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Casey Cardinia
Libraries

RingCentral Cloud-based Unified Communications Solution has Ensured the Continuity of Casey Cardinia Libraries

Casey Cardinia Libraries (CCL) in Melbourne’s southeast is one of Victoria’s largest public library services with eight locations and a mobile library that travels around the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire local government areas. CCL is funded principally by the City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council and the Victorian State Government, and supports a rapidly growing and diverse community of more than 460,000 people.

CCL’s flagship location is Bunjil Place Library, a stunning three-level, multiple award-winning library that sets a new benchmark for public libraries in Australia.

“It’s not just a library, it’s a shared living room,” explains Daniel Lewis, CCL’s General Manager, Digital Operations.

Far more than just a place to go to read and borrow books, CCL provides its 135,000 active members (who make more than 1.4 million visits annually) with access to free WiFi, computers, low-cost printing services, meeting spaces, literacy and education programs, and activities and events for both adults and children – in addition to books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and digital resources.

CCL had been operating with a traditional hub and spoke telephony system, with physical hardware on site. The whole system failed if the main branch went down, there was very little flexibility in the con{guration options, and any moves, adds, changes or deletes (MACDs) required a 72-hour window for completion with the incumbent telephony provider.

“We had high operating and maintenance costs, very little transparency on what was happening across the system, we had to use another piece of technology for traffic shaping, and we had no remote access to fix or update anything,” said Lewis.

The library had deployed Microsoft Of{ce 365 and Teams, and was using this technology extensively throughout the organisation. With users on these cloud-based applications, CCL staff had a lot more |exibility to access what they needed wherever they were or whatever they were doing – however, their phones did not move with them. “We’d either have to transfer calls to that person’s mobile or take a message,” said Lewis.

General Manager Digital Operations

RingCentral’s ability to integrate with multiple applications, including RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams, and ‘follow the user’ was a distinct advantage when CCL evaluated some alternate cloud communications systems to replace their out-of-contract telephony environment.

“We didn’t want our staff to suffer from an ‘app-ocalypse’ and have to learn another new system. Now, they can continue to use Microsoft Teams as the front end for all calls,” said Lewis.

The Cardinia Mobile Library also bene{ted from the RingCentral upgrade, as the service previously did not have any telephony options (outside of the allocated branch mobile).

RingCentral and CCL also deployed a number of ‘public phone booths’, giving library members access to a private, comfortable space with a computer and RingCentral’s softphone for various uses – such as kids calling their parents to pick them up, or adult library members con{dentially dealing with government agencies like Centrelink or the Department of Human Services.

Although the initial COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 dramatically changed CCL’s overall operations, the RingCentral deployment had fortunately just been completed. That allowed for a very smooth transition for the library’s staff to work from home, with limited staff in each of CCL’s physical facilities.

All activity-based staff were assigned a number, with regional support teams provided with “hunt groups”, where all members receive the call. Having this in place gave CCL options to continue to provide great customer service even when its teams were not able to work from library branches.

To make sure the community still had access to a range of services including CCL’s digital library, deliveries of books and DVDs, and the opportunity to borrow a PC, laptop or tablet, CCL moved quickly to institute a centralised 1800 number and online ordering system. To support this change, during lockdown CCL had between 30-40 staff operating as a call centre, with around 70 staff trained up to use the RingCentral Contact Centre system. RingCentral Live Reports gives CCL real-time dashboards on all inbound and outbound calls received through the call centre.

The new system went live at the end of March 2020, and CCL had over 1700 inbound calls in April, which climbed and stabilised to more than 3500 by June, with an average of 300 daily requests being received via the website.

Since then, while Melbourne has battled through numerous community lockdowns and travel restrictions, CCL has been able to respond quickly to each Victorian Government announcement and move into lockdown mode within a day, which is remarkable for an organisation that “essentially provides a face-to-face service”, explains Lewis. Telephony changes, which used to take 72 hours to action, can now be completed in five minutes, with far greater flexibility and capacity for call queues, hunt groups and diversions than it had before, which has facilitated the easier coordination of CCL’s people and teams.

Despite all the operational changes, CCL has experienced 100% uptime on its RingCentral systems since deployment.

“We live in a highly connected world and, although we have had to deal with a lot of change and uncertainty over the past 18 months, the reliability, flexibility and responsiveness of RingCentral’s uni{ed communications solution has ensured the continuity of our library’s services to our community,” concluded Lewis.- General Manager Digital Operations

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