JCT600 invests over £1million in comms technology overhaul


Privately owned motor firm JCT600 has invested over £1 million in a new cloud-based communications system to further improve its level of customer experience and legislative compliance.

The solution – powered by Halifax-headquartered Vapour Cloud in strategic partnership with Leeds-based pure technology group (PTG) – will see JCT600 move to voice technology as cutting-edge as the cars it retails.

With 50 locations in the north of England and representing 21 car marques, the fourth-generation family business is now a £1bn brand. But it has the same mission that it did when it was first established – not to be the biggest, just the best. 

When legacy phone systems started to hold JCT600 back, the decision was made to overhaul the telecoms technology used across every site, to maintain a truly people-first approach to the company’s communications.

Vapour and PTG recommended Avaya’s ACS Select solution, in a move that won’t just transform the quality of dialogue between colleagues and customers – it will ensure PCI compliance for call recorded card payments too. The project precedes PTG’s project to design, deploy and support a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) within the Microsoft Cloud, to modernise the IT and data management for JCT600.

The 12-month project which commenced last summer is now nearing completion with all dealerships soon to be utilising the new cloud-based telephony platform. The new functionality has been delivered for the same cost as the incumbent solution, with the £1m spend spread over the next five years.

Elaborating on the project background, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer explained: “JCT600’s phone systems were previously updated on a site-by-site basis, as necessary. However, this staggered telecoms investment has resulted in inconsistencies when it comes to the technology utilised and the potential level of service delivered. If left unaddressed, this could have started to impact upon the qualities that the brand is renowned for.”  

Vapour’s feature-rich cloud-based technology will now also safeguard JCT600 from breaching evolving data protection laws.  With desk-free showroom environments, all calls now take place behind the scenes. But this can make it difficult to contact a salesperson if they’re out on the forecourt. An app will therefore ensure salespeople can be reached on their mobile, via their DDI, with calls still securely-recorded for legislative compliance and utmost flexibility.

“In deciding how to upgrade, JCT600 could have invested in a traditional new phone system of course,” adds PTG’s sales director Gary Saunders. “But who wants to buy expensive hardware when it’s possible to invest in the cloud environment, benefit from two disaster recovery points for business continuity, and experience greater flexibility. Plus they’ll always operate on the best and latest version of technology available, with SLA rates of 99.999%. 

“This cloud journey has represented a complete digital transformation for the company – an overhaul that will see every dealership harness the power of intuitive WebRTC technology and propel itself forward. This next generation of voice comms will benefit the business and customers alike and is a true example of JCT600 demonstrating its trailblazing status within the motor industry. They’ve been a customer of ours for 10 years now and the level of innovation they continue to demonstrate is vast.”

JCT600’s group IT manager Chris Gensmantel concludes: “In so many parts of our business, we excel in terms of state-of-the-art, technology-driven customer service, but our historic on-premise telephony would have undoubtedly started to hold us back. Vapour’s solution will allow us to streamline our systems and processes, whilst integrating voice into the other exciting technologies we’ve implemented throughout JCT.

“Our 100-seat call centre also plays a crucial role in the long-term, customer-focused service delivery of the group, so we will continue to invest in the infrastructure we provide to this team. Avaya’s AWFOS (Avaya Workforce Optimization Select) product will increase efficiencies and we’re trialling mobile Avaya, plus Avaya video and audio conferencing too.”

Photo caption (l-r): Lee O’Conner (PTG), Chris Gensmantel (JCT600), Tim Mercer  (Vapour Cloud), Gary Saunders (PTG).

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