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Horsham District Council Drives e-government with Avaya

03-29-2004
  • Council uses IP telephony to embrace e-government and enhance service for local residents with IP telephony

Avaya announced the deployment of a converged communication system using IP telephony for Horsham District Council in Sussex in the south of England.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading provider of communications networks and services for businesses, today announced the deployment of a converged communication system using IP telephony for Horsham District Council in Sussex in the south of England. The new system, recommended and installed by business partner, Pink Telecommunications will enable a faster, more effective response to enquiries from over 121,000 of the district's residents, making services more accessible and user friendly.

The new Avaya IP Office communications system will help Horsham District Council meet the UK government objectives of delivering services electronically by 2005. The new system based on IP Office will provide the bandwidth, flexibility and resilience necessary for the transformation.

Kathleen Klasnic, lead analyst for Public Sector Technology at Datamonitor commented, "We are starting to see growing acceptance of IP telephony in Local Government which is borne out by our research which shows that over 50% of authorities in a recent survey are expecting to deploy the technology in the next six months. Horsham District Council is one of the early adopters of IP telephony to support egovernment services along with other, larger metropolitan areas".

The Avaya IP Office converged communication system recommended and installed by business partner, Pink Telecoms replaces separate, traditional telephone systems at each of the Council's seven offices. The head office, a number of branch offices and council leisure facilities such as The Capitol Theatre and Horsham Museum are linked together as one system for the first time to improve communication. IP Office enables all the sites to be linked seamlessly with efficient routing of telephone calls enhancing service to local residents as well as avoiding lost and misdirected calls. The system reduces costs by routing calls made from any internal location over the Council's network as opposed to the public network, and decreases maintenance charges as a result of having one system.

Also Horsham District Council is proposing the use of Avaya's softphone technology to support remote working for its seven cabinet members who are senior decision-makers in the Council. Softphone technology allows phone calls to be made and received from a laptop or PC from any location such as home using IP telephony. This will allow cabinet members to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of residents within the district.

Terry McDonald, ICT director of Horsham District Council said, "We are committed to providing residents with improved online access to the Council's services in the most cost effective manner and IP telephony is integral to that aim. Our communications system is one of the key components that will provide our 121,000+ residents with improved access to those services."

"We recognised the benefits that the Avaya communications system would bring to the council," said Kevin Boyer, commercial development manager for Pink Telecommunications. "Avaya IP Office enabled us to provide the right solution to address the high customer service requirements of government and provide services when and how they wish, whether that be via phone, email or fax."

Pink Telecom recommended the Avaya system to Horsham District Council after completing a rigorous selection process comprising numerous official tenders. Horsham District Council awarded Pink Telecom the contract on the basis that it could provide full project management including expert technical advice on design, selection and support during the implementation of each of the seven Avaya IP Office communication systems. The systems include many applications: softphone; automated attendant; voicemail; voice recording; and a multimedia contact centre. These applications will provide the Council with enhanced productivity statistics with which to improve call-handling efficiency and service to residents.

"In today's competitive environment it is essential to provide customers with tangible return on investment," said Richard Pitt, sales director for Avaya's Small and Medium-sized Business Solutions group. "We feel that this new communications network fits the council's requirements and will provide a return on investment."

After implementation, Pink Telecom provided full training of the new system and is providing ongoing support 24 hours, seven days per week. Pink Telecom replaced a 500-seat system with the new Avaya network within 48 hours over a weekend with a 100 percent success rate.

Note to editors: In 2003, research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. listed Avaya in the leader quadrant for enterprise telephony vendors in the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony in EMEA and in the Magic Quadrant for North America Enterprise Telephony.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) 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: http://www.avaya.com

About Pink Telecom
Pink Telecommunications are one of the UK's longest established telecommunication resellers. Established since 1983, they have provided thousands of end users with Voice and Data solutions tailor made to suit their requirements.

Pink are at the forefront of convergence technology and offer a One Stop Shop solution for all Voice and Data applications, providing a market leading level of friendly unbiased advice and expertise. For more information visit the Pink Telecommunications Web site at www.pinktelecom.co.uk

About Horsham District Council
Horsham District Council is a local authority and serves the 205 square miles and 121,000+ residents of the Horsham District in West Sussex. Its mission is 'working in partnership to secure a better quality of life for all in the Horsham District.' More information: www.horsham.gov.uk

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