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Avaya IP-Based Contact Center Express for Medium-Sized Businesses Provides Intelligent Communications to Enhance Customer Service

07-06-2005

Avaya Inc. announced enhancements to Avaya Contact Center Express that will enable medium-sized businesses to use intelligent communications to better serve their customers.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of business communication applications, systems and services, today announced enhancements to Avaya Contact Center Express that will enable medium-sized businesses to use intelligent communications to better serve their customers.

 

The global market for contact center technology is expected to grow to US$5.1 billion by 2008, with the most growth over the next five years in the mid-market in contact centers with up to 250 agents, according to Datamonitor.*

 

The software enhancements to Avaya Contact Center Express, which is tightly integrated with Microsoft ® applications, include a new Microsoft ® CRM connector that identifies incoming calls received by the contact center and provides an appropriate "pop up" with customer history on an agent's screen. The Microsoft CRM connector also enables agents to click a button on their Microsoft CRM screen to place outgoing calls.

 

Contact Center Express now also handles and routes instant messages (IMs) from customers using Microsoft Messenger, allowing organizations to provide more direct customer service to the growing community of IM users. Other enhancements include simplified management tools, easier e-mail handling and spell-checking, greater customization capabilities and more detailed reporting.

 

The latest version of Contact Center Express will be featured at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (Avaya Booth 818), which takes place in Minneapolis, Minn., July 7-10, 2005. At the booth, Avaya is featuring its suite of IP telephony solutions for small and medium businesses, including Avaya IP Office with Microsoft ® CRM, a packaged solution that encompasses all the hardware, software and support that small and medium businesses need to transform their sales and service operations.

 

"We know that medium-sized contact centers want to benefit from the same IP telephony, multi-channel and agent empowerment capabilities as larger enterprises - but need solutions that are much easier and more cost effective to deploy." said Eileen Rudden, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Communications Applications pision, Avaya. "With the features we've now added to Contact Center Express, we are enabling these businesses to further enhance their customer experiences and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, while also increasing their efficiency to lower contact center costs."

 

Contact Center Express provides a complete multi-channel (inbound and outbound voice, e-mail, Web chat and Microsoft Messenger for instant messaging) contact center solution, with rich desktop interfaces for agents and supervisors, fully leveraging Avaya's market-leading IP telephony and contact center routing and reporting capabilities - all designed for cost effective and easy deployment by medium sized businesses. Pricing for Contact Center Express is from $425 per concurrent agent for voice to $1000 per concurrent agent for all channels, with packages combining further Avaya solutions also available, and hardware servers purchased separately.

 

SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. hones customer service with Avaya Contact Center Express

SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc., a financial services company with roots dating back over 65 years, originally offered life insurance exclusively through banks and only in New York State. Today, the company is expanding nationally through a subsidiary, S.USA Life Insurance Company, Inc., and has persified its distribution channels. Because more customers do their banking and other financial business on the Web or through call centers, the firm enables customers to purchase insurance and manage their accounts through the Internet or through its new state-of-the-art Customer Centers located in Buffalo, New York; New York City; Chicago; and Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

 

"We pride ourselves on customer service and we're constantly looking for ways to help empower our agents and customer service representatives to improve their relationships with our clients," said Heath Snow, telecom and IT manager at SBLI USA. "We also wanted to give our team tools to help increase their efficiency. Plus, we needed a solution that would integrate well with our existing applications."

 

To help achieve those goals, the company installed Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony and contact center software, running on an Avaya S8700 Media Server and Avaya G650 Media Gateways; as well as Avaya S8300 Media Servers and Avaya G350 Media Gateways. SBLI USA also installed Avaya Contact Center Express at its Buffalo Customer Center and at its Newark, N.J. Operations Center.

 

SBLI USA is piloting an updated screen-pop process, leveraging Avaya Contact Center Express. When customers call in to the company to do business, the information they provide automatically appears on the appropriate SBLI USA representative's screen, providing quick access to details needed to handle the calls. "Our response time has always been good, but now we have all the relevant details we need on screen in about six seconds, which we believe provides our customers with even higher levels of service and satisfaction," Snow said.

 

SBLI USA is now also routing incoming calls based on area code, and whether the customer prefers to speak to someone in English or Spanish. "Because we now have five offices spread across the United States, we want to make sure our customers have the opportunity to speak with customer service representatives right in their own communities, and in the language the customers prefer. It's a way to help keep us local and friendly, even though we're a national company," Snow said.

 

Routing calls based on area code also enables SBLI USA to ensure that any agent handling a call is licensed to serve the client in the customer's geographic location. "It's extremely important in the insurance industry, where agents generally are not licensed to practice in every state, to get our callers to people who can actually help them," Snow said. With the Avaya Contact Center Express, SBLI USA can route incoming calls to the appropriate representative - or even to a certain agent in a particular geographic area, giving the company a greater level of control and accuracy.

 

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 SBLI USA

SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. is a financial services company that is committed to value-conscious consumers. The company is dedicated to building lifelong relationships with customers and empowering them with the education and tools they need to take control of their financial destinies.

 

SBLI USA and its subsidiaries are licensed in 49 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. With more than $17 billion of insurance in force, $1.5 billion in assets, $120 million in surplus capital, 250 employees and over 400,000 customers, the Company is committed to offering affordable, flexible and easy-to-access products through a variety of integrated channels, including direct mail, telemarketing, a bilingual Web site, licensed agents, and new Customer Centers, as it expands nationally.

 

SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. is the parent company to SBLI USA Holdings, Inc., which owns subsidiary companies S.USA Life Insurance Company, Inc., and SBLI USA persified Services Company, Inc.

 

Additional information about SBLI USA products and services can be found at www.sbliusa.com/mc.

 

*Datamonitor, Contact Center Component Technology to 2008: The Global Perspective, May 2004

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