Earthquake, Fire And Summit Chaos Can't Faze Computer Talk

Kids Help Phone keeps ringing through cut-over to new contact center system, despite distractions

TORONTO, July 6 /CNW/ - When Kids Help Phone, Canada's leading youth counselling service, started planning its switch to Computer Talk's ice hosted contact center cloud solution, it anticipated the odd glitch. Minor disruptions are par for the course with any major technology implementation, however, disruptions to the national counselling service have the potential of affecting the lives and well being of thousands of kids across the nation.

But nobody could have foreseen what Kids Help Phone went through. Its tribulations included fire, earthquake, a city convulsed by the G20 summit and a one-week exodus to temporary quarters to avoid G20 turmoil.

Given those adverse conditions, the virtually trouble-free cut-over to the new ComputerTalk system, was all the more amazing, said Ted Kaiser, Kids Help Phone's Vice President of Information Technology.

"For our counselling staff, it was totally seamless," Kaiser said. "They find the new system easy and very powerful to use. There were no issues - and we're pretty sure we didn't lose a single call, and haven't lost any since."

"Smooth implementations are always our goal," said ComputerTalk President Mandle Cheung. "But under the trying circumstances, we're very pleased with how Kids Help Phone went."

Kids Help Phone is a non-profit corporation that provides confidential phone and Web counselling to troubled young people. It has contact centers in Toronto and Montreal, staffed by 90 professional counsellors and 12 managers. The organization receives a high volume of calls every day from young people who feel confused, alone or afraid from across the country.

Kids Help Phone chose ComputerTalk's cloud solution because it offered easier remote access, superior total cost of ownership (TCO), a built-in business continuity capability and automatic software upgrades - and it came from a trusted supplier. Center ice can also easily be integrated with Microsoft's SharePoint Server, which Kids Help Phone plans to implement.

With the original cut-over date coinciding with the start of the G20 summit and the organization's headquarters meters from the summit epicenter, Kaiser asked ComputerTalk to move the implementation forward a week. "That put some pressure on them," he said. "But they reassured us, 'We'll make it happen. Whatever it takes we'll get it done.'"

In the midst of the week-early cut-over, fire broke out next door to Kids Help Phone's downtown Toronto facility, sending black smoke billowing past its windows - and in through the building's air intake.

"That was an added concern," Kaiser said. "Wondering if we would have to evacuate because the air wasn't safe. Luckily that didn't happen - and the implementation went ahead."

In the meantime, Kids Help Phone had decided to move to temporary quarters to avoid summit-related chaos and public transit disruptions the following week. That put more pressure on ComputerTalk, Kaiser said, but on the first morning in the temporary digs, everything was running smoothly. Until the earthquake hit.

It was a minor rumble - 5.0 on the Richter scale - but when the building's owner decided to evacuate, the real power of ComputerTalk's hosted, remotely accessible system came to the fore.

Kids Help Phone was able on a moment's notice to remotely reconfigure call queues so that calls normally taken in Toronto were re-routed to Montreal where counsellors were available to provide the services to meet callers' needs.

The Toronto counsellors were only on the sidewalk for 15 minutes, Kaiser said, but the incident proved, if nothing else did, that choosing ComputerTalk and ice was an excellent decision.

About ComputerTalk

ComputerTalk provides industry leading communications solutions to customers in the U.S, Canada, and Europe. Building upon its solid foundation of contact center solutions, the company

has extended its reach into the enterprise, providing IP telephony, unified communications, advanced IVR and Speech solutions, as well as email and IM queuing.

ComputerTalk's ice (intelligent communications exchange) is the backbone upon which its diverse, rich set of packaged and custom applications are built. A fit for SMB or Enterprise, these solutions can range from something as simple as checking an account balance to advanced integration with best-of-breed legacy systems.

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading youth counselling service, moving kids from distress and isolation to confidence and competence. Available anytime of the day or night, in English and French, by phone and by web, it is the go-to resource for kids in Canada from five to 20 when they need help or trustworthy information on issues that are difficult for kids to discuss with anyone else. Providing a service that is free, anonymous and confidential, Kids Help Phone is a respected charity, vitally dependent on individual donations and corporate support to remain available to kids looking for help; sometimes looking for a lifeline.


For further information: For further information: Sarah Oddson, Computer Talk Technology Inc., (905) 882-5000 (Just say Sarah),

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