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Avaya Helps One of North America's Largest Utilities DeliverUninterrupted Service to 18 Million People in 20 States

05-24-2005

With a century-long history of superior service at stake, AmericanWater accepts no compromises when it comes to deliveringuninterrupted support to customers.With a century-long history of superior service at stake, American Water accepts no compromises when it comes to delivering uninterrupted support to customers. In fact, when the company decided to expand the Alton, Ill.-based contact center that serves nearly 18 million people in 20 states, a major driver was the need to ensure that customers would always be able to communicate with the company for billing and service inquiries.

Now a new Internet protocol (IP) telephony and contact center solution from Avaya Inc., (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, services and systems, has enabled American Water to add a second center in Pensacola, Fla., to handle call overflow and improve the continuity of its operations - while managing both locations centrally as a single operation.

The new American Water contact center is part of a major economic development initiative now underway in the Pensacola community, which last year was ravaged by Hurricane Ivan.

"Though we've always had a disaster recovery plan, it involved moving our customer service agents to a new location which may have taken up to 72 hours to accomplish," said Ken Danridge, manager of networks and communications for American Water. "Working with Avaya, we are now able to link our Illinois and Florida centers so either location can actively manage all incoming calls in real time. That means if either center needs to close because of weather or other factors, we can simply re-route traffic, which with other relevant disaster recovery activities at the call center, is designed to deliver uninterrupted customer service."

The Avaya solution for American Water is based on Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software, an application that helps businesses intelligently connect people and processes over global networks in a 24/7 world. The software delivers advanced levels of survivability, reliability and collaboration so employees can remain productive from any location and businesses can continue to function under even the most challenging conditions.

Avaya S8700 Media Servers and G650 Media Gateways used by American Water host the Communication Manager software and distribute its capabilities to end users, including more than 600 contact center agents and administrative staffers. In the event of a system failure, duplicate servers are available to take over network operations with minimal interruption.

Avaya Call Center Elite software is used to deliver patented routing capabilities to each center - allowing American Water to match the four million callers who contact the company each year with the agent best able to assist them. Calls can be seamlessly routed anywhere on the company's network.

Avaya development partners, Blue Pumpkin - a Witness Systems Company, and Nice Systems support American Water's new network with standards-based applications that are compliance-tested for interoperability with Avaya contact center software. Blue Pumpkin software provides workforce management, scheduling and planning tools, while Nice Systems provides audio and agent desktop screen recording capabilities for quality monitoring and assurance.

Installation, service and support are provided to American Water by Avaya Global Services, a team of more than 9,000 communication experts around the globe who are backed by 25 network operations centers, 28 technical support centers and unique, patented network design and management tools.

The grand opening of the new Pensacola center, which will employ 220 customer service representatives when fully staffed, took place on May 23, 2005 and was well attended with participation from Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Congressman Jeff Miller.

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

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