Nortel and Bharti Airtel have won the Best First Steps Award for their managed services agreement in the 2007 Outsourcing Excellence Awards, considered by many as the Oscars of Outsourcing.
The agreement, signed in March 2006, featured the creation of a 24×7 ‘virtual storefront’ voice portal based on Nortel’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution as the cornerstone of Bharti’s contact center operation.
Sponsored jointly by Forbes and the Everest Group, a global outsourcing consulting firm, the annual Outsourcing Excellence Awards recognize excellence in outsourcing partnerships across seven categories. Nortel and Bharti Airtel won the Best First Steps Award after the first year of their managed services contract, reflecting Bharti’s customer care vision, Nortel’s understanding of that vision, and the technology solution put in place to deliver a best in class call handling experience for subscribers. The award will be formally presented at a ceremony in New York City later this year.
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest provider of mobile telecommunication, broadband, fixed telephone and enterprise services, has seen tremendous growth in customers – from 3.4 million in 2003 to 33.7 million by year-end 2006.
To address the challenge of more than 100 million customer support calls every year, Bharti Airtel selected Nortel in early 2006 to host a full range of contact center services, including IVR with multi-lingual speech recognition and natural, conversational customer interaction. Nortel also provides Bharti Airtel with remote network management and technical support.
The agreement also included the creation of Nortel’s Asia Network Management Center in New Delhi, from which Nortel provides network design, integration, support and maintenance services for Bharti Airtel’s contact center architecture. This gives Bharti Airtel access to the latest call center and telecommunications technologies, while leveraging Nortel’s extensive networking and service expertise. The resulting benefits for Bharti Airtel are greater business and operational efficiency and a substantial reduction in overall costs.
“Receiving this award is an honor both for Nortel and Airtel,” said Ravi Chauhan, managing director, Nortel India. “It recognizes the strength of the relationship Nortel offers customers like Bharti Airtel and the enhanced level of customer satisfaction we make possible. The fact that we have received this award for our alliance with Bharti Airtel in India’s highly competitive communications environment underlines our capability in providing effective demand management and a congestion free network to meet customer needs quickly and efficiently.”
“The utility computing outsourcing model with Nortel is yet another business outcome oriented IT partnership,” said Dr. Jai Menon, director, IT and Innovation, Bharti Airtel Limited. “This is focused on contact centre technology, an important element of our One Airtel transformation that will deliver an enhanced experience for our customers across mobile, broadband and enterprise services. This model will bring a combination of scale and innovative capabilities that leverage continuous improvement in technology platforms, such as speech recognition, voice loggers, network virtualization and IP based voice and video call handling.”
In addition to the Best First Steps Award with Bharti Airtel, Nortel has also received the Best Offshore Partnership Award for its research and development outsourcing alliance with Wipro. This award recognizes 15 years of joint development and support for next-generation communications solutions designed for enterprises and service providers worldwide.