About the Organisation
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is an organisation that provides care and guidance for anyone affected by sight loss. Its main aim is to make daily life better for people affected by sight loss, by campaigning to raise awareness of sight problems, providing much needed services and advocating for a more inclusive society.
The RNIB relies on fundraising to be able to carry out its important work. Therefore, it is key that supporters and donors can make donations quickly and easily over the phone. The contact centre team works closely with colleagues in fundraising to execute campaigns, which yield an annual gross income of around £6.5 million. Donations are given through numerous channels, one of the most popular being card payments made over the telephone.
The Complexity of Homeworking and PCI Compliance
To take payment card transactions over the phone, RNIB needed to ensure its contact centre complied with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). However, as the charity uses 140 homebased telephone fundraisers working from separate locations all over the UK taking CNP (cardholder-not-present) payments from donors, there was an additional level of complexity around PCI DSS compliance. Homeworking solutions are extremely difficult to implement, as not only do they require specific systems to be able to prove regulatory compliance, but they also have to integrate with the individual worker’s phone and IT system. Semafone’s patented payment method ensures the requisite security is in place to secure all home workers to the highest standard, while also sitting seamlessly within the existing telephony environment.
Taking Data Security Seriously
RNIB takes the security of its supporters’ personal data seriously, and wanted to protect them to the highest possible standard when making telephone payments. With the rise of CNP payments and the ever-increasing requirement to provide a fully compliant contact centre system, combined with the logistical difficulties of using homeworkers, RNIB wanted an industry-leading solution that was also economically viable. The organisation also needed to maintain its cost per transaction to ensure that donations were not eaten away by administration costs.
The charity began working with specialist consultant Matt Winckless to define the business case and the technical integration needed within the telephone fundraising and telephony systems. In early 2016 the implementation of the system began, and one team of homeworking telephone fundraisers was trained to start taking Semafone card payments on one of the smaller campaigns several months later.
The pilot was enormously successful and required very few changes, which meant that the RNIB could roll out the Semafone payment system across all 140 of the homeworkers’ sites quickly and e ciently. By September 2016, all the telephone fundraisers had been trained and could take secure card payments from RNIB’s valued supporters.
The implementaion of Semafone’s solu on means that RNIB’s supporters are now able to input payment card details directly into their telephone keypad. The numbers are obscured using dual tone mul frequency (DTMF) masking, so the agent cannot see or hear the numbers and can stay in full communica on with the customer at all mes to help with any issues that may arise during the payment process. The patented payment method also sends any payment card numbers straight to the payment service provider (PSP), so that they completely bypass the internal contact centre IT system.
“With a home-based call centre team, compliance with PCI DSS had always been a signi cant challenge. Using Semafone’s solu on means RNIB can meet the data security demands of the PCI DSS, while also providing the best possible customer service. It also reinforces to our donors that we take the security of their data seriously.”
Catherine Lloyd – Senior Telemarketing Manager, Royal National Institute of Blind People
Thanks to the increased security of DTMF masking and the transfer of payment card numbers directly to the PSP, RNIB is now PCI DSS compliant, which has ensured that its homeworking programme can continue to support its fundraising efforts. This means the charity can provide the services needed by blind and partially sighted people, such as delivering independent living, helping those who are losing their sight rebuild their lives, campaigning for a society that includes blind and partially sighted people as equal citizens, and helping to raise awareness about prevention of sight loss, ultimately leading to fewer people losing their sight.
Catherine Lloyd, senior telemarketing manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People commented: “An increasing number of RNIB donors have high expectations when it comes to data security. As such, supporters have been impressed with the difference made by having a secure payment method via the phone; they have reported being happier with not having to verbally supply their card details when paying using the telephone. Many donors are elderly, while some are blind or par ally sighted, so the simplicity of Semafone’s solu on has been essential for the charity as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to support the work we do here at RNIB.”
With a home-based team of 140 staff, compliance with the PCI DSS had always been a significant challenge. Securing homeworkers across the UK can be a complex task. However, unlike many other op ons on the market, Semafone’s simple and intuitive payment method protects an environment that is notoriously dffcult to secure. Thanks to this, the solution considerably reduces the numbers of PCI controls that must be adhered to by the charity.
Ms Lloyd continued, “Semafone’s solution has made a huge difference to us. With many of our employees being homeworkers, we were very concerned about compliance. With Semafone’s solution, RNIB can meet the data security demands of the PCI DSS, while also providing the best possible customer service. It also reinforces to our donors that we take the security of their data seriously.”
RSPCA chooses IP to care for more animals more efficiently. The Solution improves communications, saved over £2 million over three to five years, and allows the RSPCA to make the most of its resources.
The charity has an estimated staff of 1,700, with 350 of them at headquarters and 500 mobile inspectors or animal collection officers. It has multiple regional headquarters, animal centres, animal clinics and hospitals. It also has 189 separately-run branches, which host 40 branch clinics and 47 animal welfare centres. Each year the charity fields upto 2 million calls on its National Cruelty and Advice Line thats about a call every 19 seconds.
