'Cake Boss' Gets Sweet Solution From Avaya


Fans of TLC's "Cake Boss" reality TV series know the name Carlo's Bakery right away. What they may not know is that the bakery actually has been around for more than 100 years, founded in 1910 by Carlo Guastaffero and acquired by Bartolo Valastro Sr. in 1964. But the Hoboken, N.J.-based establishment only recently rose to national fame, after its 2009 television debut that gave viewers a front-row seat into the world of theme cakes. With Carlo's Bakery's newfound popularity came rapid growth. The family-owned firm found itself needing to open another, far larger, facility — this one measuring 35,000 square feet — to meet demand.

The Challenge. Running two locations presented difficulties for Carlo's Bakery. For one thing, key staff no longer worked from just one facility. For another, Carlo's Bakery was using a 20-year-old Nortel phone system that couldn't keep up with the influx of customer calls. Bakery employees had to juggle answering phones with handling orders for walk-in customers and consulting for big event orders. Such multitasking meant long hold times for callers.

The Solution. Carlo's Bakery upgraded to new dual PRI lines but needed something more. So, the company contacted Avaya. Before long, Carlo's Bakery had deployed the IP Office communications system but there still was the problem of not understanding call volumes. "He had no idea what his customers were experiencing," said Jeff Bloom, channel account manager for Avaya. “He needed to be able to understand their call traffic volume, to look at staffing, and to ensure the calls were being routed correctly." The answer was for Avaya to contact Metropolis Technologies, a supplier of call accounting software that works with vendor brands including Avaya. "Within an hour, Carlo’s Bakery had signed off on implementing [Metropolis'] OfficeWatch," said Bloom. OfficeWatch Telemanagement is a call tracking and logging application that lets users pull reports on call volume, among other actions.

Stefano Castano, IT engineer for Carlo’s Bakery, deployed OfficeWatch into the company's studio (where "Cake Boss" is filmed), the storefront bakery and the new manufacturing location. He then configured the software to report on calls routed to a hunt group and the answering extension. From this data, Castano worked out how to route calls to a centralized receptionist, and also reprogrammed the Carlo's Bakery auto-attendant based on the most common user choices. “We could see where the calls were routed and see what options [callers] were selecting," Castano said. "We then adjusted our auto-attendant based on the type of phone calls received."

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