Based in Australia, Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) is one of the state's oldest and best loved charities. Operating across the Australian state of Victoria and with its headquarters in Melbourne, GDV is committed to meeting the mobility needs of people who are either blind or visually impaired, through dog companionship, ultimately enhancing their quality of life and helping them to achieve a level of independence they may not previously have enjoyed.

The organisation receives only minimal government funding and is reliant on donations, bequests and the proceeds from the telemarketing of a wide range of popular merchandise.

As Vladimir Hinrichsen, GDV's Financial Controller explained; "We were previously managing the call center operations the hard way. Our agents were constantly frustrated by the inability to connect 'live calls' with customers, which in turn discouraged staff from achieving their sales targets. The process was slow and we were frequently missing sales opportunities."

GDV turned to Lake Corporation Pty, an Australian owned supplier of value added multimedia solutions for contact center providers. At the core of its XCalibur Connect solution is the Softdial Plugin® dialer application. Designed by the UK based Sytel Limited, Softdial Plugin is developed using a highly sophisticated simulator known as the Virtual Event Machine® (VEM). Capable of running in excess of 10 million calls per second, Softdial Plugin is aimed at software houses, switch vendors and system integrators who have a specific requirement for a predictive dialer that offers outstanding performance under compliance.

As Michael McKinlay, managing director at Sytel Limited comments; "Lake Corporation are a strategic partner and our work with them has opened up many opportunities in the Australian contact center market."

Before implementing the Lake System, GDV's telemarketing was principally based on a semi-manual dialing system that was developed in-house. Its ability to operate efficiently was constrained by the frequent no answers, answering machines and wrong numbers, together with other problems associated with network conditions.

With the new Lake system now installed, GDV are able to make a lot more completed calls, whilst retaining the same number of staff. For GDV, the XCalibur Connect functionality not only meets, but exceeds both international and Australian compliance codes, regulations and legislation for contact centre practice including integration with do-not-dial databases and the virtual elimination of over-dialing.

As Mr Hinrichsen concludes; "We are confident that the new system will deliver a real and absolute increase in merchandise sales and that agents will now be able to meet their sales targets sooner, for which they are offered attractive incentives."

Based in the UK, Sytel Limited provides contact center solutions to organizations in over 30 countries. In the outbound world, its predictive dialer, Softdial Plugin, is recognized as being the leading dialer for delivering effective performance under compliance. Sytel has campaigned in all major markets for responsible rules for predictive dialers and acts as advisors on dialer regulations to many national marketing and government bodies around the world.

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