With eight branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and a not-for-profit mission, First Harvest Credit Union had to provide excellent, reliable service to its members as cost-effectively as possible. The credit union has a busy contact center in its main branch, as well as almost 200 employees with phones. The credit union has been a VOIP Networks client for nearly two decades, and VOIP Networks has continually supported the organization as it expanded and added advanced capabilities.


When First Harvest began working with VOIP Networks, it had an on-premises, hardware-based system. The system had been cutting-edge at the time of installation, but as time passed, the aging technology had several drawbacks:

  • Expensive to maintain and upgrade
  • Unreliable during power outages and other events
  • Lacked capabilities staff and members needed
  • Slow and inefficient

Migrating to a cloud-based solution was the best path forward for the credit union, but that move meant new technical challenges, such as integrating a new telecommunications system with existing and future operations in a way that was simple and seamless for staff and members.


VOIP Networks did a deep dive into the credit union’s current and future operations, including a wish list of new capabilities. Then, VOIP Networks installed the Cloud9 managed private cloud system, which was flexible and scalable, with redundancy so that power failures and other issues wouldn’t affect operations. “We were looking down the barrel at a particularly expensive upgrade to hardware,” noted David McDevitt, Senior Vice President, Information Technology. “This was a much more cost-effective solution.”


Today, the First Harvest communications system has several automated functions, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which can assist members 24/7 with many simple transactions and hand off more complex issues to a human, along with all the member’s information. The credit union receives US-based support and white-glove service, as illustrated by a recent hardware failure at a remote location that received on-site support within hours.

New features and capabilities are added regularly to support the credit union’s daily operations. “We’ve been able to scale in a much more cost-effective way,” said McDevitt. “Our contact center was eight people; now we have 35 seats, including remote workers, with up to 25 people on the phone during normal business hours.” Rich metrics help the contact center run efficiently, including everything from average hold time, call volume, duration, and when and how efficiently each employee is working.

Most importantly, when the credit union faces challenges, VOIP Networks provides prompt, expert service. When the pandemic forced businesses to work remotely, First Harvest was able to pivot quickly while maintaining high service quality. As McDevitt noted, “The support we got from VOIP Networks was crucial, not to mention them making sure we had the best-of-breed in communications for the past 17 years.”

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