Investor News

Home  >  Investor News  >  News Release Details

News Release Details

View All News

AOL Europe Improves Customer Service Using Avaya ConvergedTechnology

03-10-2005

Avaya announced that AOL Europe, the European business unit of America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company with more than 29 million members globally, has awarded Avaya a contract to provide three contact centers covering fourteen locations with IP telephony.

Avaya Inc (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, today announced that AOL Europe, the European business unit of America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company with more than 29 million members globally, has awarded Avaya a contract to provide three contact centers covering fourteen locations with IP telephony. These new IP contact centers will enable AOL to improve the speed, cost and reliability of customer services it offers to its more than 6.3 million members in France, Germany, the UK and Ireland.

In order to accurately assess AOL's requirements, Avaya's UK-based Business Consulting team conducted an in-depth consultancy project for AOL. Business and technical consultants from Avaya analyzed AOL's existing technology and also assessed business issues facing the company and its future plans. The Avaya IP contact center solutions were specifically developed to address the findings of this consultation. These include the simplification of AOL's telecommunication infrastructure to reduce operational issues as well as communication costs, and the implementation of skill-based routing to make better use of the existing resources for the benefit of AOL members.

"Centralization of enterprise application servers, increasing capacities in the wide area data network and the adoption of IP Telephony are associated IT developments which, if planned in association with customer service initiatives will improve business agility as well as reducing the total cost of ownership of technology," comments Steve Blood, Vice President at research and advisory firm, Gartner, Inc.

By introducing IP telephony, AOL will be able to increase the operational efficiency of its call centers. The company is expecting four key benefits:

  • Reduced costs - Customers can call a local number but their query could be handled from anywhere as it will be carried over AOL's corporate IP network at minimal cost. By running one network for voice and data, operational costs will be reduced and the network will be less expensive to maintain.
  • Faster resolution of customer inquiries - The Avaya IP solution offers skills based routing. Queries will be immediately directed to the most appropriate agent available, reducing the number of times a call is transferred within the contact center.
  • Flexibility - The new solution is highly scalable. Additional seats can easily be added or removed to meet demand at peak times of the year such as Christmas, and to cope with the company's aggressive growth plans.
  • Improved motivation - New functionality available through the solution, such as agent information pop-ups, is expected to improve motivation in the 2,500 AOL customer service agents.

Although the core technology will be the same for the contact centers, Avaya's solutions have been tailored to the specific needs of each site. For example, in Germany and the UK/Ireland, Avaya is implementing full IP contact centers, and in France, a hybrid model fits better with existing architecture.

AOL chose Avaya because of the proven business benefits of its IP contact centers. Sven Beiling, technical director, telecommunications and projects AOL Member Services Europe, says, "Changing the infrastructure of our contact centers to IP is a huge challenge and we had to be sure that we would see the right benefits in every country. Although we are still in the initial phases of the implementation, we are already seeing benefits in terms of cost savings and improved voice quality and we expect to see further operational and business benefits soon."

Dave Johnson, EMEA president at Avaya, adds, "This is a significant project with 2,500 agents in 14 locations. We took a consultative approach, recognizing that we had to address not only technology issues, but also look at business improvements, strategies and goals. The IP contact center solutions from Avaya will allow AOL to focus on maintaining excellent customer service as it grows its business."

The Avaya flagship IP telephony offering, Avaya Communication Manager is currently being installed in contact centers supporting AOL's Member Services. The software is running on Avaya S8700 Media Servers with Avaya G650 Media Gateways. Call Center Elite, Modular Messaging software and an integrated management suite have also been rolled out at all the contact centers. Approximately 2690 employees will use Avaya IP telephones.

IP telephony is software-based technology that uses Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) to transmit voice as data over a computer network. Businesses are adopting this rapidly emerging technology - which includes features such as call forwarding, conferencing, voice messaging and other applications - to enhance the capability of their communication network and reduce costs. According to Synergy Research Group, Avaya is the worldwide leader in IP telephony in terms of number of ports.

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 AOL Europe
AOL Europe is a business unit of America Online, Inc., which is the world's leading interactive services company with more than 29 million members worldwide. America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

Categories: Press Releases
View All News