A flexible RingCentral unified communications and contact centre solution, integrated with core group-wide systems, has ensured that Suntory Coffee reaps the benefits of a common, cloud-based communications platform while allowing eight different brands to continue to operate with the level of autonomy they need.
Suntory Coffee is a business with a strong pioneering history in coffee and brands in its portfolio that date back to the 1950s. Its purpose is to create innovative and sustainable fresh coffee for consumers in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
Effectively consisting of eight different business units spread across multiple locations in Australia and New Zealand, Suntory Coffee has complex communications needs. To improve overall operational efficiency, the business has developed a digital transformation roadmap and identified its legacy telephony environment as an upgrade priority.
“We have invested heavily in roastery upgrades in Australia and New Zealand, and now we are looking at how we optimise the way we communicate, both internally and externally, through the contact centre,” said Suraj Khadgi, Head of Procurement, Suntory Coffee.
Each brand or business unit essentially operated its own telephony system, with no common infrastructure or connections between them. Working with technology advisor NativUC, Suntory Coffee undertook extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation across the organisation to ensure that they captured the features and requirements from all the different business units and teams across Australia and New Zealand. That included working closely with Suntory Coffee’s IT Manager David Rogers to fully scope the project and the ideal solution.
“By sharing data and by sharing our contact centre function across the group, that will give us the opportunity not just to grow and adapt our business, but it will also ensure that our people can deliver customer service more effectively through integrated systems – including our CRM and warehouse management systems,” said Khadgi.
From there, Suntory Coffee worked with NativUC to explore the market to find the best communications solution that also had the flexibility to cater for a contact centre operating in both Australia and New Zealand; the range of different business needs of each business unit and the way they wanted to adopt collaboration tools; and be able to integrate with other applications in use by certain departments.
“NativUC’s professionalism and patience in taking the time to understand our requirements really helped us to navigate the complexity of our environment and to understand what we needed in a communications and contact centre solution,” said Khadgi.
“One of the key features of the RingCentral solution is the ability to provide a platform that is flexible enough and agile enough to cater for a really complex operational model, which is spread across borders and with different needs. RingCentral also allows for each of Suntory Coffee’s brands to continue to operate with a level of independence,” said Marouane Rouicheq, Managing Director, NativUC.
“RingCentral had the high level of flexibility and agility, and open APIs that allow us to customise one common solution for every single site, almost in every single business unit. The fact that RingCentral was so customisable, so that we can work within its parameters as and when we see fit, was a standout from a procurement point of view,” said Khadgi.
“The real value of the project lies in the stakeholders – our users feeling that they have great tools, not just for now but also to support the growth of the business in the future and what the business is asking them to do,” Khadgi continued.
Through its procurement process, Suntory Coffee was able to ensure that the proposed RingCentral unified communications and contact solution not only aligned with the business’s overall transformational strategy, but that it delivered on a number of specific objectives. The objectives included:
- Providing a 360-degree view of customer interaction through the integration with the existing CRM. This will allow agents to quickly access customer’s data, previous interaction and purchasing or ticketing history.
- Accessing intelligent data and reporting tools to allow supervisors and business unit managers to measure, track and improve performance.
- Improving customer engagement through a single omnichannel platform that support multiple touchpoints (voice, email and chat).
- Increasing productivity in a hybrid environment so that employees across different business units, and across states and borders, can communicate and collaborate anytime, through any device and from anywhere (working from the office or remotely).
- Having full control of the system’s back end to make quick changes when needed without having to rely on a third party to do so.
After completing commercial due diligence, by communicating clearly and simply with key stakeholders Suntory Coffee was able to reach consensus from a diverse group of business units and proceed with the RingCentral deployment.
“It’s a complex solution that we have been able to deliver simply,” said Khadgi.
“We made our stakeholders part of the journey. That way you are likely to gain consensus and success a lot more quickly. So, for each and every stakeholder that we interviewed, we sat down and we trained them, and took their feedback. That meant that they were part of the change, so there was a greater response and adoption rate and a positive feeling about RingCentral. True stakeholder engagement is the element that businesses sometimes miss when they’re doing a major upgrade or deployment of this nature.”
Ninety percent of customer interactions in ANZ take place through Suntory Coffee’s contact centre; from consumers, café owners, retailers, and coffee machine sales and service requests. The consolidated unified communications and contact centre environment is generating a direct cost saving for Suntory Coffee in comparison to the multiple systems that have been replaced.
Integration with Autotask and Microsoft Teams
With RingCentral’s integration with Autotask, Suntory Coffee’s CRM system and source of truth for all customer interactions, the business expects to reap even greater benefits from greater operational productivity, reduction in time responding to customer service enquiries and a much higher customer experience and satisfaction. Also, RingCentral’s analytics and reporting gives Suntory Coffee’s management team greater visibility on what’s happening to make more informed and proactive decisions.
Suntory Coffee had introduced Microsoft Teams for all staff working remotely during lockdown, which was well received but operated as a standalone solution. With the deployment of RingCentral and its native integration with Teams, staff could continue to make and receive calls and attend meetings using RingCentral from their familiar Teams interface.
“We didn’t want to lose what we had achieved with Microsoft Teams; we wanted to capitalise on it and take it to the next level. RingCentral’s integration with Teams nailed it in that sense,” concluded Khadgi.
Originally published 14 May, 2021