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Small and Medium Companies Transform Sales, Service Operations Using Avaya IP Telephony with Microsoft® CRM

05-11-2005

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) worldwide are using one of the industry's first complete IP telephony customer management suites designed for SMBs by Avaya.Small and medium businesses (SMBs) worldwide are using one of the industry's first complete IP telephony customer management suites designed for SMBs by Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, services and systems.

The Avaya IP Office Customer Management suite featuring Microsoft® CRM encompasses all the hardware, software and support that businesses need to transform their sales and service operations.

The IP Office solution integrated with Microsoft CRM delivers on a strategic alliance announced between Avaya and Microsoft to create packaged business solutions for small and medium firms around the globe. The solution now combines Avaya's award-winning IP Office Solution and contact center application with the Sales and Customer Service modules of Microsoft CRM Professional edition, coupling telephony call routing with customer relationship management technology to enable a new set of applications that improve the customer experience and increase the information businesses have about their customers.

For example, when a call comes into Avaya IP Office, the system searches the Microsoft CRM database for customer records linked to the incoming phone number. Once found, a "screen pop" displays all the information related to the customer's account. Also, Avaya has integrated the reporting capabilities of its Avaya IP Office contact center application with Microsoft CRM. As a result, businesses can analyze the amount of time spent on the phone with customers and related sales information, providing the data organizations need to understand which customers are the most valuable.

Avaya IP Office is a full-featured, all-in-one voice and data communication system designed for small and mid-sized companies and for branch offices of larger firms. Service and support for the new integrated product is provided by Avaya Global Services, a worldwide team of more than 7,000 telecommunications experts.

According to industry analysts at the Gartner Group, the CRM market for small and medium businesses is expected to grow to more than $4 billion over the next three years in the U.S. alone.

"Small and medium businesses have special requirements," said Pat Hume, global vice president for Avaya's Small and Medium Business Solutions Group. "They need to provide excellent customer service in order to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and they want 'big business' capabilities that are easy to use. By marrying Avaya IP Office and its contact center applications with Microsoft CRM, we are able to offer these smaller firms a significant competitive advantage."

Launched in early 2003 as a core Microsoft Business Solutions offering, Microsoft CRM is installed in more than 3,500 small and medium businesses, making the company the leading CRM provider for small and mid-sized businesses since the product's inception. Avaya has sold more than 46,000 IP Office systems to small and medium businesses around the globe.

Avaya recently attained Gold Certified Status in the Microsoft Partner Program in ISV software competency, recognizing Avaya's expertise and total impact in the technology marketplace. Microsoft competencies are designed to help differentiate a partner's capabilities with specific Microsoft technologies to customers looking for a particular type of solution.

"Avaya IP Office with Microsoft CRM provides a unified solution that helps small and medium businesses improve their customer-facing business processes and leverage their communication network to better serve their customers," said Brad Wilson, general manager, Microsoft CRM.

Integrated solution drives efficiencies, builds knowledge base,
For customers in the U.S. and U.K.

Three of the companies benefiting from the new Avaya IP telephony suite featuring Microsoft CRM are Customer Effective of Greenville, S.C., and I.B.I.S. of Atlanta, Ga. - both Microsoft business partners - and Hauser, based in the UK.

According to Mike Rogers, vice president, sales, Customer Effective, the new integrated solution helps his company speed the resolution of customer problems.

"Before, if a customer called us with an issue, we had to take notes, go into Microsoft CRM to review their account history, create a new case, enter the notes and call the customer back with an answer to their problem," Rogers said. "With our new integrated Avaya solution, the incoming caller ID information triggers a popup screen with the customer record so we can take notes directly in the file and review the account history in real-time. Now, we often are able to help customers while we still have them on the phone."

Customer Effective estimates it has reduced telephony management costs by 20 percent, accelerated sales and customer service business processes by 70 percent and reduced the time employees spend on call management by 60 percent with the system.

For I.B.I.S., the new integrated Avaya customer management suite has proved to be a great benefit to sales teams.

"By automatically documenting the substance of each call, our knowledge of the client grows and we don't lose that," said Andy Vabulas, CEO, I.B.I.S. "We've seen a huge up-tick in the number of calls that are documented, which is exactly what a small business needs in order to be successful."

With the integrated reporting capability of Avaya IP Office and Microsoft CRM, I.B.I.S. managers also find they have the tools they need to measure call volumes, determine staffing needs and accurately measure bottom-line results.

Freight forwarding company, Hauser, will be utilizing the reporting capabilities of the Avaya IP Office Customer Management Suite, allowing it to analyze more than 150,000 customer consignments from across 20 countries in Europe and use the information to improve direct marketing communications.

"We previously had no way in which to review our customers' buying patterns and their value to the business. This integrated system will allow us to grow our business through our existing customer base in a more efficient manner," comments David Williams, managing director, Hauser. "For example, we can now run a search on our customers importing from a specific global location and easily contact them to advise and sell them new services for this destination."

The IP Office system will be used across Hauser's ten UK branch offices from Glasgow to London, utilizing its existing data network, centralizing the management of its communication system and providing cost savings on calls between branch offices.

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 Customer Effective
Customer Effective is a leading innovator in customer interaction solutions based on the Microsoft CRM platform. Customer Effective is an award winning Microsoft Certified Partner and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) serving midmarket organizations and system implementers worldwide. Customer Effective's 100% focus on Microsoft CRM allows them to provide deep functional knowledge and technical development capabilities to partners and customers. Every member of the team is a software industry veteran with many years of experience building and supporting Microsoft-based business solutions.

About Hauser
Hauser offers high-quality, cost effective overland logistics solutions for European exporters and importers. With nearly 70 years of proven performance firstly by conventional sea freight then train ferry and now by two-way, driver-accompanied services, a commitment to results has established Hauser as a major operator, direct to overland markets.

A major international organization with a turnover in excess of £25m (about US$48 million), Hauser employs 130 people in 10 strategically-placed locations throughout England & Scotland. It delivers around 150,000 consignments per year for 9,000 clients in more than 20 European countries (see http://www.hauser.co.uk). Hauser's IP Office 403 model communication system with IP Office Customer Management Suite feature Microsoft CRM was designed and implemented by Avaya BusinessPartner, Pennine Telecom.

About I.B.I.S., Inc.
Founded in 1989, I.B.I.S., Inc. (www.ibisinc.com) is a leading total enterprise business solution provider for forward-thinking companies seeking to gain and sustain a true competitive advantage through Microsoft technology solutions. I.B.I.S., Inc. is a full-service consultancy providing end-to-end business solutions related to Microsoft Business Solutions ERP and CRM application software and Microsoft infrastructure products. I.B.I.S., Inc. is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a Microsoft Business Solutions Inner Circle Partner (Top 1%), and a two-time recipient of Microsoft Business Solutions' Outstanding U.S. Partner of the Year award. I.B.I.S., Inc. is headquartered in the high-tech corridor of Technology Park in suburban Atlanta, with offices in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.

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