary lines should fail.” All main exchanges already run on the high- availability network.

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Enthusiastic users

Currently (mid 2019), a high number of traditional and older devices still remain. “Employees working with the new devices are enthusiastic. That also applies for the stability of the network. An additional benefit is the fact that planning meetings and holding conference calls has become much easier with the option of connecting specific software for this purpose, which works really well”, according to John.

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