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FORUM Credit Union

FORUM Credit Union is a full-service credit union serving the greater Indianapolis and central Indiana region. Not only is FORUM well known as an industry leader in the credit union movement, in 2010 they were named a Top Place to Work and ranked in the top 25 for midsize companies, defined as 150 to 399 employees, by the Indianapolis Star. Recognizing that both employee and member communications are the foundation of their organization, FORUM has invested in the top software-based Unified Communications (UC) system in the world: the Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC) from Interactive Intelligence installed and supported by Adapt Telephony Services.

Prior to the CIC installation, FORUM had disparate systems in place that were effective, but very difficult and expensive to manage and maintain. Cameron Piercefield, FORUM Credit Union’s Vice President of Technology, recalls that "our old system was quite closed and we wanted an open architecture that would give us more power and flexibility." Seeking relief from "bolt-on" additions, high maintenance costs and poor vendor support, the credit union put together a team to research a handful of leading UC vendors. Their conclusion was unanimous: CIC was hands down the best. "I liked CIC and Adapt right out of the gate and so did all of my colleagues in the other departments," says Piercefield.

With an extremely easy to use – but powerful – desktop client, training FORUM’s 300+ employees did not present any issues. In fact, the credit union opted for a complete cutover of all phones over one weekend! Piercefield notes that "we have a very dedicated IT staff and Adapt sent down some of their engineers to help and they were great." With so many moving parts, there are numerous opportunities for a complex project such as this to get off track. Yet Piercefield maintains that "Adapt’s project manager was incredible and we had a very smooth implementation from start to finish."

Of course with any technology cutover, there will always be minor glitches, and in this case the Web Chat module did not fulfill FORUM’s contact center needs out of the gate. In response, the Adapt and Interactive Intelligence developers went quickly to work to develop the exact functionality that the heavy Web Chat users in the contact center needed to satisfy their members. "It was obvious that they cared about us and our particular situation and we appreciated their speedy and helpful response," says Piercefield. He emphasizes that "not only does our 30 person contact center love the system, but our help desk and other departments are big fans as well."

Disaster recovery features have also been enhanced with the system. According to Piercefield, "the system works great for telecommuters and it is quite easy to manage call queues." Plus the credit union’s popular IVR (interactive voice response) system is tightly integrated with their in-house Fiserv core data processing system. Piercefield points out that "Adapt’s developers did a really good job tying in our IVR to our core platform – our members never noticed a thing when we cutover."

Even though they are nearly a billion dollar asset credit union, like all credit unions FORUM must watch their IT budget closely. Piercefield explains that "our TCO (total cost of ownership) went down by 20% - these are real numbers that do not even take into the account the time and energy that we now save by not having to contact numerous vendors for support." Looking over the project from start to finish, Piercefield, who has 12 years experience with the credit union and over 20 years of IT experience, confirms that "one of the best things that you can say about a project is that in hindsight we would do it again. In this case, we would work with Interactive Intelligence and Adapt all over again and not change a thing."

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