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Avaya Urges Businesses to Take Control of Hidden Costs ThroughManaged Communication Services

06-01-2005

Avaya Inc. announced the availability of its white paper entitled 'Multiple Choices for Managed Communication Services: What is the Right Choice for Your Business?'Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, today announced the availability of its white paper entitled 'Multiple Choices for Managed Communication Services: What is the Right Choice for Your Business?'* The paper was written and researched by industry analyst firm IDC. It takes an in-depth look at the various options open to procure and support communication systems, including managed and hosted* services.

Avaya believes that businesses should evaluate the best way to underpin their communication and highlights three choices which a company should consider to achieve a service that benefits them the most and provides the best competitive advantage. These choices include: 1) the speed of technology adoption by the company 2) technology payment method - does the business wish to make an outright purchase of the communication technology or is flexibility of payment required? 3) support - what level is needed by the business?

Businesses are in danger of not taking account of hidden costs associated with the management and maintenance of their communication systems, especially when the majority or all of the management is undertaken in-house. For example, many people, such as facilities managers, act as 'hybrid communication managers', who may assume roles in IT support with limited understanding of system management and therefore not realise all its costs. Similarly, a high percentage of call logging to internal helpdesk managers is an associated cost that often is not taken into account. These scenarios highlight grey areas that do not provide visibility of the total cost of internally-managed business communication systems. Avaya estimates that over 20 percent of annual staff and operational costs can be saved by addressing these hidden costs.*

Managed and hosted communication systems are reshaping the way many businesses interact with employees, customers and partners and can reduce costs. Also, due to globalisation, now more businesses have high numbers of branch offices. A hosted system can simplify the logistics of introducing and maintaining new technologies such as IP telephony and applications across all sites and, in addition, the system can be bundled into one fixed, monthly price. This allows businesses to better manage and control of communication and provide accurate forecasting.

Chris Barnard, Research director for European Telecommunications and Networking at IDC said: "Managed and hosted solutions represent an opportunity to manage voice and data communications via a specialised supplier and eliminate costly premise-based equipment. They simplify the logistics of introducing and maintaining technologies in hundreds of enterprise sites and, in addition, bundle this into one predictable monthly price with consolidated billing. The strategic and long-term nature of managed and hosted solutions makes the selection of a partner a critical business decision."

Dave Millett, Services business development director for Avaya in Europe, the Middle East and Africa said: "Businesses can improve their communication systems and drive down costs through a gradual migration towards managed and hosted solutions. However, it is important for a business to thoroughly evaluate its current communication needs and future strategy to determine the best migration path. This White Paper aims to provide businesses with an independent view on how to arrive at this choice."

Notes to Editors
*Avaya estimates that over 20 percent of annual staff and operational costs can be saved by addressing the hidden costs associated with the management and maintenance of an organisation's communication systems, especially when the majority or all of the management is undertaken in-house. This information is based on research undertaken from Avaya's Managed Services Return on Investment (ROI) tool with over 200 organisations.

* The white paper, written and researched by IDC is entitled 'Multiple Choices for Managed Communication Services: What is the Right Choice for Your Business?' can be accessed at: http://www.avaya.co.uk/pc

* The management of communication systems can take different forms, including:

Customer-managed equipment and service delivery (DIY). This is the traditional option for businesses that want to retain ownership and management responsibility for communication equipment and applications. The equipment sits on-site and is managed by the in-house ICT staff. Such a solution could be, for example, at the company headquarters.

Third party remote managed equipment and service delivery. In this option an enterprise retains ownership of premise-based platforms, but remote management and service delivery responsibilities are with a third party. This could be useful for an enterprise that needs to re-direct resources to tasks not related to day- to day management of communications solutions.

Third party on-site managed equipment and service delivery. In this scenario the equipment to support voice, contact centre and unified messaging resides on the premise, but management is carried on-site by a specialist organisation. Also, this could include remote managed services. This type of managed service forms the missing link between remote management and hosted services. Management of premise-based equipment is handed over to a specialist, usually whose staff will be on-site to handle service delivery, such as contact centre optimisation.

Hosted service. This is for businesses that want to outsource the complete communication system. Such hosted solution is either dedicated (i.e. equipment off site in a third party data centre for use by a single enterprise only, such as hosted IP PBX) or shared. In both cases a data centre delivers the security, environment, and resources to ensure reliable 24x7 service.

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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