October 24, 2007 11:28 ET

Del Monte Foods Selects CallXpress® Unified Communications

America's Popular Food Distributor Reduces Costs by Replacing Aging Octel® System With AVST's Flagship Solution

FOOTHILL RANCH, CA--(Marketwire - October 24, 2007) - Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) today announced that Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM), one of America's largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality branded food and pet products, has elected to standardize its communications system by installing CallXpress across all of its corporate offices. AVST's flagship unified communications solution, chosen to replace an aging Octel voice mail system, is helping Del Monte Foods reduce costs and smoothly transition to a company-wide Voice-over-IP (VoIP) communications system.

Since its founding in 1916, the Del Monte brand has been one of America's most well-known brands for canned vegetables and fruits. The company nearly tripled in size in 2002 with the acquisition of several units of H.J. Heinz Co.; and it generated more than $3.4 billion in net sales in fiscal 2007. With a powerful portfolio of brands including Del Monte®, StarKist®, S&W®, Contadina®, Meow Mix®, Kibbles 'n Bits®, 9Lives®, Milk-Bone®, and Snausages®, Del Monte Foods products are found in nine out of ten U.S. households.

While the original Del Monte Foods headquarters already had a CallXpress system, its new plants acquired in the Heinz merger were using an outdated Octel Aria® 250 system. With Octel support reaching end-of-life, Del Monte Foods wanted to update and standardize its company-wide voice messaging system to prepare to a full VoIP rollout. After evaluating a variety of systems, Del Monte Foods decided to install CallXpress in all of its offices and is reaping financial savings on maintenance. "We're very satisfied with the choice we made," said Del Monte Foods' Manager of Telecommunications, Dennis Tokarski. "We have saved about $150,000 per year on maintenance by replacing our two Octel systems alone."

Del Monte Foods has installed five CallXpress systems to support 28 facilities, supporting nearly 3,000 users on one enterprise VoIP platform. CallXpress integrates nicely with its new Cisco Call Manager IP switch. The company plans to convert 14 more facilities over the next two years, predicting that its user base on the CallXpress system will grow to a total of 4,000 users next year.

"CallXpress was the best solution for three reasons," said Dave Braun, Del Monte Foods' Senior Network Analyst. "First, CallXpress had a very attractive maintenance offering. Second, we liked the fact that CallXpress could seamlessly network with our existing Octel systems until we phased them out completely. Third, it mimics Octel's user interface, which is already familiar to our users. As a result, we had to invest in very little training to switch 3,000 employees over to the new system."

In order to match the right features to the users' needs, Del Monte Foods has implemented features on a user-by-user basis. According to Braun, executives particularly enjoy the ability to receive and listen to voice mail messages via their e-mail inboxes or listen to e-mails over the phone. "Many of them carry BlackBerry® or Treo™ smartphones to receive their e-mail messages," he added. "They can also look in their Exchange inbox to see who called, and listen to the voice message attachment. It helps them to manage their time better."

Del Monte Foods also relies on the automated attendant feature of CallXpress to communicate changing schedules to its plant employees. Workers call in and are guided through prompts such as English or Spanish, day shift or night shift. The system tells them what time to come in, whether overtime is needed, and the status of production.

Del Monte Foods was introduced to AVST's CallXpress unified communications solution by Black Box Network Services, a trusted partner and a leading AVST authorized reseller. Black Box Network Services understood the complex infrastructure of Del Monte Foods and recommended CallXpress to integrate seamlessly into their environment. They continue to provide first class technical support to Del Monte Foods. "Black Box Network Services and AVST have been great companies to work with and we look forward to a great future with CallXpress," said Tokarski.

"The Del Monte deployment is the perfect example of how easily CallXpress can be implemented," said Denny Michael, AVST's Vice President of Marketing. "CallXpress is a premier unified communications solution that is highly reliable and easy to implement and manage. We pride ourselves in the fact that CallXpress can be customized to the specific needs of any business and have enjoyed the opportunity to make Del Monte Foods' business communication more efficient."

A best-of-breed unified communications solution, CallXpress delivers world-class call processing, voice messaging, unified messaging, fax, notification and advanced speech-enabled personal assistant. It increases employee productivity, effectiveness and collaboration at a minimal investment. With all messages arriving in a single inbox, CallXpress greatly improves message management time. Its extensive voice mail functionality ensures that all employees receive their messages efficiently and have the ability to answer queries promptly.

About AVST

Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) is a leading developer of communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. Through its world-class unified communications platform, CallXpress®, AVST offers the industry's most powerful suite of second generation communications solutions including advanced call processing, voice messaging, unified messaging, fax, notification, and speech-enabled personal assistant (including automated attendant and hands-free mobile worker access).

The CallXpress unified communications platform is designed to facilitate the enterprise migration from legacy TDM call processing and voice mail solutions to IP-enabled unified communications by delivering the interoperability, scalability, feature depth and flexibility, and administrative capabilities that enterprise IT and Telecom teams are demanding.

Headquartered in Orange County, CA, AVST maintains facilities in Seattle, WA and the United Kingdom and has remote sales offices across the United States. With over 38,000 systems installed worldwide, AVST's unified communications solutions are sold and supported internationally by an extensive network of resellers and OEM partners. For more information contact Denny Michael, Vice President of Marketing, at 949-699-2300 or access the company's website at

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