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Solution Represents First Major Implementation of Customer Interaction Solutions Offering from MCI Systemhouse and Chordiant Software

ATLANTA, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI Systemhouse today announced the implementation of a comprehensive solution for The Thomas Cook Group that enables its new Global Services business to provide customers anywhere in the world with seven-day, 24-hour information on how and where to find emergency, legal and medical services; lost-wallet assistance; emergency cash; and ticket replacement; among other services.

MCI Systemhouse's Global Customer Care practice, working with Chordiant Software Inc., built Thomas Cook Global Services' Peterborough, England, Global Service Center in a matter of months, a stringent, client-imposed timetable borne of escalating competition within the travel and financial services industries. Call center solutions proposed by MCI Systemhouse competitors could have taken years to develop, Thomas Cook Global Services executives said.

"As one of the most widely recognized and trusted brands in the world, we wanted to set a new standard in care and service for travelers, and fast," said Mike Hughes, CIO for Thomas Cook Global Services. "The call center market is still characterized by complexity and product fragmentation. The Systemhouse/Chordiant partnership is among a rare few suppliers who could offer customers anything other than expensive, custom-built systems which, though complex, offer far from a complete solution."

"We believed early on that we were in a unique position to deliver world class, integrated customer interaction capabilities to our call center customers," said Scott Ross, president and COO of MCI Systemhouse. " The Thomas Cook implementation shows how quickly that vision has become a reality. Thomas Cook Global Services sets a new standard in the industry for customer service."


MCI Systemhouse's Global Customer Care practice performed a detailed assessment of Thomas Cook Global Services' business requirements, before prescribing a call center integrating Chordiant CCS applications for customer service representatives. MCI Systemhouse integrated the call center software with Thomas Cook's existing CODA financials, as well as mapping and geographic information system locators.

The call center solution is among the first major implementations borne of a several-month-old partnership of MCI Systemhouse and Chordiant. It reflects MCI Systemhouse's strategic "Network Enterprise" approach to systems integration.

MCI Systemhouse's unique marriage of "cyber and fiber" in the call center and other business arenas has transformed Thomas Cook Global Services and other companies formerly constrained by time and space into those with virtually no limits. This Network Enterprise approach leverages intelligent networks that support voice, data and Internet-enabled communications to transparently link customers, end users, suppliers and other partners for enhanced efficiency, higher customer satisfaction, lower costs and healthier profits.

With a single telephone call to Thomas Cook's Global Service Center, travelers anywhere in the world have on-demand access to a complete range of travel and financial expertise, as well as emergency support in more than 30 languages. The travel and financial service company's Peterborough center has the capacity to handle more than 75,000 calls daily.

MCI Systemhouse managed the overall project, wrote code, implemented the customer care system and is providing continuous operational support for the call center staffed by Thomas Cook customer care representatives. MCI's global information technology company also provides advanced networking, call center design, outsourcing, computer/telephony integration (CTI), professional services and real-time support.

The offerings on behalf of Thomas Cook Global Services encompass MCI Systemhouse's business intelligence capabilities, the company's project management, systems integration and consulting expertise, MCI Call Center Services, MCI's global network infrastructure, and Customer Interaction Solutions (CIS), the co-branded, enterprise-wide service offering from MCI Systemhouse and Chordiant.

CIS embodies all aspects of the customer relationship life cycle, including strategic customer care planning; requirements analysis and business case development; process design and automation; software package, as well as CTI selection and implementation; legacy systems integration; facilities assessment and design; workforce management and training strategy; development and delivery.

Each element is focused on the call center, and is designed to maximize the value and effectiveness of every customer interaction through the use of information technology and Customer Care best practices.

In addition, architecture planning, undertaken as part of larger customer care implementation projects, includes a technical assessment and evaluation against existing practice models. It addresses the development of customer interaction processes, process definitions and business case models. Deliverables include an updated business case and ROI, technology architectures, and acquisition and implementation plans.

Together, the offerings leverage the combined capabilities of MCI Systemhouse, MCI, Chordiant and other strategic technology partners to create an integrated, highly adaptable solution for every phase of a call center's life cycle.

Industry studies forecast a 600 percent increase in call center software spending between 1997 and 2002. Customer care infrastructure spending totaled $3.2 billion last year and is projected to continue spiraling upward. In the U.S., the number of call centers is growing at a rate of 10 percent per year; in Europe, a 40 percent growth rate is predicted, and by the year 2000, some observers expect a total of approximately 112,000 call centers in the U.S.

Thomas Cook is contributing to that growth through its work with MCI Systemhouse.


MCI Systemhouse's Customer Care Solutions enable companies to derive increased business value from customer interactions and enhance operational effectiveness in the call center. Other benefits include:

    * New and/or improved opportunities to generate revenue;
    * Higher levels of customer service and responsiveness leading to
      increased customer retention;
    * Increased use of customer relationship data for enhanced customer
    * Enhanced efficiency and virtual elimination of costly errors;
    * Reduced time to profit for new product offerings;
    * Ability to use customer segmentation data as powerful business drivers.

MCI Systemhouse, The Network Enterprise Company, is MCI's global information technology services company. The industry's only single-source provider of convergence products and services that address businesses' total networking, communications and consulting needs, MCI Systemhouse has 120 offices and approximately 9,400 professionals worldwide. With a comprehensive offering of Network Enterprise solutions and services for the new millennium, MCI Systemhouse serves major corporate, mid-sized and public sector clients throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

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Copyright 1998 Thomas Cook North America. For comments concerning this page and design: Vanessa Howle

This page was last updated Sept 1998