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Retail Banks Turn to Avaya IP Telephony to Cut Costs, ImproveCustomer Service at Branch Locations


According to Datamonitor, a leading market research firm, branchbanks are taking center stage in the retail banking industry.

According to Datamonitor, a leading market research firm, branch banks are taking center stage in the retail banking industry. In fact, a "branch renewal" is underway as companies strive to grow new revenues by improving front-line customer service and to cut costs by automating their operations.1

Among the technologies helping to drive this branch-level transformation is Internet protocol (IP) telephony, a software-based technology that transmits voice as data over a computer network in a manner similar to e-mail. Businesses of all sizes are adopting this rapidly emerging technology in order to enhance communication with customers and colleagues and reduce costs.

IP telephony solutions from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, are facilitating branch renewal by helping community banks around the country build stronger customer relationships and improve their profitability. Among them are Florida Transportation Credit Union, Bank 10 and Truliant Federal Credit Union. All three use Avaya IP Office for their multi-site networks. IP Office is a converged voice and data communication solution designed specifically for small- to mid-sized firms and branch offices of larger enterprises. IP Office offers a variety of cost-effective, business-enhancing features that are typically available only for big businesses. Avaya has sold more than 38,000 IP Office systems to businesses worldwide.

Florida financial institution automates call flow to free staff resources
Florida Transportation Credit Union, a member-owned financial institution serving the Florida Department of Transportation, Turnpike Enterprise and other state agencies, is using IP telephony to improve customer service by automating functions that previously required a staff member's intervention.

"We've been able to route customers directly to automated account information using the auto-attendant feature of IP Office, while still giving them the option of reaching a service representative or loan officer if they need personal attention," said Scott Meyer, Florida Transportation CEO. Now two-thirds of the daily incoming calls the organization receives, which fluctuate between 750 and 2,000 are handled automatically.

In addition, Avaya IP Office has allowed the organization to establish 24-hour customer service capabilities. After hours, auto-attendant voice prompts automatically route callers to a Visa customer service representative to report a lost or stolen bankcard, without requiring the customer to hang up and redial.

IP Office delivers cost savings to Florida Transportation by eliminating long distance charges between the credit union's Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices and by reducing the staff required to handle customer calls.

"The system paid for itself in the first six months," Meyer said.

The IP telephony solution for Florida Transportation was sold through Avaya BusinessPartner Communication Solutions USA.

On-demand conferencing improves efficiency and customer service
For Bank 10, a Missouri-based community bank with five branch locations, IP Office is delivering improved productivity and customer service by eliminating the headaches once associated with daily organization-wide conference calls. Previously, each branch had its own inpidual phone system, making conferences cumbersome to initiate and often impossible to hear. With IP Office serving all five branches, a built-in 64-port audio conferencing bridge and a web-based scheduling interface now make it simple to set up calls and to collaborate with customers and colleagues on demand.

"IP telephony is transforming our business," said Bill Delphia, network administrator for Bank 10. "Conferencing is just one example. Now, instead of audio that deteriorates as more people are added, the clarity is excellent. We're also saving time and money since we now can conduct large meetings and even training sessions over the phone. Before IP Office, we couldn't attempt to do that."

Bank 10 also has improved customer service with IP Office. Previously, callers who dialed one of its local branches for information had to hang up and redial if the specific inpidual or department they needed resided at a different branch. Now an Avaya IP Office call center application easily routes customers to the appropriate contact, regardless of where that contact is located.

Since IP Office supports a variety of endpoints and network connectivity options, Bank 10 can use a mixture of digital and IP phones, both wired and wireless, with network connectivity that ranges from T1 to analog lines, depending on what is most affordable and useful for each branch.

The IP telephony solution for Bank 10 was sold through Avaya BusinessPartner Choice Solutions.

Credit union delivers headquarters communication features to branches offices
Truliant Federal Credit Union turned to Avaya IP Office for an economical way to deliver headquarters-like communication capabilities to branch financial centers. The far-flung company has 25 offices in five southeastern states serving 175,000 members.

"We discovered that IP Office is a small PBX with a server attached to it, and it could give us the same features at our branch locations that a big headquarters system provides," said Tammie Bennett, network services manager for Truliant. "It's the best small phone system I've ever seen. We simply ship it to a branch and know it will work there. You don't have to buy anything special."

Truliant uses IP Office for more than voice. When one of its offices wanted to add a new teller machine in its parking lot, it simply ran fiber optic cable to the machine and added an IP extension for connectivity to the bank network.

For its Winston-Salem, N.C., headquarters and customer contact center, Truliant uses Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software running on an Avaya S8700 Media Server. Two of the company's branch Avaya IP Office systems are now networked back to headquarters via IP trunks for four-digit dialing and seamless connectivity.

The IP Office solution for Truliant was sold through Avaya BusinessPartner Saturn Communications.

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:

1Datamonitor, "US Retail Banking Technology Quarterly," Q4 2004; "Branch Renewal in US Retail Banking," November 2003.

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