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Avaya IP Contact Center Solution Receives Editor's Choice Awardfrom Network Computing Magazine

06-20-2005

Avaya announced that its Internet protocol (IP)-enabled contact center solutions have received an Editor's Choice Award from Network Computing magazine, an industry-leading publication for information technology and networking professionals.Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, today announced that its Internet protocol (IP)-enabled contact center solutions have received an Editor's Choice Award from Network Computing magazine, an industry-leading publication for information technology and networking professionals. Based on an extensive evaluation, the magazine cited Avaya for providing the best mix of features, its ability to integrate with existing systems and its reasonable price.

Each vendor participating in the evaluation was asked to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) for a fictional manufacturer, Kodiak Corp. The company needed to move to an IP-enabled contact center in order to eliminate high toll charges, accommodate multimedia call routing and support work-at-home agents. In addition, Kodiak wanted to add these new capabilities to its legacy infrastructure.

The solution proposed by Avaya included Avaya Interaction Center 6.3 running on an Avaya S8500 Media Server. Interaction Center is a multimedia contact management application that is part of the Avaya Customer Interaction Suite-a family of next-generation IP applications that can seamlessly link a company's workforce, regardless of where they are based, to serve customers with greater speed, accuracy and efficiency. Avaya last week introduced next-generation contact center applications for the suite, including Interaction Center 7.0, which includes a Web browser-based multimedia agent interface to simplify deployment, as well as new workflow design tools, enhanced Web-chat capabilities and broadened language support.

Network Computing evaluated each proposal based on system design, support for agents, reporting capabilities and price. The magazine noted that Avaya's design allows agents to connect to a contact center through a company's existing TDM-based PBX and easily move to IP phones over time. PC-based Avaya softphones are also an option. Avaya's IP Agent softphone incorporates both phone and contact center functions in a single application that runs on a PC or laptop computer, allowing telecommuters, remote and home-based agents to connect over either an IP network or the public switched network.

"Add the built-in VPN, and you'd have what we consider the best proposal for telecommuter support," wrote technology editor Mike DeMaria. In fact, Network Computing awarded bonus points to Avaya "for being the only vendor to offer built-in VPN capabilities." Avaya was also cited as "the only option for endpoint-to-gateway encryption."

Avaya gave Kodiak the option of using a local client or a server-based thin-client for computer telephony integration - delivering contact and wait-time information to agents and suggested responses to typical customer inquiries.

Network Computing noted that Avaya's workflow designer application allows companies to simulate and test workflow scenarios before implementing them, and information technology (IT) managers can "drop into lower-level programming and access custom APIs." Avaya Interaction Center also allows companies to assign logic to customer queues.

"For example, if a service agreement can't be met for a specific queue, a pool of reserve agents can be transferred to it," Network Computing reported. "An agent can work simultaneously on two tasks, such as a phone conversation and e-mail, if business rules allow, and agents can be interrupted from e-mail for priority phone calls. Callers can be informed of their estimated wait times, leave a callback number and enter an IVR self-service module without losing their spot in the queue."

On the reporting side, Avaya allows companies to store up to 10 years of monthly call-history data or five years of daily data.

Avaya's proposal was the most detailed response and one of the two least expensive in the evaluation, Network Computing said. It included "an extensive ROI analysis to help Kodiak's IT department justify going to VoIP across the enterprise." Network Computing recommended that companies using Avaya VoIP systems consider staying with Avaya for their contact center operations.

"Avaya Interaction Center and our contact center applications are designed to help businesses turn any employee into a contact center resource to improve customer service and build revenue," said Eileen Rudden, vice president, Enterprise Communications Applications pision, Avaya. "The business scenario explored by Network Computing demonstrates the need for applications that can securely and intelligently extend contact center capabilities to distributed agents, workers and experts in any location, while retaining existing investments in technology."

The results of Network Computing's IP-enabled contact center evaluation are featured in the publication's June 13th issue, available online at www.networkcomputing.com. Avaya's full response to the RFI is posted at http://i.cmpnet.com/nc/1611/graphics/1611rfi1.pdf.

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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