When Failure is not an Option

Founded in 2002, Polaris is an internationally recognized not-for-profit charitable organization that is leading the fight to end human trafficking. Based in Washington D.C., Polaris’s mission is to end modern slavery and help survivors restore their freedom. Polaris operates a hotline and command center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Polaris motto is “Freedom happens now,” demonstrating an unending commitment to helping human trafficking survivors at a moment’s notice. Since 2016, Flowroute has been a prime communications technology supplier to Polaris. In this case study, we review why Polaris selected Flowroute and the features and services that are used by Polaris.

“Our ability to communicate is key to the success of our mission. From crisis calls, working with federal agencies, to receiving tips from the public, Polaris handles thousands of human trafficking cases and inquiries each year. We never close. Most of the case data that we process require our team to make and receive multiple phone calls, emails, and texts. In 2016, as we were evaluating our evolving needs and considering new vendors, one of our technology consultants introduced us to Flowroute. After the first phone call with the team, we knew Flowroute was going to be there for us every step of the way” said Lionel Luis, Senior Manager of Technology Operations at Polaris.

Polaris employs nearly 100 team members dedicated to the fight against human trafficking. As a growing organization, Polaris’s communications needed to be changed too. With their former provider, call quality was an ongoing issue, and there was no way to scale the program without breaking the bank. Polaris conducted an exhaustive evaluation of more than 20 communication service providers. After reviewing the research results, Polaris staff knew they needed to partner with a top-tier provider who would offer superior quality IP-based communications, flexible APIs, and outstanding customer service. Polaris chose Flowroute.

“Polaris works closely with multiple organizations nationwide,” Luis continued. “Being able to manage call flows for specially designated phone numbers is critical. Some of the features we needed as we transitioned to VoIP service are not routinely available to the public. After we described the network prioritization, preemption, and phone number allocation patterns to Flowroute, they went to work. We are incredibly fortunate that Flowroute’s team is among the best in the world at what they do. Many ISPs would have laughed at us when they reviewed our communications objectives and our need to perform a full conversion in a matter of weeks during the holiday season. Flowroute rose to the challenge and worked with us as a true partner. They went the extra mile to ensure we had continued access to restricted rate centers. With each late-breaking request, they never missed a beat.”

Flowroute has worked with many nonprofit and government organizations, consistently meeting customer expectations. While Polaris’s requirements presented a unique challenge, Flowroute has the depth of experience working with clients’ complex technology environments to deliver quality cost-saving results. To help Polaris meet their delivery dates, Flowroute automated their porting process and assigned a dedicated team to help monitor the progress for each porting request. Working with a specialized configuration and Flowroute’s APIs, Polaris was able to clone the caller ID from a previous provider until the actual phone numbers were fully transitioned to the Flowroute platform. Polaris required a significant number of new phone numbers. Many of which required special configurations commonly associated with federal customers. With Flowroute’s advanced online portal and an automated customer onboarding solution, we could meet Polaris’s technology objectives while offering significant cost savings.

For the executive team at Polaris, one of the key business concerns was audio quality. International calls, calls to rural areas of the United States, and cell phones all presented unique audio quality challenges. “On our previous platform, audio quality could be an issue, even on a T1. We knew that migrating to a new provider had some risk. We made hundreds of test calls across multiple network paths. The lowest mean opinion score (MOS) value we had from Flowroute was 4.1, but the majority of our test calls were closer to 5.0 – a perfect score. Our staff was impressed with the audio quality. The RTP delivery mechanisms used by Flowroute was superior to anything else we tested. The provisioning and messaging API with SMS notification were icing on the cake,” Luis said.

“Polaris’s mission is truly unique, helping some of the most vulnerable populations find a path to freedom. We were amazed to see that they had built up an impressive technology infrastructure to support its daily fight against human trafficking,”  said William King, Chief Technology Officer of Flowroute. “At Flowroute, we understand that our customers are trusting us with something beyond communications services; they are trusting us with their brand and reputation. We sat down with the team from Polaris to understand their needs and map out all of the technical requirements to ensure we went live with zero issues – which we achieved.”  

After migrating to Flowroute, the response from the entire team at Polaris was extremely positive. “When handling cases of human trafficking over the phone, every detail matters so audio quality is of the utmost importance. Our new communication system helps us increase our reach and efficiency as we work with survivors and partners throughout the country and the world to fight this crime. With Flowroute, we have seen a 40% reduction in our communications spending. Our office call volume has nearly doubled in the past few months. We can’t thank the team at Flowroute enough for their dedication to our success and their superior customer service.” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

Flowroute, a leading provider of cloud communications technology,  is proud to support Polaris and thousands of other organizations with their communication service needs. From SIP Trunking, SMS, and robust APIs, Flowroute offers innovative technology solutions to meet the unique needs of its customers and deliver powerful customer experiences.

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