Do you ever wonder how the stores you frequent apply the correct amount of tax to your purchase? No? We didn’t think so, and rest assured we’re not going to explain the algorithms that go into such a complex process. That said, every business in every industry depends on reliable systems, software, and customer support to ensure tax is calculated and applied correctly on a global scale.

For retail companies who sell online and via brick and mortar locations as well as wholesale, hospitality, telecom, and other key industries, Vertex provides the world's most trusted tax solutions for these businesses to transact, comply, and grow with confidence.

With a workforce totaling over 1,000 in offices throughout North America and Europe, Vertex’s support center consists of 75 employees serving more than 5,000 customers across the globe—nearly 80% of whom are in the Fortune 1000.

The Role of the Vertex Support Center

The Vertex support center works primarily with two main groups:

    - Tax offices to ensure the calculation of the tax rate is accurate - Corporate IT departments to integrate billing systems and keep transactions flowing smoothly

As the conduit to many internal departments and the gateway to the customer, the Vertex support team bears a great deal of responsibility. And because they serve as the main listening post for customers, they recognized that the valuable data they manage and support could help improve processes and further the Vertex mission.

In order to become a bigger part of the strategic conversations within the organization and position themselves as a critical driving force to the business’ bottom line, they needed guidance.

Enter HDI...and the ‘HDI Difference’

The Vertex support center had been certified by a different industry provider for over 20 years. Carrying official third-party certification has always been important to Vertex, however, they realized that they needed to shake up their approach and chart a different course. They needed to refresh, reset, and grow. They also wanted to be challenged more. And that’s exactly what the HDI Support Center Certification process could offer them: a challenge.

The HDI certification process is very different from other industry offerings. While most service and support certifications focus mainly on hitting key metric targets, only with the help of HDI would Vertex receive expert insights and advice – throughout the certification process – on how to sync up the customer data they were managing with other departments across the organization, helping the Vertex support center drive more business decisions. Beyond meeting KPIs, HDI was able to provide detailed and forward-thinking feedback on how to not just achieve the result—but do it the right way. In so doing, HDI helped the Vertex support center become a more integrated and valuable contributor to the overall business.

Going Virtual

Like many accredited certification programs, HDI Support Center Certification is an intense process. After months of rigorous preparation by the Vertex support team, the official week-long certification review was scheduled to culminate with a final audit in March of 2020. Then came the COVID-19 shutdown. With an onsite visit no longer viable, both parties remained steadfast and transitioned to working virtually to complete the certification.

Vertex was a bit apprehensive about the remote audit. All of their prior certification audits had been executed in-person at their office. Their support teams were also scrambling to set themselves up to work from home – along with most of the company’s staff.

Despite these challenges, all stakeholders moved ahead with the virtual consulting and certification process and found that the initial apprehension faded quickly. In the end, not only did Vertex earn their official HDI site certification, but the virtual experience actually enhanced the process.

According to Vertex’s Director of Customer Support, Ray Proska, conducting the HDI Support Center Certification virtually removed the typical distractions of the office, allowing critical members of their leadership team to be more focused and engaged. The virtual approach also offered more flexibility than other certification audits they had done in the past.

“Virtually is the wave of the future as we continue with HDI certification and consulting services,” Ray said. “As we expand our global footprint from a support perspective, being able to do it virtually is going to be key.”

Vertex's HDI Certification Drives Ambitious Goals and Serves as a Springboard to Continued Success

“HDI was great to work with,” said Ray. “It was a challenging process to go through and made us look in the mirror and understand our business better. We’re coming out of it with a new perspective on what it takes to be successful.”

And with ambitious goals, success for the Vertex support team is more important than ever. Setting their sights on combining and streamlining their operations as they look to develop and implement a cloud-first “support 2.0” center that oversees the entire global organization will be their next business critical task. To accomplish this, they plan to anchor their rebuild and expansion plan in the core tenets of HDI and the valuable direction they received as part of the Support Center Certification process.

“What HDI has done is helped us shape what we’re building,” says Ray.

Now, as the only indirect tax technology company that’s HDI certified, Vertex is already reaping the rewards with better competitive differentiation, and their sales team sees the influential certification as a big asset when going after new business. The support team is also more integral than ever to the organization’s overall mission.

“It’s awesome; a big feather in our cap! We’re very proud of achieving this,” concludes Ray.