Nordia’s success with the State of California project had an important side benefit. It attracted the attention of another relay service provider in the U.S., GoAmerica Inc.
GoAmerica offers a service called i711.com for relaying calls made over the Internet, often called “IP relay.” Deaf callers use a Web-enabled computer or wireless handheld device to place calls, which are connected to a relay operator.
IP relay calls are regulated in the U.S. at the federal level, through an agency called the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA). GoAmerica, one of the contracted service providers to NECA, entered into a partnership with Nordia in 2005 under which it outsources its contact centre services to Nordia. In turn, Nordia now uses GoAmerica’s i711 technology for the IP portion of its California contract.
The agreement opens the entire U.S. relay market to the Nordia/GoAmerica partnership, and also means that Nordia’s call volume is growing substantially, since IP calls are gradually superseding the older dial-up calls.
Grimard says the U.S. relay service business has added 10 per cent to Nordia’s revenue. As a measure of its success, employment at Nordia’s seven customer-contact centres in Ontario and Quebec has grown to about 2,200 from 1,500 in the past year and a half.
“Our proven global and customized solutions are clear evidence of our ability to offer world-class added value to our clients in this very competitive market,” Grimard says. “Our MMRC platform, for which we were recognized with a high-prestige award such as CIPA, is a good example of it.”