BT is the major provider of telecommunications networks and services in the UK. Their Northampton based facility houses the Security Control Centre (SCC), which supervises worldwide BT security and alarm systems. It is here that the key BT building access is managed, potential criminal activity is detected, investigations are coordinated and customer security systems are supported. Calls to the SCC must be delivered to the right person and dealt with promptly. The SCC relied upon a legacy ACD system, which restricted the flexibility necessary to deliver calls to staff wherever they were. In addition, BT wanted the SCC to be part of contingency planning for extraordinary situations, but was limited by the existing architecture.


Using BT smartnumbers, multiple call queues were set up. Agents are made aware of the nature of calls via a ‘whisper’ and can answer appropriately. If all agents assigned to a particular queue are occupied, calls are queued in the BT network so that channels in and out of the SCC are not blocked. Comfort prompts are relayed to waiting customers, who are offered the option of leaving a message for nonurgent matters.


With the BT smartnumbers service in place, the SCC has been able to make fundamental changes to the way it works. Real-time visibility is provided by both physical wallboards and web-based representations of the same information. Rob Causer, Security Control Centre Manager, said: “With better management information and greater call handling visibility from anywhere, team leaders can be far more proactive in managing demand.”

The SCC is also much more resilient. For example, should it ever be necessary to evacuate the Northampton building, the BT smartnumbers service can be immediately reconfigured to allow staff to log in from mobile phones, home or another BT building.

“We immediately saw a 10% improvement in our time to answer, which means that our people are being more productive.” Rob Causer

Security Control Centre Manager, BT Operate