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PLDT, Avaya Forge Deal to Support Philippine Business and Booming Call Center Industry

10-25-2004

Telecom giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Avaya, a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, have recently teamed up to offer a new solution that would diminish entry barriers to the booming call center industry and help control expenses for companies already into the business.

Telecom giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Avaya, a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, have recently teamed up to offer a new solution that would diminish entry barriers to the booming call center industry and help control expenses for companies already into the business.

Called PLDT On-Call, the solution is a reliable, flexible and cost-effective end-to-end solution covering all aspects of the call center business.

The managed call center solution has four components: Service Provider Delivered Contact Center Solution powered by Avaya solutions, Managed Telecom Facilities (domestic and international facilities, powered by PLDT's Brains Network), Agents (recruitment, training, management), and Other Peripherals (computers, IP phones, headsets).

Eric R. Alberto, PLDT Corporate Business Group Head, said PLDT On-Call is so flexible that it encompasses all the equipment companies will need, from computers to special phones, servers and gateways. It even includes the provisioning of trained customer service representatives.

"Through this solution, clients don't have to worry about heavy capital expenditures for equipment and facilities. They can just focus on their core business. PLDT On-Call is also free from obsolescence because we do the upgrades for them," said Alberto.

Under this agreement, PLDT and Avaya will offer customers a simple, cost-effective and low-risk way to incorporate new technology into their operations without investing in equipment of their own. PLDT will host and manage the Avaya contact center infrastructure on its own premises, providing its customers with access to industry leading, best-in-class contact center capabilities as a monthly PLDT On-Call service.

PLDT On-Call will implement a utility-based or pay-per-use model that enables customers to pay for actual usage on a monthly per seat basis, rather than a fixed price. This is the first nationwide hosted contact center solution available to Philippine businesses and the first with usage-based pricing.

Aside from prospective entrants into the call center industry and call center companies with additional capacity requirements, companies with managed contact center needs will benefit from this.

The agreement between PLDT and Avaya leverages the market leadership of both companies. PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines and the country's market leader for both fixed-line and mobile services. Avaya, in turn, is the global leader in contact centers. The company is also first in call centers for both Asia Pacific and the Philippines, where it holds a 36% and 55% share, respectively.1

Denzil Samuels, Avaya vice president and general manager for the service provider pision, said the Avaya partnership with PLDT will address a rapidly growing global market for carrier-provided hosted communications services that is estimated to grow from around $1 billion in 2004 to nearly $17 billion by 2008.2

"PLDT and Avaya offer a simple, cost-effective way for companies to ramp up quickly to meet demand, manage fluctuations in their business due to seasonality and other factors, and pay for resources as and when the business needs them," he said. "As a result, businesses can minimize implementation and operational risks and lower their total costs."

The Avaya-supported Service Provider Delivered Contact Center Solution that powers PLDT On-Call is based on the Avaya Customer Interaction Suite, which is part of the company's MultiVantage™ family of communication applications. It provides businesses with the same market-leading customer service capabilities used in large contact centers around the world. Businesses with as few as 30 agent stations will be able to select the precise features that will help them grow and compete-from multichannel, skills-based routing to management features such as call recording, and real-time reports that allow contact center supervisors to push for high performance levels.

PLDT On-Call, through the Service Provider Delivered Contact Center Solution supported by Avaya, also provides businesses the option of using traditional TDM (time pision multiplexing) or IP (Internet Protocol) technologies so they can easily deploy advanced capabilities such as speech-enabled self-service and contact management to any global location across a distributed enterprise. The end result is a hosted contact center solution that offers choices and that can be specifically tailored to a company's operations.

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: http://www.avaya.com

About PLDT
PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines. Through its three principal business groups  fixed line, wireless and information communications technology  PLDT offers a wide range of telecommunications services across the Philippines' most extensive fiber optic backbone and fixed line, cellular and satellite network.

PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE:TEL) and its American depositary shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PHI) and the Pacific Exchange. PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine listed companies.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Web at www.pldt.com.ph.

1 Frost & Sullivan, April 2004
2 Source TBD, please contact Alicia Price above

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