Telethon 7 breaks new fundraising record for WA with the help of cloud calling

Despite a year of immense change and disruption, Western Australia's Telethon 7 event continues to break fundraising records for children's charities in WA. In 2020, the event raised over $46m with the support of Telstra's reliable connectivity, professional services from Telstra Purple and a revolutionary cloud-based contact centre solution Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud.


  • Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud was used by over 180 contact centre agents, taking more than 9000 donation calls during the live televised event thanks to Telstra’s partner Genesys donating the Genesys Cloud licensing for the event.
  • Professional support from Telstra and Genesys delivered a seamless rollout of the new technology to contact centre agents while Telstra Purple ensured reliable Telstra network access across all elements of the event.

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Helping a community adapt during uncertainty

Telethon 7 is an annual event established in 1968 and produced by TVW 7, a television station in Perth, Western Australia. As the highest donating Telethon (per capita) in the world, there are two significant beneficiaries—Perth Children's Hospital and the Telethon Kids Institute plus many other beneficiaries, including Telethon Speech & Hearing.

The event's fundraising success largely relies on dedicated call centre volunteers, ensuring every audience donation call is answered. For over thirteen years' Telstra Enterprise has delivered the network infrastructure and call centre technology to support the twenty-six-hour broadcast held over two days.

Like many significant events in 2020, the organisation needed to rethink the event format to align with COVID-19 guidelines while maintaining the same level of audience engagement and community support at previous years.

This prompted a change to a new venue requiring a new technology set up and project management support from Telstra. The organisation's data reporting needs had also matured, requiring a more sophisticated level of call analytics, driving the need for a new cloud-based multi-channel call centre solution.

Key issues

  • Adapting to a new event model: moving to a new location requiring a new technology set up and proactive project management.
  • Data analytics: a need for more sophisticated call analytics for proactive decision making and more targeted fundraising efforts.
  • Resiliency: a need for a cloud-based, carrier-grade call centre solution to sustain a high volume of donation calls.

Rapid problem solving and implementation

Telstra and their technology services arm Telstra Purple worked with Telethon 7 to understand the project's unique challenges and needs. Through a detailed technical analysis, Telstra Purple designed an implementation plan to provide reliable connectivity to the new site in a tight time.

This analysis also helped Telethon 7 make the easy decision to implement the Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud solution for the event. 

"By working closely with the customer and understanding their unique requirements we were able to make a smooth transition to the new site and select a best-of-breed cloud-based call centre solution to meet Telethon 7's unique data reporting needs," said Linda Cheong- Smith, Senior Project Specialist at Telstra Purple.

Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud is an omnichannel cloud-based solution eliminating the need for additional investment in a voice network and on-premises equipment. It uses Telstra's carrier-grade SIP network and virtualised infrastructure to reduce overheads and enable rapid scalability.

The solution requirement scoping, and configuration was able to be managed remotely, enabling a rapid deployment once the Telstra Purple team could access the venue.

Alongside rapid deployment, the intuitive design of  Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud also enabled rapid adoption of the solution by over 180 telethon volunteers who could log into the platform requiring only the internet and a laptop. After only one short training session, volunteers were confident in using the technology to take donation calls.

The benefits of transitioning to the Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud solution included:

  • Analytics to enable proactive call management. Telethon supervisors had complete visibility of call volume and call queue wait time, enabling them to scale up the number of operators on the floor when needed and manage break times effectively.
  • Easy setup. The solution does not require a dedicated network or data and voice design, enabling quick site deployment and user provisioning.
  • Remote management. Telstra Purple's experts were able to set up and manage the solution remotely, decreasing the number of people required to be physically present before and during the event. 

Keeping a community connected

Professional support from Telstra Purple and the benefits from transitioning to Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud has helped the WA community stay connected and adapt to change during an uncertain and challenging time.

Beyond the immediate results that the solution has delivered for this year's' event, the organisation now has a reliable and multi-featured solution they can scale as their needs and requirements change.

"During a time of great change, we have experienced one of the smoothest event experiences to date and delivered an incredible result for the Western Australian community. We also now have a solution that can grow with us that includes features like SMS and call routing which we are planning on implementing for next year," said Jock Davidson Systems Manager, Telethon 7.

Key project outcomes:

  • $46 million raised for children in need – a record high from previous years.
  • A future-fit digital transformation. The Telstra Contact Centre Genesys Cloud solution has delivered a resilient, scalable, cloud-based, and multi-featured solution that can adapt quickly as the organisation's needs change.
  • Data-driven decision making. Telethon 7 now has access to a robust set of data analytics to inform future events and other digital marketing and fundraising initiatives.


Image by Viva Photography