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Avaya IP Technology Enables Leading Hispanic Market Newspaper Publisher to Improve Contact Center and Customer Service Operations

07-22-2008

ImpreMedia, the No. 1 Hispanic news and information company in the United States in online and print, is using IP technology from Avaya to improve contact center and customer service operations.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – ImpreMedia, the No. 1 Hispanic news and information company in the United States in online and print, is using IP technology from Avaya Inc. to improve contact center and customer service operations at its offices in Los Angeles, where it publishes La Opinión; in New York City, where it publishes El Diario La Prensa, and in Chicago; where it publishes La Raza. Avaya is a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services.

 

The company wanted an affordable, Internet Protocol (IP) communication system with call center capabilities whose operations they could easily monitor and manage. Impremedia chose Avaya IP Office, Avaya's flagship voice and data communications system for small and medium businesses. According to Bob Mason, chief technology officer, ImpreMedia, IP Office gives his company a better handle on its call center productivity in offices located in three different markets across the country. With IP Office, ImpreMedia is also able to quickly, easily and economically provide its employees in additional, smaller and remote offices with the communications tools they need to do their jobs.

 

In Los Angeles, employees at La Opinion use a mix of Avaya digital and IP phones. Forty call center agents at the main call center office downtown, or in a small office in the suburbs, handle customers’ orders and solicit new business for classified advertisements.

 

"Our ad agents work together as if they're in one place, and our managers can remotely monitor call traffic on agents' PCs and allocate work to agents who aren't so busy. We now have a better perspective on our operations, and our customer calls are answered faster and more efficiently," Mason said. "Plus, our managers, who actually administer three call centers - classified ads, accounting and IT – can monitor all of the centers real-time and proactively reallocate resources to address calling patterns." The Los Angeles contact center uses Avaya call recording software to keep a record of its calls. Third-party software from Computer Instruments, a member of Avaya's DeveloperConnection program, automatically calls prospective customers for ads and then connects the calls to available agents, who then manage the calls.   

 

ImpreMedia also wanted key employees in Los Angeles – such as those responsible for customer service or sales – to be productive while mobile. Now, employees with Avaya IP phones can have their incoming calls ring simultaneously on any other phone, including their mobile phones. Employees can now answer calls on the mobile phone, and once they return to their office can continue the conversation on their IP Office phone, accessing all of the system's features, such as hold, conference, transfer, speed dial and other features. "These employees can also send their voice messages to their PCs or PDAs, where they read and respond to the message, even if they’re out of the office or on the road, which minimizes lost calls and improves our customer service," Mason said.  

 

ImpreMedia recently also chose IP Office for its El Diario office in the borough of Brooklyn, N.Y. "We were relocating to a new office, and it just made sense to choose IP, since it's saving us money and helping us better serve our clients, and even greater sense to standardize on IP Office," Mason said. "Soon, we plan to network our Los Angeles, Chicago and New York offices, and have four-digit dialing across these locations, so employees can contact each other faster. We also expect to save money on long-distance calls, especially on the huge volume of calls between our two largest newspapers in California and New York."

 

ImpreMedia also plans to use IP Office's contact center for its Brooklyn office, where one person currently takes calls from customers and routes the call to the appropriate person. "We know we'll see a huge up tick in productivity and customer satisfaction," Mason said. He also plans to save more money by routing calls from Los Angeles to its East coast tabloid, Hoy Nuevo York, through its El Diario office in Brooklyn. "Then, instead of a long distance call, the IP Office in Los Angeles will call our IP Office in Brooklyn, which will call our Hoy office – and we'll pay for a local call, instead of a long distance call," he said. "Clearly, IP Office is an important element in our plan to reduce our costs and increase our productivity and customer service."   

 

El Diario's team of executives at the publication's new, corporate headquarters in Manhattan has Avaya IP VPN phones that link them to the IP Office at El Diario in Brooklyn. "Some executives have offices in both Brooklyn and Manhattan," Mason said. "With the Avaya IP phones, these managers can log into their phone at either location and get the same secure, reliable access anywhere." A handful of employees who also need to work remotely have the Avaya IP VPN phone at home. The phones connect to IP Office lines and trunks and provide employees all the capabilities they have at their main office. A VPN gateway is not needed at the remote location (only at the main office), which saves the cost and headache of adding more hardware.

 

ImpreMedia used its Chicago office as the company's test site for IP.  In the La Raza office, which migrated to IP Office two years ago, five agents in the classified department use the built-in contact center application of IP Office to answer and make calls to clients. With IP Office, the agents can capture customer information in a group mailbox, and callers can leave messages via phone or a Web-browser interface. Callers can also ask to speak to a live agent or request a callback.  These requests pop up on agents' PC screen immediately, which improves customer service.

 

ImpreMedia's IT staff, which is based in Los Angeles, will soon administer all three IP Office systems across the country, easily performing changes such as re-allocating extensions or changing greetings that customers hear when they call the newspapers.  

 

ImpreMedia's IP Office was configured by Converged Communication Systems, a certified member of Avaya's BusinessPartner program and an Avaya "SMB Expert" reseller. Converged Communication Systems' technical experts recently achieved Avaya Certified Expert (ACE) certification, which is the highest certification for Avaya resellers. Avaya certification validates the knowledge and skills associated with Avaya products and their underlying technologies, which enable professionals to effectively sell, design and implement powerful converged communication solutions.
 
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: http://www.avaya.com.

 

About Converged Communication Systems
Converged Communication Systems, LLC, is a full end-to-end sales, service, support (installation, additions, upgrades, programming, and training), and in-house maintenance company providing solutions to small and medium sized single site or multiple site businesses. Converged designs, builds, manages, and implements voice and data networks for clients from coast to coast. Focused on the Avaya product line, CCS is an Avaya EXPERT certified partner and is a top partner in the SMB segment. From standard phone systems, to hybrids, and IP systems, Converged Communication Systems has a flexible line of solutions to fit any company. Recognized for a number of awards, achievements, and certifications, CCS’ staff of in-house support professionals is fully certified and on-call to assist customers.  For more information visit the CCS website: www.convergedsystems.com.   

 

About ImpreMedia
ImpreMedia is the nation's leading Hispanic news and information company, online and in print. ImpreMedia provides advanced multi-platform media solutions for marketers to reach the rapidly growing and influential Hispanic market. Operating 26 online and print properties specifically targeted at the U.S. Hispanic population, ImpreMedia recently announced the launch of the multi-media national Latino web destination, www.impre.com, which combined with the company's print properties, reaches 41% of all U.S. Hispanic adults every month. ImpreMedia is also the nation's largest Hispanic newspaper publisher with publications in the top 10 Hispanic markets, reaching 17 markets in total, which represent 65% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Leading publications include La Opinion in Los Angeles and El Diario La Prensa in New York. For more information, visit their website at: www.impremedia.com.

 

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