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Ledson Vineyards Transforms Communications with One of 35,000 Avaya IP Offices Sold Worldwide to Small and Medium Firms

10-20-2004

Ledson Vineyards, a 5th generation winery that prides itself on customer service for the thousands of aficionados in its wine club, is using one of the 35,000 Internet Protocol telephony small and medium business solutions sold by Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services.

Ledson Vineyards, a 5th generation winery that prides itself on customer service for the thousands of aficionados in its wine club, is using one of the 35,000 Internet Protocol telephony small and medium business solutions sold by Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services. Using this solution, the winery can more efficiently handle calls and provide superior customer satisfaction.

IP telephony, a technology that uses VoIP to transmit voice as data over a computer network, empowers businesses with mobility, cost-savings, increased productivity and business continuity. Avaya's early recognition of IP telephony and IP contact centers as two of the fastest-growing segments in the telecommunications industry earned for Avaya market leadership for both of these segments globally1.

Ledson sales increased 68 percent with Avaya IP Office
Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, Ledson sells its award-winning wines exclusively at its winery and through direct sales to club members. That places much of Ledson's success in the hands of the agents in the company's contact center, who telephone club members to make them aware of special reserve wines and other offers available throughout the year.

"Our biggest challenge is customer service," said owner and vintner Steve Ledson. "There are a lot of companies that make good wine, and we believe the way we serve our customers distinguishes Ledson from its competitors."

The Avaya IP Office used by Ledson Vineyards is an "all-in-one" office communication solution that brings together voice, data and communications applications for small and mid-size businesses. Since its introduction in 2002, Avaya has sold 35,000 IP Office systems to businesses worldwide.

An Avaya IP Office call center application gives Ledson the reporting tools managers need to measure and improve agent productivity, allowing the company to make management decisions that have resulted in a significant jump in bottom-line revenues. With a new Avaya IP Office solution in place, Ledson has improved the productivity of its customer service team and increased sales by 68 percent.

"In addition to superior customer service, we are a volume business, and it is absolutely critical to keep in constant touch with our customers," Ledson said. "One way we provide excellent service is with the IP Office call handling feature, which enables us to ensure our customers aren't sent into a recorded voice mail message. So we route our incoming calls, allowing them to ring at the main reception no more than three times before the call is routed to an extension where we know it will receive personalized service."

Of equal value are the reports Ledson creates with the IP Office, because they help ensure that his high volume business stays high volume. "For example," he said, "we can compare our outgoing call volume with our data base of customers, and determine when we need to add another sales person to make additional customer contacts. In fact, since the advent of IP Office and the reports we can compile on all our call center activity, some of our top sales people have doubled the number of daily phone calls they make to clients, because they are striving to improve their productivity levels."

In addition to call routing, the call handling features of IP Office give small and medium firms "big business" features they can tailor for their operations — from messaging and call accounting to multiparty conferencing on demand.

New software for IP Office launched in customer trials
This week, Avaya introduced new software for IP Office, which will bring additional features to the solution. With the new software on IP Office, mobile phone users will be able to record calls when it's not possible to take notes, and use their laptop as a phone. The system will work as a "key system," the type of phone system many small and medium businesses use, with telephone lines illuminated on the phone sets for a visual display of a line in use, making it simpler for more people in an office to see incoming calls and provide coverage; and system setup and upgrades will be faster and easier, with more installation tools available.

The new software, which will be in trials at 40 sites globally, will be generally available worldwide in December.

The IP Office for Ledson Vineyards was sold and installed by Avaya BusinessPartner Synectic Technologies (www.synectictech.com). Based in Sacramento, Calif, and with locations in the Bay Area and throughout California, Synectic Technologies is a Gold certified Avaya reseller, with more than 25,000 enterprise customers. The firm specializes in incorporating communications technology into effective business management and marketing systems and has expertise in voice, data, Internet, call center, e-commerce and IP telephony equipment and services.

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 (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

1 Based on IP telephony research by Synergy Research Group and Frost & Sullivan reports on North American ACD systems (4/04), Asia Pacific Interaction CRM Markets (2004), and Latin American Contact Center Solutions Market (2004)

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