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Yell Group (Support)
"A Safe Pair of Hands"
NSC Group has taken over the responsibility for the technical support of a major system at Yell that the company successfully migrated from a mainframe to Unix a number of years ago.
The Business File application deals with the free entry which businesses are allowed in Yell products. All businesses are contacted to establish in which classification and under what description they wish to appear. Approximately 300 people in Yell access the Business File, of whom 80 agents are high volume users.
The system incorporates postal code verification, and the business telephone number is automatically dialled using Computer Telephony Interface software. Yell agents ask questions to record the nature of the business. Once the information has been obtained and verified, it is available for Yell electronic and paper directories.
As Yell moved rapidly into a new electronic business it was essential to move to an infrastructure that supports today's demands for flexibility. This presented a business case to move the Business File application from a Fujitsu mainframe to a modern Oracle database under Unix, and Yell contracted with NSC for this purpose in 1998.
After The Migration
The move provided Yell with a cost saving of approximately £300,000 per annum and enabled its technical staff to operate in a more flexible open environment. The Business File performed so well on the new Unix server that Yell were able to use the system online for much longer every day, giving extra productivity.
Yell had originally intended the move to Unix to be a 'stop-gap' until the Business File could be incorporated into their SAP ERP system, but the project was so smooth and trouble free that they abandoned this idea and continued with the migrated system. In 2005 the original Unix platform became obsolete and NSC were asked to move the Business File again, this time to a more modern 64 bit platform.
Taking Over Support
In 2008 Yell undertook an exercise to rationalise the running and support of existing core applications. The long term relationship between Yell and NSC Group led Yell to regard NSC as "a safe pair of hands", so NSC were approached with a view to the company taking over all day-to-day support for the Business File application to allow Yell to focus on back-office systems.
As a core front-end system the Business File requires support not only during conventional office hours but also through the night, at weekends and on public holidays. A remote link was established for NSC to use and NSC staff are on call whenever required, potentially 24/7.
Support also includes any work required to modify or enhance the Business File system to support Yell in a highly competitive marketplace.
A Company You Can Trust
After a period of Technology Transfer, NSC took over responsibility for the ongoing support of the Business File system in the summer of 2009. Although there were some understandable misgivings in certain quarters within Yell about entrusting such an important application to a third party, NSC have overcome the scepticism and won the trust of key Yell users.
Yell have acquired DataNovata in 2010 to augment existing enquiry facilities and extend the functionality of the Business File application still further.
The application written 20 years ago and modernised by NSC a decade ago continues to play an important part in the success of Yell – showing yet again that NSC is a company you can trust.