OVHcloud : How to reconcile customer experience, quality of service and remote employee commitment?

"Activeo supports technical scope evolution and migration plans and works closely with OVHcloud teams to satisfy robust, high-performance governance."
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Stéphanie JACQUET
Head of Contact Center Coordination at OVH
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OVHcloud is more than 80 services with the best performance/price ratio, open and reversible: domain names, vps, dedicated servers, cloud IaaS & PaaS.

In partnership with the AFRC (Association Française de la Relation Client), Activeo and Cisco hosted a webinar on Tuesday June 30, 2020 based on the theme “How to reconcile customer experience, quality of service and employee commitment at a distance?”. During this session, Stéphanie Jacquet, Head of Contact Center Coordination, gave her feedback on the OVHcloud group’s adaptation to the current health crisis, and focused on the challenges of customer support.

Founded in 1999, OVHcloud is one of the pioneers of alternative cloud computing in France, and the European leader with 30 data centers, 400,000 servers and 2,200 employees worldwide. The company’s support activity is based on a multi-country, multi-lingual organization, with more than 400 employees working around the clock to provide assistance and expertise. The multi-channel contact center platform is based on Cisco technology, implemented and maintained by Activeo for several years. Activeo supports the technical perimeter’s evolution and migration plans, and works closely with the OVHcloud teams to ensure robust, high-performance governance.

How did you maintain remote service continuity during this period?

[Stéphanie JACQUET] Telecommuting is already an established practice at OVHCloud, with an international agreement in 2019 and implemented since 2018.

Given the geographical coverage, we have taken progressive measures (Italy, the first country confined as early as February) which have enabled us to anticipate the necessary actions in the event of the need to resort to teleworking on a massive scale:

Provision of equipment

  • Sizing the VPN to enable over 2,000 people to connect simultaneously, compared with 300 previously.
  • Installation of remote communication tools. The helpdesk worked night and day for 10 days, organizing up to 7 simultaneous conferences every 30 minutes to help users install all the necessary software. The priority was to set up teleworking for the teams in direct contact with our customers. In France, the day after the lockdown, the majority of employees were able to respond to tickets, and by Thursday, 100% of flows were handled by the telephone channel.

How do you create customer proximity in the context we have encountered?

[Stéphanie JACQUET] Particular attention was paid by all to ensure that our employees took no risks (in reference to the “symmetry of attentions”). Instantly, we observed a heightened attention to the quality of service offered to our customers on the part of our teams.

During this period, our products and services enabled us to promote several activities:

  • e-learning in schools,
  • essential services such as fire departments and hospitals to stay in touch with users,
  • employees and companies to continue operating despite their forties.

This particular attention has given rise to a wonderful initiative: Open Solidarity, whose vocation is to provide free solutions for teleworking, collaboration and healthcare activities. We made OVHcloud infrastructures available free of charge and without commitment for the duration of the crisis, to support peak workloads. The initiative began in France, is now global and will continue until mid-September, as difficulties continue to arise in order to better collaborate and catch up in terms of education, for example.

We have also proposed additional contact channels such as livechat in Poland, for example.

How can we continue to generate links and nurture the internal team? How have you adapted your management style?

We reinvented ourselves thanks to new rituals introduced by the teams – breakfasts, coffees, afterwork – to maintain the link, the office life.
The Zest program, e-learning, continued recruitment and onboarding of new employees were put in place to reduce the distance that had built up.
Training in good management practices was organized by the HR department. In addition, we have provided managers with practical sheets to help them visualize the meeting points to be planned (collective or individual, frequency, preferred tools such as informal chat, videoconferencing, surveys, etc.).

What impact has the crisis had on your project roadmap? Has it stimulated or accelerated digitalization?

At OVHcloud, we have various digitalization projects underway.

During the containment period, we accelerated those that required our employees to handle paper on the one hand, and our customers to send mail on the other, in order to protect everyone and respect the containment period. For example, we speeded up the introduction of the electronic signature offered to our customers in 2.5 weeks. In addition to these examples, once the teams had been safely installed at home and continuity of service guaranteed for our customers, we reviewed our projects. Following this project review, we decided to continue with the transformation projects (the aim: to improve the customer experience):

  • evolution of Customer Service Management tools,
  • evolution of the telephony tool: switch from a customized tool to the Cisco UCCE system.

This latest UCCE migration project was launched a year ago, migrating 2 countries (Poland and Canada).

At the time of COVID, we had to complete the telephony migration for 5 European countries before the end of April. After observing how the teleworking teams operated, and in consultation with them and the Activeo teams supporting us, we decided not to modify our initial plans. We therefore :

  • reviewed the support package before, during and after the migration, but succeeded in meeting our commitments to migrate telephony for almost 50 employees in Northern and Southern Europe during April.
  • launched a new contact channel, livechat, in Poland
  • we are preparing for the migration of telephony in France in July, at a time when all our teams (over 200 people) will not yet have moved back into their offices.

All in all, during this unprecedented period, a major corporate project was orchestrated, enabling us to put to the test a technological and human combination that proved to be both winning and sustainable.

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