Little wonder the operating budget is £71 million and that the RSPCA is keen to ensure the money goes as far as possible - like any other organisation trying to satisfy customer demands while controlling costs. The RSPCA had been running separate voice and data networks supporting a plethora of handsets, mobile phones, fax machines and messaging solutions, which were costly and complex to support.
This complexity of organisation, demand from customers and pressure on costs will be familiar to most businesses.
It decided that it would evaluate a merged voice and data network for the new headquarters. The RSPCA was keen to ensure the solution would cut up-front and continuing costs, as well as allowing it to make the most efficient use of its resources. A pilot project to create a unified communications solution that went through rigorous testing and proof of concept before any bleeding edge technology was proposed.
Once the RSPCA were satisfied with the pilot, they could apply the concept to the new headquarters. The headquarters system replaces the conventional analogue phone network and separate data network with a switched IP-enabled LAN enhanced with IP telephony and wireless options.
The physical infrastructure was provided by copper and fiber optic structured cabling. The pilot system also incorporates a unifed messaging server from TOPCALL a global unified communications company.
The TOPCALL server provides a unified messaging interface for voice, email and fax services into the existing corporate e-mail system or SAP. The network underpins a voice over IP (VoIP) strategy in which Cisco IP phones are linked directly to the building's LAN. A Cisco Call Manager routes calls to the handsets over the network. If calls are missed they are re-routed to the TOPCALL server, which records a voicemail and forwards it to the recipient's mailbox in the RSPCA's Group- Wise system.
Integrating Novell GroupWise and the TOPCALL system has also added facilities for voicemail, faxing and SMS to and from the desktop. Technical communications manager for the RSPCA, said:
"Effectively we'll halve the cost of the cabling infrastructure and halve the ammount of equipment required. The headquarters communication system will also provide a template for the rest of the RSPCA's sites countrywide. We're in a rapid process of trialling and testing the new technologies, and once we have a template for a remote site we will quite quickly roll that out around the remote sites. Network extends reach of key applications The remote sites will be linked to the headquarters by Cable & Wireless Frame Relay, a data connection service designed to link many sites together, using a Cable & Wireless Managed Router to control the traffic between sites.
Access to the RSPCA network will also introduce voice mail, fax to the desktop, Internet access and interactive voice response (IVR) facilities to the remote offices.
Wherever we can offer IP over the network we can offer these solutions,' potentially even on a van over a 3G wireless connection. The network will allow the RSPCA to make the most of its people, particularly in its call centres.
Using Cisco IPCC — a set of equipment, services, software and managed service options — the staff will handle customer phone calls, emails and web sessions. One service will help with managing the charity's heavy volume of phone calls. The RSPCA can now use Network IVR to enable callers to route themselves to an appropriate expert.
The charity is also using Network CTI (computer-telephony integration), which allows calls to be routed to any extension — so overflow calls can be routed to desktops anywhere in the organisation. Together these services will help the RSPCA meet its business target of prioritising every message it receives. By building applications into the ‘IP cloud' you unshackle the need to have bums on seats in a particular location, As long as they have connectivity and quality of service they could be sitting anywhere. They could even be people in other organisations. E-commerce saves animals and resources The RSPCA is using Web Based Solutions and content management services to handle a number of e-commerce initiatives. One is a database which tracks where rescued animals are being treated. Currently a collection officer who has rescued a sick animal has to call around RSPCA sites until they find one that has capacity to treat the animal.
Accessing the database over a mobile extension of the network would mean the officer could see immediately which facilities were available, saving time and improving efficiency."
The RSPCA needed its new communications infrastructure to save money and increase efficiency.
One of the largest voice over IP networks in Europe, Surrey Wide Area Network (SWAN) is a venture that enables Surrey County Council to provide improved reliability and computer connectivity on our voice and computer networks, (without increasing budgets), by using the latest integrated voice and data technology.
Following an extensive tender process in 2001, a contract was awarded for provision of a managed service for the network and installation of new CISCO AVVID technology is now complete.
Essential in supporting the implementation of the Council's key initiatives, such as People First, Workstyle, Surrey Desktop, C21B and in delivering their e-service targets by 2004, the flexibility of the new technology has enabled SCC to adapt to changes from these initiatives with minimal disruption or cost.
All of Surrey County Council's departments are included in the managed service of the existing voice and computer network, with the exception of schools and the library service computer network (libraries already have a managed service).
The new technology available on the network is used by all of Surrey County Council's departments currently with the exception of schools, youth centres and the library service.
Benefits of the new technology are:
All staff on the new technology are on a robust and resilient network that enables the County Council to benefit from the value for money that economies of scale offer.
The new technology supports faster access to our computers for all staff including front-line staff supporting the public of Surrey.
All internal telephone calls on the network (On-Net) are free of charge, thus allowing departments all around the County to communicate more economically and making significant cost savings on telephony usage.
The new technology allows SCC to join up with their partners such as the NHS-Net and District Councils.
SWAN provides a robust infrastructure on which to develop their e-service strategy and help them meet the 2005 e-service targets.