Up Close & Personal with

Telstra Purple’s Gretchen Cooke

Gretchen Cooke heads up the new Secure Adaptive Infrastructure practice of Telstra Purple and will be a keynote speaker at the Leadership Summit for Women in Technology, Telco & Cyber in October. With many years spread across the industry, it promises to be a fabulous conversation. Here is a part of her story.

“Learn to back myself and have a point of view. You won’t always get it right – but that will be a great lesson anyway.”

What have been your proudest moments

My proudest moments have been focused on being able to provide the best technology in the market to solve pressing customer issues.  For example, during the week before we first had to all work from home due to Covid, I was contacted by a government health department that was in desperate need of a new contact centre to take calls from the public about Covid.  At that point, we had not supplied any voice services to this customer and their usual providers had said they did not have the capability to deliver on the request.  I was so proud when we organised a workshop with the key customer stakeholders, our technical specialists and also the technical specialists from our vendor (Genesys) on a Friday morning that turned out to be our very last day in the office.

We were able to provision a cloud-based contact centre by the following Tuesday night along with an IVR and voice links into the IVR.  That contact centre was central to the government’s response to all covid queries.

The second part of the story that I am very proud of is that the customer then needed contact centre agents to answer calls – it was brand new technology for them to use and they knew they would be inundated.  I also was aware that many of our Enterprise customers in some industry sectors were having to lay off staff because their business fell off a cliff immediately.  One of these was a large travel provider who had agents using the same technology as that we had just installed for the government department.  I was able to put the department in touch with the CIO of the travel provider and hundreds of the travel company staff members were then employed (after training on how to respond to the queries!!) by the department to take calls (all remotely as nobody could work in a contact centre).

What have been some of your lessons learnt?