18 Jul

Comscentre Comes a Long Way

From operating out of a Sydney garage in 2002 to growing into one of Australia’s leading telecommunications providers, Cisco partner Comscentre has come a long way.

Eight years on from its humble beginnings, the Brisbane-headquartered company has expanded nationally with offices in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, employing 47 full time staff and 25 contractors and accumulating a swag of achievements along the way.

Comscentre is a fully certified Cisco Advanced IP Communications partner.

It has more than 400 Cisco unified communications clients and well in excess of 10,000 Cisco users nationally, including household names Century 21, Porsche, First National Real Estate and Adshel, in areas as remote as Port Hedland and Paraburdoo to central Sydney and Melbourne.

Comscentre, headed by Managing Director Ben Shipley, has proved itself to be a major player on the Australian business scene in its eight short years.

Last year it was named a BRW Fast 100 company, ranking tenth on the prestigious list which represents the pinnacle of achievement for small to medium sized businesses in Australia.

The BRW Fast 100 ranks companies with up to 200 staff according to their average annual turnover growth over three years.

Other accolades include a listing in The Queensland 400 (Q400), which recognises privately owned businesses who are the backbone of the Queensland economy, and a listing in the CRN Fast50, which acknowledges resellers selling a wide spectrum of services and products across Australia.

Comscentre is proud to have been recently re-certified as a Cisco partner in Australia. The successful partnership began in 2004 and allows Comscentre to offer its clients world class Cisco technical solutions to help make their business as successful as possible. Comscentre still only supports Cisco unified communications solutions.

Comscentre runs Cisco’s largest independent unified communications (UC) network in Australia. It has over 530 sites and over 10,000 users. There is no other company in Australia which runs a dedicated Cisco UC network of that degree comprising individual customers.

Comscentre deploys more than just a basic phone system. Comscentre has reference customers using many parts of the Cisco technology product set. Customers such as Hawthorn (Hawks) Football Club use Cisco call centre technology, where others like Bakers IDI and health researchers the Burnet Institute have deployed the Cisco switching, routing, UC and wireless infrastructure.

Comscentre provides the complete suite of communication products which are essential to every business, large or small, namely hardware, voice and internet services, all backed by a complete support and maintenance package.

Its goal is to provide these advanced IP communications using tailor made bundled solutions and managed services in an integrated, simple, easy to understand and affordable package. Together, Comscentre’s operations and information technology teams have developed the software and platforms for this to become a reality for businesses in Australia.

Comscentre reduces the complexity involved for a customer to purchase a telecommunications product or service, providing a unique point of difference in comparison to its competitors. It also gives the small to medium business (SMB) market an opportunity to have the communication resources of a multinational.

When Comscentre was first established, advanced IP telephony and converged voice and data services had become mainstream products in the ‘big end’ of town, tailoring mostly to enterprise clients.

In early 2004, Comscentre with the support and assistance of Cisco, undertook extensive research into wholesale price modelling, proof of concept and system build before launching the Comscentre platform onto the market.

By the end of 2005, the partners achieved the goal of developing a product combining all voice and communications for SMBs, consolidating a dozen suppliers into one.

Today, Comscentre’s investment in its customer management platforms have been valued at over $4.1 million by independent auditors Southertons. In 2010 alone, Comscentre has committed to investing an additional half a million dollars in developing and improving its internal infrastructure to roll-out video across the company beginning on the company’s ‘One Touch Communications’ strategy for launch in 2011/12.

Comscentre has developed a unique Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database, which tracks and organises its contacts with its current and prospective customers, and includes a sophisticated Customer Portal.

The Customer Portal allows customers to perform a range of tasks and activities that assists in giving them greater information and control over their communication with Comscentre. Customers are able to view and query tickets, view and print bill details, change their speed dials and access many other features related to their products and services with Comscentre. The portal provides an extensive Self Help feature and a Network Management System view.

The system has been built to manage all communication and activity from prospective customers through to long term clients, and ties in with Comscentre’s three core beliefs; communication, integrity and quality.

Comscentre’s biggest area of growth has been within the mid-market. Over the next 12 to 18 months, the company plans to focus on capturing more business from medium-sized companies. To enable this, it has ramped up its sales team from two to 10 Business Development Managers across its offices.

As part of that planned growth, the company will move its Brisbane headquarters, currently in the inner city suburb of Spring Hill, into bigger and better offices in July.

Comscentre is also in the process of upgrading its general Cisco partnership to both Managed Service Provider and Silver partnership as business continues to boom and the company further entrenches itself as a national telecommunications leader.

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