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When it comes to disaster recovery, credit unions in New Orleans are undeniably at the forefront of dealing with disasters. Hurricane Katrina was such an overwhelmingly life changing event that many credit union employees measure their lives by Pre-Katrina and Post-Katrina - and that is not mention the smaller hurricanes that have followed and those to come. New Orleans Firemen's Federal Credit Union (NOFFCU) is one credit union with deep Louisiana roots: they have been serving firemen and New Orleans residents since 1934. They know from experience that maintaining communications with members and staff during a crisis is of the utmost importance which is why they use America’s leading telecommunications recovery vendor: Sandy, UT-based Telecom Recovery.
Cami Crouchet, NOFFCU’s Chief Operations Officer, was almost ready to ink a deal with another vendor when she was invited to attend a networking meeting that New Orleans credit unions hold on a regular basis. The guest speaker for that meeting was Tim Ruff, president of Telecom Recovery. Crouchet recalls that “we were very impressed with Tim’s demonstration because it was night and day different from what we had been considering.” The other system required specialized proprietary hardware and was quite a bit more money.
According to Crouchet, “the Telecom Recovery system was very simple to implement and use and turned out to be exactly what we needed.” Roxanne Wilkinson, NOFFCU’s IT Director, concurs: “it was very easy to setup from a technology perspective.” The credit union uses AT&T for their telecommunications needs and the LoanLink Center, which is a credit union system-owned lending call center, for assistance with overflow and afterhours calls. With Telecom Recovery’s state-of-the-art Web-based platform, there is no need to change carriers, and it is a simple matter to tie in with these companies and forward calls with a few clicks of the mouse. Plus, there are no cumbersome or expensive declaration or activation charges when a crisis occurs.
In a time of an emergency it is particularly difficult for credit unions to contact their employees. Crouchet points out that “it was very inefficient for us to try and track employee cell phone and home numbers with Excel. With the Voice Cast system, everything is securely centralized at Telecom Recovery.” In action, Crouchet can quickly send any combination of emails, text messages, or voice mails out to all employees or select groups from any computer that has Internet access. Crouchet enthuses that “Voice Cast saves me many hours of time and makes me so much more productive – it is almost miraculous!”
In terms of technical support, the credit union has not needed much in that regards because the system is so well designed and intuitive. But when she has called for assistance, Crouchet notes that “Telecom Recovery is very knowledgeable and helpful. In fact, they are proactive in asking us if we ever need any help.” Wilkinson adds that “it really is a great system that gives us very granular control of incoming calls from members and outgoing calls to our employees, we would have to rate it a 10 out of 10.” Crouchet concludes that “we can’t really find any downsides to using this affordable system. They are one vendor that we can recommend to any credit union with absolutely no hesitation.”