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Honda Drives Dealership Improvements with Wireless IP Telephonyfrom Avaya

  • Honda develops communication blueprint for car dealerships with Avaya IP Office system

Honda UK plans to improve customer service and manage its dealers more efficiently, thanks to its new IP telephony system from Avaya and Avaya Business Partner COMMPETE Ltd.

Honda UK plans to improve customer service and manage its dealers more efficiently, thanks to its new IP telephony system from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communication software, systems and services, and Avaya Business Partner COMMPETE Ltd., a primary service-orientated business that offers complete installation and maintenance of IP Office.

The Avaya IP Office and wireless network is being installed in selected Honda UK car dealerships. Sales executives will now be able to access calls, voice-mail and e-mail whether they are on the forecourt or out of the office using their Avaya wireless phones. Also, dealerships will benefit from features and cost savings on calls made between showrooms linked together through the implementation of IP Telephony.

The move by Honda to use IP telephony is part of a new communication blueprint that Honda has designed for its dealerships in the future. The new blueprint will be installed into new dealerships from 2004 and will be rolled out to future sites in due course. The Avaya wireless IP system in the showrooms will enable sales executives to better serve customers by allowing them to roam the dealership using Avaya's wireless handsets, seamlessly handling confidential calls for issues such as customer finances and enabling them to access car details directly from the forecourt.

Paul Kidd, dealership support manager, Honda UK, commented: "The development of a blueprint based on a wireless IP telephony solution for our dealerships allows us to provide Honda dealers with the best communication infrastructure going forward. IP telephony will give our dealers real cost benefits alongside practical applications that help better serve our Honda customers in the UK."

In the future, the new converged communications network will allow the IP-enabled Honda dealerships to interact with their e-mail systems, for example by accessing e-mails from customers whilst out of the office at exhibitions and meetings. One of the many applications available with IP Office is the unified messaging feature as part of the Voice-mail Pro application. This allows e-mails to be accessed and replied to over the phone via a 'text to speech' conversion process. Also, it offers Avaya Campaign Manager, an application that can be used to capture customer details received by e-mail and telephone for use in the promotion of new car models, sales figures and general customer communication.

"Moving across to IP telephony is a large step for any organization — whatever their size — but the benefits can be realised almost immediately," comments Nick Brasier, global director of product management for Avaya's Small and Medium Business Solutions group. "The additional applications such as Voice-mail Pro, available with IP Office, will enhance the way in which Honda serves its customers in the future, and the simple upgrade path will enable Honda to stay ahead of its competitors."

By streamlining the systems used throughout its dealerships, Honda can provide excellent technical support. Also, using IP Office software enables dealerships to upgrade applications simply by using the remote upgrade software wizards.

Peter Walker, managing director, COMMPETE Ltd commented: "Honda is a forward-thinking organisation, and the technology blueprint compiled is reflective of this. Honda has been very clear on wanting to install wireless front office systems in its dealerships, and the Avaya IP Office converged system allows them to achieve this and more."

The success of this deal was further recognised in October 2004 when Avaya's Business Partner in this implementation, COMMPETE, was nominated as a finalist in the Small and Medium Enterprises Convergence category at the BPL Business Media Ltd Channel Network Awards, held in London. Its work with Honda was cited as a solution designed for implementation in multiple locations across the UK, featuring IP Telephony, roaming and hands free telephone handsets, and mobility tools such as 'text to speech' and audio conferencing. The Channel Network Awards recognises the best practices in client solutions and encourages channel partnerships and relationships across the whole of the IT, telephony, voice/data convergence and Internet industries.

Notes to Editors
Honda UK's converged communications system comprises: Avaya IP Office 403 and 406 platforms using Avaya 3616 IP Wireless Telephones and 2030 Series Digital Telephones.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications — and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services — Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:

COMMPETE Ltd install, maintain and monitor the communication networks and desktop top systems for some of the top blue chip companies in the UK in critical IT areas such as data networking infrastructure, telecoms — both traditional and IP — and desk top applications. COMMPETE are one of the leading service companies pushing the boundaries of the new and rapidly developing convergence market. As part of COMMPETE's rapid expansion plan they have recently completed the acquisition of Vital networks service, enabling them to offer around-the-clock support to their customers.

About Honda
Honda is one of today's leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Honda has always sought to provide genuine satisfaction to people worldwide. The result is more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, producing a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment and automobiles that bring the company into contact with over 17 million customers annually.

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