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Avaya IP System for Small and Medium Businesses Enables Youth Development Organization to Improve Client Services and Control Costs


Youth Development, Inc. in New Mexico is using an Avaya IP telephony system to improve its client services and better control its communications costs.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Youth Development, Inc. (YDI), New Mexico's largest social services nonprofit organization, providing educational, developmental and humanitarian assistance to children, youths and families in central and northern New Mexico, is using an Avaya IP telephony system for small and medium businesses to improve its client services and better control its communications costs. Avaya is a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services.


YDI was using a variety of disparate telephone systems at its 52 sites throughout the state, making it difficult and costly to administer, maintain, and deliver software applications and services to its clients. YDI considered several proposals and decided that Avaya IP Office, Avaya's flagship voice and data communications system for small and medium businesses, fit YDI's tight budget and would enable the organization to gradually migrate voice systems to IP, manage the system from one location, and easily and quickly distribute communications applications to its employees, allowing them to work more efficiently and better serve clients.


YDI's IP Office system was configured and implemented by Avaya resellers Abba Technologies and Global Voice, both of which are certified members of Avaya's BusinessPartner program. The Avaya resellers partnered with Extreme Networks, Inc. to update YDI's existing data network infrastructure.


"We have more than 500 employees across 10 counties, and IP Office gives us the flexibility to meet a broad range of needs," said Larry Fortess, chief administrative officer and vice president, YDI. "Our headquarters in Albuquerque has about 70 people, and we have many one-person or two-person offices in rural, remote areas, and everything in between. We knew we wanted to move toward IP, but we didn't want to put an IP PBX at every site, which would be impractical and expensive."


Instead, YDI installed IP Office at The Wool Warehouse, which is YDI's corporate headquarters as well as a performing arts center in downtown Albuquerque. Now, using the IP Office feature called "small community networking" over the standard data network, 16 YDI offices with Avaya IP phones share the same features and capabilities, such as centralized voice mail. Approximately 300 YDI employees at these offices - the largest has 40 employees, the smallest has five, and most have 15 or 20 people - are now connected using IP Office. Workers can "point and click" on their PC to make and receive calls, set up conference calls, or speed dial. They can also contact each other faster, with four-digit dialing that avoids potentially expensive long-distance charges. The crisis intervention staff and IT teams, which must be on call 24 hours a day, send incoming office calls to their mobile phones if they're out of the office, so they can be reached at any time.


"The ability to be mobile and productive, and collaborate more easily, are tremendous benefits," Fortess said. "I can be on the road and still keep in touch with my staff by forwarding my calls to my mobile phone, or check email and voice mail on my laptop if I'm working remotely, as can any other employee. If I can't reach someone at their extension, I can page them in their office - even if they're 10 miles away from me. We're also using the built-in conference bridge, so instead of paying the conference service company to connect only six locations, I can talk to as many as 64 locations. When you address critical issues on a daily basis, such as counseling families and working with youth offenders, communications features such as these aren't just 'nice to have' - they're an absolute necessity."


Using every dollar of its budget wisely is also a necessity for YDI, according to Fortess. With centralized management, YDI reduced the cost of maintaining several different phone systems, training employees to use the systems, and having its IT staff visit inpidual offices to administer the phone systems. "We've been using IP Office for a couple months and we've just started collecting metrics, but we know we've already cut our communications expenses by hundreds of dollars monthly," said Fortess, who plans to add four or five more offices to YDI's IP Office network, as well as call center capabilities, by year's end.


"Just like many other businesses and organizations, our dollars are shrinking but the demand for our customer services is growing," he said. "With Avaya IP Office, we didn't have to cut back or defer moving forward. We were able to invest in our future and position ourselves to serve our communities even better than before."


About Avaya
Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:


About Abba Technologies
Abba Technologies is an IT advisory and systems integration firm operating throughout the Southwest. Abba addresses the entire IT Infrastructure and solves mission critical issues. Their core practices include server consolidation, storage solutions, networking, secure client computing, and converged communications, complemented by IT training and workforce augmentation. For further information, visit


About Global Voice
Global Voice Integration & Consulting Inc. is a professional firm headquartered in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The firm's owners have more than 10 years of proven experience. The company is a female/minority-owned corporation, and its experts have management expertise and highly technical expertise and certifications such as AVAYA ACE, ACS, and ACA certification. Global Voice technologists specialize in high quality voice, data, and video and security communications across the Southwest.


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