AloTech delivers voice telephony and call centers on Google App Engine

Challenge

AloTech, a provider of voice telephony and call center technology based in Turkey, needed better software to accommodate its existing customers, attract new clients, and fuel international expansion. The company needed to ramp up telephony and call-volume scalability beyond what its original on-premises client/server software could offer. AloTech wanted to be able to install and provision new call centers remotely, without needing to dispatch engineers on-site, which would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming as the company grew. What’s more, the AloTech call center solution needed to be accessible via a web browser.

The previous call-center software was an application that could be installed onto servers on the customer’s site, or run as a hosted package on AloTech’s data centers, with the customer accessing it remotely. In either scenario, this model had shortcomings that hampered AloTech’s growth and inconvenienced customers. AloTech couldn’t build a true multi-tenant structure for its software; multi-tenancy would give the company the speed and efficiency needed to grow and attract many customers. In addition, the old software was too difficult to scale at a time when AloTech began to expand and attract customers and partners outside of Turkey for the first time. “We need to assure customers and partners that we can accommodate as many agents and callers as they need,” says İdris Avci, co-founder and CTO of AloTech.

Solution

The answer: move from traditional software installed in AloTech’s data centers and customer sites to a 100 percent cloud solution on Google App Engine. Unlike many common cloud applications, AloTech also needed to deliver flawless voice traffic. “This was no problem for App Engine, nor was it a problem to scale for the 3,000 users we currently have. We didn’t need to add servers as we would if we were running AloTech on data centers,” says Avci.

Google App Engine’s scalability is important for AloTech’s growth. “Recently, one of our largest customers saw its daily inbound call volume increase more than five times — from 10,000 average daily calls to 55,000 — after the company launched a marketing campaign,” Avci explains. “With App Engine doing the heavy lifting, the call load scaled automatically. If we weren’t using App Engine, we would have had to build a system costing three times as much to handle peak traffic for customers.”

Deployment speed is a tremendous advantage with cloud-based applications, says Avci, who brought a 10-seat contact center online in eastern Turkey in 20 minutes — without setting foot on site.

Integration with external CRM (customer relationship management) systems is also critical to expanding AloTech’s features and functionality. The company found the answer in the Channel API, which created a persistent connection between the AloTech software running in App Engine and external CRM systems, including Siebel, Salesforce, SAP and others. The Channel API populates customer-specific information on a call center agent’s user interface automatically, enabling the agent to focus on the conversation, not the software. AloTech also uses the Channel API to provide real-time information to supervisory dashboards, like the number of pending calls, longest waiting time, and average speed of answer. “Thanks to Channel API, we can deliver dozens of metrics to hundreds of dashboards with very few lines of code,” Avci says.

Results

When a customer needs to deploy a call center hundreds of miles away, entirely remotely, AloTech now can do it in 20 minutes. Because AloTech’s cloud-based contact center technology is built entirely on Google App Engine, a customer service or sales agent can log into AloTech via a browser, plug a headset into a computer, and take calls almost instantly.

Creating a contact center that doesn’t rely on its own data centers or on-premise installations makes everything better for AloTech and its customers. By basing its product on App Engine, AloTech can win business on cost, since its offerings are about 50 percent less expensive than competitors. “We don't have to invest in servers and databases, which could cost at least $100,000, and we only buy the capacity that we need from Google,” says Avci. “App Engine has been our secret weapon since our launch two years ago, and now, we’re planning to leverage it publicly as we move into new markets.”