Saving lives one call at a time[Olivedale, Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 November 2011]
In August 2011 BitCo donated an entire call centre solution with 24/7 support to Childline Gauteng. This gesture, which was made with an earnest wish to assist the non-profit organisation, has already played a pivotal role in saving the life of a distressed teenage girl.
On the 4th of November BitCo received an email from Annelie Keyter, head of the crisis line at Childline Gauteng. Annelie could not have been more eloquent, entitling the message, “A sad story with a happy ending.” The message informed BitCo that a young teenage girl phoned the crisis line and told the counsellor that she had bought a gun with the intention of committing suicide.
The counsellor stayed on the line with the distressed girl while another counsellor phoned FCS (Family violence, Child abuse and Sexual assault) unit in Thembisa. The constable on duty who took the call was then able to immediately send a fellow constable to attend to the matter while staying on the line. Without wasting a second, the FCS unit successfully made it to the house to intervene before any harm came to the girl and her brother. The girl will now receive counselling from the Childline Thembisa office.
Had this call come in two months earlier, no one would have been able to predict the outcome. BitCo’s Sales Director, Michael Colin, heard of Childline Gauteng’s requirement for a new PBX solution in July this year. He met with Annelie Keyter, the HOD of Childline Gauteng’s Crisis Line to conduct a needs analysis. When he learned how out-dated the non-profit organisation’s system was, he immediately knew that BitCo could help.
Upon further investigation, Michael learned that Childline Gauteng’s PBX lacked basic functionality such as conference calling. Annelie had specified that the crisis line team often need to be able to contact the police and a child at the same time. The crisis line receives sixty to ninety thousand calls per month across all the provinces. Every call received must be treated as though coming from a person in distress. No one call is more important than another. It is therefore vital that uptime is maximised and dropped calls eliminated.
Saving lives one call at a time
Michael and Garth van Sittert, BitCo’s Managing Director, reviewed Childline Gauteng’s needs. With complete confidence in their product and wishing to assist Childline’s mandate to protect South Africa’s children, Garth and Mike met with Childline Gauteng’s Director, Lynne Cawood, to announce that the BitCo PBX, full Communigate system and all the monitoring tools would be free of charge. Garth generously went one step further and added a Gold SLA support contract to the donation.
Only ten days after the installation was complete, BitCo received an email from Lynne Cawood stating that their dropped calls had been slashed in half and over twenty thousand calls had already been taken, an increase of approximately 30% The intended results of the donation are already exceeding all expectations. What BitCo had not anticipated is that the Communigate system would become a significant tool in actively saving lives, as opposed to just being a cost effective telephony solution. “We are proud to be part of the [Childline Gauteng] Family. It is humbling to know what our system is aiding Childline Gauteng achieve its stated goal,” concludes Colin.
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