The Client

GDCC is a leading independent data collection company providing international CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) & Mixed Mode (phone, web, face to face) fieldwork services. Clients include many of the top global market research and consultancy agencies, such as TNS, GfK, Ipsos, Maritz and Nielsen.

With a total capacity of 600 seats in state-of-the-art facilities in the USA, Netherlands, UK, Hong Kong, Turkey, Macedonia and Kosovo, GDCC operates 7 days per week. GDCC completed 500,000 interviewing hours in 2019 and are targeting 700,000 in 2020.

The Requirements

Having utilised the excellent productivity of the Sytel predictive dialer to achieve year on year increases in their data collection business in Europe, GDCC expanded into the US in 2019 to incorporate two existing contact centers. These centers had been using a hardware-based dialer but from experience GDCC knew that the Sytel system would significantly outperform it, and so wanted to implement the Sytel system for these as quickly as possible.

The previous system had relied on ISDN T1 connectivity to the public telephony network, but GDCC wanted to phase these circuits out and replace them with SIP connections, combining the considerable benefits of lower cost with fast and easy scale up/ down.

GDCC wanted to move away from the existing premise-based to a cloud hosted dialer model, with Amazon AWS as the preferred solution.

GDCC wanted to introduce a newly-deployed CATI platform provided by Nebu to bring these centers in line with the rest of GDCC's sites. However, in the short term they needed to continue working with the previous CATI system during the migration.

The Sytel Solution

The Sytel dialer can be connected to any SIP carrier, and is a software-only solution not requiring any physical equipment. As all servers can be virtual, it is well suited to running in Amazon AWS.

The Sytel installation was performed by Sytel engineers, experts in installation on AWS, using a tried and trusted methodology. GDCC's technical team set up the AWS environment so that IP calls could be made over the internet from the Sytel environment in AWS to the carrier.

Using Sytel's WebRTC softphone, the 150 interviewers were quickly able to make use of 300+ channels, with substantial improvements in dialing efficiency and productivity.

The softphone is very easy to deploy, running directly in the browser on entry level Windows PCs. Interviewers can be located anywhere in the world, and when necessary, GDCC have used interviewers located in Rotterdam for projects in the US.  When COVID19 struck, the system was already prepared for GDCC to move almost all of its interviewers to work from home.

Sytel has integrations with all major CATI vendors, including both the new Nebu system and the previous system used by GDCC in the US. Great relationships with those vendors mean that as soon as Sytel adds new features to the platform, they are added into the CATI solutions.

The Result

Kees-Jan Mars, CEO of GDCC said "Sytel have been a great partner and have kept pace with our continual expansion. The implementation of Sytel's solution in the US was smooth and hassle-free, allowing us to focus on telephone interviewing rather than technology. I really appreciated the project management provided by the Sytel team as well as the continual follow-up in the weeks after the installation."

Michael McKinlay, CEO of Sytel, commented "It is great to see a long-term customer go from strength to strength. GDCC have been a growing customer for many years and it is gratifying to see how Sytel's technology and people have contributed to their success."