EATEL is a family-owned and operated communications company who has served Louisiana for more than 80 years. In addition, EATEL Business operates two commercial data centers offering colocation, private cloud, data backup and recovery services to the business community throughout the United States.
EATEL needed a responsive, self-service customer portal to support its residential and business customers, providing a complete view of the customer’s relationship and allow for selfservice capabilities that interface with a variety of back-end systems/platforms. The vision for this portal was to be forward-looking and customizable to change with evolving service offerings, as well as being able to bring together various services and offerings of the EATEL ecosystem.
EATEL had already used Liferay DXP to create a new website and, after their successful launch, planned to use Liferay to also build their customer portal. In comparison to other options, EATEL saw the Liferay platform as a visionary leader and the right fit.
Using Liferay DXP with Liferay’s Platinum Partner, XTIVIA, EATEL was able to meet their objectives and had an extremely successful launch, with the company seeing it as “one of the most successful projects we’ve ever had.” That success included reduced customer service calls, greater accessibility through responsive design, flexible account management in a single login, reduced billing and payment issues, better self-service options in a single location and better marketing and customer communication center.
“In our first phase of building on the Liferay DXP platform, we focused primarily on applications to interface with our core Customer Information Systems,” said Aubry Henkel, Director, IS/IT/PMO at EATEL. “Since Liferay already has the core components required for registrations, logins, role-based access controls, page creation, site look and feel, web content management, audience targeting, and so many other features, we can leverage these capabilities without the need to build everything from scratch.”
EATEL partnered with XTIVIA to leverage Liferay DXP’s core features along with a modern React Single Page Application (SPA) architecture. Additionally, they used XTIVIA’s JetRay architecture pattern to expedite custom React portlet development and integrate with Dell Boomi based RESTful services. The implementation process leveraged an Agile development methodology.
“XTIVIA has been great to work with. They managed the project well, always communicating regarding scope and budget so there would be no surprises. With so many Liferay experts, every request was met with knowledgeable responses. But most importantly, rather than prioritizing their sales pipeline, they focused on educating our technical team at EATEL so that we could learn and grow in providing our own Liferay solutions in the future,” said Henkel. EATEL’s project ended with a successful launch of the Liferay DXP-based Customer Portal to production.
Modernizing the Customer Experience
Users can select relevant accounts and statements through the portal and, if the user has multiple accounts or statements, can easily switch from one account to another. User dashboards provide snapshots of account-related information and the ability to navigate among three groups of features: Billing, Support and Services and Account Settings. EATEL uses Liferay DXP to facilitate everything from the overall look and feel to integrating applications that make it possible for secure payments.
The portal quickly caused a reduction in call volume for data centers. More than 50% of calls coming into the residential call center were payment related, but the user-based account management approach and simplified interactions reduced such calls by 30%. With younger customers reluctant to make a phone call, having an online interface helped engage with a key segment who previously did not interact. Business customers love the control that they now have over contacts, permissions and more from their own login instead of calling in with each request.
“The flexibility of Liferay has been key,” Henkel said. “So much of the portal is editable by non-developers, allowing us to focus our most technical internal resources on the intricacies of integrations and highly advanced content pages. This also enables us to be quick to market with offers and promotions that might have taken up to a month to reach users through other means.”
In the near future, EATEL plans to introduce many more customer-friendly features, including “Knowledge Base,” view/manage data center asset features and SSO connectivity for key service platforms like EATEL cloud portal, alarm.com and other services.