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118 118 Dials CCT for £1.6 million Avaya Contact Centre System

  • Business communications specialist wins deal to provide thetechnology infrastructure and support for 2,000 directoryassistance agents

Business communications specialist Call Centre Technology (CCT) andAvaya Inc (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of communicationsnetworks and services for businesses, have today announced a £1.6million contract win with UK directory assistance market leader TheNumber 118 118 (owned by InfoNXX, the world's largest directoryservices provider).

Business communications specialist Call Centre Technology (CCT)and Avaya Inc (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider ofcommunications networks and services for businesses, have todayannounced a £1.6 million contract win with UK directory assistancemarket leader The Number 118 118 (owned by InfoNXX, the world'slargest directory services provider).

CCT has been chosen to provide a contact centre system, based onAvaya technology, to support all of 118 118's UK operations. Thetechnology will enable the new directory assistance company tomaximise the return on its initial £30 million investment insetting up UK operations by offering significant cost savings andsuperior customer service.

Following the deregulation of the UK directory enquiries market,the 192 service provided by BT was discontinued at the end ofAugust 2003. Figures released last week show 118 118 is taking 50%of all 118 calls. It aims to establish itself as the UK's leadingdirectory assistance company and sees customer service as a keydifferentiator. It is expecting to take over 50,000 calls an hourat peak periods and Avaya's contact centre technology will enableit to provide a consistent, fast and reliable service forcustomers.

CCT is undertaking a phased implementation of Avayacommunications hardware and software across 118 118's Plymouth andCardiff operations, linking the two sites to create a 'virtualcontact centre'. This will enable either site to take any overflowcalls, which will ensure quicker response times for customers. Therecently completed 300-seat installation at the Plymouth operationand a 300-seat upgrade in Cardiff will give a capacity of 965agents across both sites. This number is expected to rise to acombined total of over 1,400 by the end of 2003 (making it one ofthe largest contact centre operations in the UK).

"118 118 is already the most memorable number, making us thebusiest 118 provider in the UK," said Nik Hole, Deputy ManagingDirector at The Number 118 118. "We choose the Avaya platform as weconsidered it to be the only technology which could cope with thevolume of calls expected and provide the reliability, resilienceand scalability we required. If our service was interrupted for anyreason it would have a big impact on the trust our customers havein our service, as well as reducing revenues."

"We chose CCT to provide the solution because we are impressedby the company's specialist knowledge and expertise in Avayatechnology. This should enable it to address our core businessrequirement of delivering a cost-efficient, fast and reliablecustomer service that will excel in this newly deregulated andhighly competitive market. Also, CCT has one of the highestengineer-to-client ratios in its industry, which is immenselyreassuring. Our business never sleeps so we have to have 24/7/365support," added Hole.

"The directory enquiry market is one of the toughest to operatein because of the sheer volume of calls being handled on a dailybasis," said Russell Attwood, managing director at CCT. "It'stherefore a great testament to the quality of our team and solutionto be selected by 118 118. We're looking forward to a long andbeneficial relationship."

"118 118 is demonstrating its commitment to cost-effective andhigh-quality customer service by choosing CCT and Avaya," saidClive Sawkins, vice-president for Avaya in the UK and Ireland. "Thetechnology infrastructure will contribute greatly to 118 118's goalto become the leading provider of directory services in theUK."

CCT's solution combines Avaya's open standards-based MediaServer and MultiVantage™ Communications Applications portfolio,including the Avaya Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) functionalitywhich intelligently routes calls to the agent best trained tohandle the enquiry, ensuring calls are dealt with quickly andefficiently. Also, the Avaya platform provides a Computer TelephonyIntegration (CTI) interface, enabling screen-pops to automaticallycome up on 118 118 agents' desktops, displaying key customerdetails and information.

The Avaya technology offers the directory assistance company afull set of management reporting tools for scheduling andforecasting. This means that 118 118 can optimise staff resourcesto meet customer service levels.

About CCT
Call Centre Technology (CCT, is a leadingbusiness communications specialist.

It provides a complete portfolio of business communications andcall/contact centre solutions, from consultancy, outsourcing, staffrecruitment and training to technology, ongoing support and managedservices.

CCT has over 400 customers from a broad spectrum of markets,including finance & banking, travel & tourism, mail order,publishing and public sectors. It has helped blue-chip companiessuch as AXA PPP, The Daily Telegraph, EasyJet, Jaguar, HolidayAutos, The Number 118 118 and Securicor enhance the effectivenessof their communications infrastructure and strategies to deliverincreased business returns.

CCT is a customer-focused organisation. 70% of its staff areproject management and engineering professionals, meaning it canoperate to the highest levels of service and support within itsindustry. The business communications specialist has an extremelyhigh customer retention rate at 97%. It also has one of the highestengineer-client ratios in its field and has the capability toprovide 24/7/365 support across the UK.

The depth and breadth of its portfolio means CCT is fullyequipped to handle any customer requirement. It has successfullyinstalled over 250 call/contact centres across 500 sites in the UKand Europe, including Europe's largest IP-based contact centre.

The business communications specialist has strategicpartnerships with market-leaders Avaya and BT. It is an Avaya GoldBusiness Partner and is fully accredited to implement and supportAvaya's entire product range.

Founded in 1997, CCT has 120 staff and is headquartered inBristol with offices across the UK. It is a profitable,fully-funded and rapidly growing business.

About The Number™:
The Number is the UK's new Directory Assistance business,operating the 118 118 service, along with the fixed-price directoryenquiry service available on 11 88 11.

Since August 24, 2003, every new directory enquiry service willuse a new six figure number, all starting with the prefix 118. TheNumber has acquired the rights to use 118 118, the most memorablenumber by far, and 11 88 11, the second most memorable number.

The company is setting out to offer callers an unrivalledexperience. It has committed £30 million to establish its newservice in its first year, with similar annual investmentthereafter. The company's UK services are delivered by 1,300employees from state-of-the-art directory assistance centres inCardiff, the UK headquarters, and Plymouth. In addition, The Numberutilises its parent company's call centre in the Philippines tosupport the UK operations in times of high demand.

Just like its directory assistance service, the call centre isquite different from what people have come to expect. At the heartof the company's philosophy is the belief that people come first,employees, customers and partners. And it succeeds through arelentless drive to turn that belief into better services.

In the US, the company's wholesale business offersmarket-leading directory assistance services across the States.Founded in 1991 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and employing more than3,000 people, the company provides the people, technology andservices behind wireless and fixed-line Enhanced DirectoryServices, managing a database with more than 150 million listingsand handling more than 500 million calls a year.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks formore than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent ofthe FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is aworld leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP)telephony systems and communications software applications andservices.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications withbusiness applications — and distinguished by comprehensiveworldwide services — Avaya helps customers leverage existing andnew networks to achieve superior business results. For moreinformation visit the Avaya Web site:

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