Powertec services and this resulting review have been paid for in Allens Red Frogs.
I had the pleasure of being invited to take part in a Sponsors tour with the Red Frogs Network during the last night of the 2015 schoolies week on the Gold Coast.
As a Gold Coaster you need to be somewhat reclusive to not know about Schoolies but it was an eye opener to see the extent of the Red Frog Crew involvement and the high value of their contribution.
Powertec Telecommunications has supported Red Frogs for a number of years providing them with free technical support for the programing of their gateway phone system along with the odd headset or two.
This not for profit Red Frogs network was established in 1997 to support school-leavers through their week-long celebrations at Schoolies Week; predominantly to provide a positive presence amongst the party culture. They act as an intermediary between the young guests, hotel managers, security, police and first aid – referring to the appropriate services as necessary.
They hand out Allens Red Frogs as conversation starters (hence the name) and can be found cooking pancakes, cleaning rooms (though enthusing guests to undertake their own room cleaning is the aim) and walking home patrons who have imbibed slightly too much.
Prior to the start of Schoolies, the Red Frog Crew visit 43k students across Australia explaining their role, and handing out their 1300 number. The recent introduction of an app also provides another easy avenue of contact for patrons during the week.
As a participant of the Crew for the Sponsors tour, I headed to Mantra Legends Hotel and received my crew t-shirt, my security lanyard and a (large) bag of Allens red frogs. We started our tour in the call centre.
On average, the Gold Coast call centre receives 10,000 calls across 2 weeks via the 1300 number. Of the 700 volunteers on the Gold Coast for the week, around 20 of them work in the call centre categorising calls for a Red Frog supervisor to schedule their Crew to handle.
I found it a highly efficient set-up, no doubt crafted from their years of experience, with the Gold Coast split into 4 sections and supervisors and crews allocated to each section. Some hotels focus on the schoolie market and one hotel in particular houses more than 3,000+ schoolies for the week; so they have a Red Frog Crew allocated to floors 1 – 5, another crew to floors 6 - 10 etc. The number of schoolies that week numbered some 30,000 – quite overwhelming if you were to think about starting this operation from scratch.
The call centre operates 24 hours a day using a Matrix Eternity PE6S, this system uses 8 sim cards inside the system to receive the calls. So there is no need to connect to traditional PSTN or ISDN lines.
All calls received go through the Matrix PE6S so any digital key phone can answer the call, all digital key phones can transfer calls and one digital key phone is dedicated as a supervisor and can monitor calls to assist volunteers.
They are very grateful for Optus support providing them with free sims for inbound calls.
In addition they have a Netcomm NTC140 Router which creates wide area network (WAN) connections for mission critical applications such as business continuity. And the Red Frogs need to ensure that not only is their system able to be moved easily and flexible (their base will change from year to year depending on which Hotel is feeling generous), but also has a backup in case of system failure.
After the call centre, we were shepherded through the streets of Gold Coast handing out red frogs and talking to schoolies, security, and other volunteer groups. It was 9pm, the atmosphere was fun and light with the night yet to get started. The extent of my valuable assistance was to provide myself as a selfie subject, but it felt great for a short time to be part of such a worthwhile organisation committed to providing a safe environment for our young people.
- Matrix Eternity PE6S mobile ports and digital key phones
- Netcomm NTC140 mobile broadband router
It was very clear from my visit that the Red Frog Crew are looked on fondly by Schoolies – the crews don’t lecture, they are the mature big brother or sister, someone you can trust, yet who still carries a whiff of ‘cool’, but is able to take charge if the situation goes South.
Their call centre and Matrix gateway is at the centre of their operation, and their entire CRM system is built around it. They are also looking to extend it to other sites that have starting popping up as new Schoolies destinations.
Check out their website here if you are interested in finding out more about the Red Frog Network or would like to volunteer. www.redfrog.com.au
If you are interested in finding out more about Powertec gateways and routers check out our website HERE.
#laym #redfrogs #schoolies2015