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Avaya and Microsoft Business Solutions Work Together on CustomerService and Support Technology Designed to Redefine the CRMApplication Space

02-19-2003
  • Avaya to enable small and medium businesses to use service andsupport applications to manage, improve their customer contactfunctions

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV) and Microsoft® Business Solutions todayannounced their planned strategic alliance for Avaya to create apackaged applications and hardware solution for small and mediumbusinesses that have multiple customer touch points.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV) and Microsoft® Business Solutions todayannounced their planned strategic alliance for Avaya to create apackaged applications and hardware solution for small and mediumbusinesses that have multiple customer touch points.

The companies signed an agreement outlining plans for Avaya tolicense Microsoft® Business Solutions Customer RelationshipManagement (Microsoft CRM) and develop an "all in one" applicationsuite by integrating it with the Avaya™ IP Office solution.

The integrated Avaya solution will be designed to empower smalland medium businesses to service their customers even better, withnew productivity tools that contribute directly to their bottomline. The solution will be built specifically for small and mediumbusinesses which demand a full customer service experience.

Traditionally, CRM (customer relationship management) refers toformal call centers used by enterprises that rely heavily ontelephone transactions to conduct business. The Avaya solution willcouple telephony data with CRM data, enabling a whole new set ofapplications to manage the entire customer experience.Customer-centric businesses across North America have been eagerlyawaiting this technology, which, until now, has only been built forlarger enterprises willing and able to invest hundreds of thousandsof dollars. Because of the low total cost of ownership and speed ofdeployment, this new product suite is expected to significantlybroaden the market opportunity for both Avaya and its channelpartners.

"Avaya chose Microsoft Business Solutions CRM because thissolution, like Avaya IP Office, is built specifically for the smalland medium business market, enabling those enterprises to providehigher levels of customer service at a lower total cost ofownership," said Dave Johnson, group vice president, Small andMedium Business Solutions, Avaya. "Avaya is already an establishedleader in telephony solutions, and we are delighted at the prospectof working with Microsoft Business Solutions to work towardsstrengthening our position in this market."

"We look forward to Avaya combining Microsoft CRM with its IPOffice to further empower mid-tier customers to better manage theirsales and service activities and to give managers real-timeinformation for better decision making," said David Thacher,general manager, CRM, at Microsoft Business Solutions.

"CRM emerges as the first enterprise software application to bewidely embraced by small and medium businesses (SMBs)," said Dr.Alex Kalamarides, senior vice president, Research and ConsultingServices, AMI-Partners, Inc. "Many SMBs feel the time has come tooverhaul their simple, often home grown sales force automation(SFA) applications and CRM solutions."

The first stage in the integrated application is expected to beintroduced to a limited market the second quarter of 2003, with thefully integrated product available by end of year 2003.

Avaya is a global market leader in contact center solutions,with more than 20,000 customer care center customers and 500multi-channel contact center customers worldwide.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks formore than one million businesses around the world, including 90percent of the FORTUNE 500®. A world leader in secure and reliableInternet Protocol (IP) telephony systems, communications softwareapplications and services, Avaya is driving the convergence ofvoice and data applications across IT networks enabling businesseslarge and small to leverage existing and new networks to enhancevalue, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage. Formore information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com.

About Microsoft Business Solutions
Microsoft Business Solutions is a pision of Microsoft and offersa wide range of integrated, end-to-end business applications andservices designed to help small, midmarket and corporate businessesbecome more connected with customers, employees, partners andsuppliers. Microsoft Business Solutions⬢ applications optimizestrategic business processes across financial management,analytics, human resources management, project management, customerrelationship management, field service management, supply chainmanagement, e-commerce, manufacturing, and retail management. Theapplications are designed to provide insight to help customersachieve business success. More information about Microsoft BusinessSolutions can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/businesssolutions.

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