SOURCE: Avaya, Inc.

March 18, 2008 07:30 ET

New Avaya Unified Communications Services Help Companies Excel in Era of Virtual Business

New UC Business Consulting Practice, Broad Partner Ecosystem and Ongoing Support Help Businesses Gain Full Productivity and Customer Service Benefits of UC

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - VoiceCon -- Avaya today announced new Unified Communications Services that help companies succeed in the era of virtual business. The services provide an open, end-to-end approach to Unified Communications (UC), enabling today's increasingly distributed organizations to realize the full potential of their new and existing UC investments. This helps all of a business' employees -- based in the office, at home, or on the road -- achieve the productivity and customer service benefits driven by UC.

Unified Communications brings together multiple business communications applications -- including telephony, email, voicemail, instant messaging and video -- into a seamless experience driving better employee collaboration and customer responsiveness. UC is a key element of the Avaya Intelligent Communications solutions portfolio, which helps businesses more efficiently connect their people, customers and processes.

With the launch of Avaya UC Services, the company is investing in a new in-house consulting practice dedicated to the business and technical impacts of UC, a broadened partner ecosystem to incorporate open multivendor solutions for UC, and new Solutions Labs to test interoperability with third-party business partners in real-world customer environments. These investments will enable Avaya UC Services to meet the specific goals of businesses in any industry and size, using either Avaya UC solutions (announced yesterday(1)) or best-in-breed equipment from its partner vendors.

To provide an end-to-end approach, Avaya UC Services created a Unified Communications Readiness Model comprised of three phases: Planning at the very beginning using Avaya consultants; Design using solution architects to identify the best technologies and processes available; and Integration and Implementation to drive a smooth installation in multivendor environments.

At the Planning phase, Avaya consultants will speak to an organization at the very beginning of the process to identify "worker profiles" that define how people work within a business. Avaya will then assess what types of applications (i.e. soft phones, one number access) fit different user profiles, and compose a business case that identifies the costs and benefits that can be expected with a deployment.

In the Design phase, Avaya's solution architects determine the specific technical requirements of a UC implementation -- including equipment, carrier plans and applications -- and choose the technical design that makes a UC business plan work. This phase can also include phone expense analysis and telecom carrier negotiations, as well as analysis regarding the best infrastructure and application choices for a company.

During Integration and Implementation, Avaya UC Services pre-tests the technology in Avaya Solutions Labs and begins multivendor platform installations and deployments. Using worker profiles, Avaya can set up training programs, worker policies and specific workflow needs, such as the integration of "presence" information. Avaya UC Services is well-equipped to deploy the collaborative benefits of presence across multivendor platforms and embed it in customer applications.

In addition to Planning, Design and Integration and Implementation, Avaya also offers ongoing support through multiple options, including Software Support Plus Upgrades, which provide a three-year subscription to major releases to let customers gain always-on access to the latest capabilities of Avaya's UC solutions.

"Today's businesses recognize that Unified Communications will transform enterprise communications as we know it," said Wu Zhou, senior research analyst, IDC, "but it will be a challenge for businesses to determine the best approach to UC, which requires open, multivendor solutions to thrive. Through open standards-based UC services -- backed by experienced consultants that can plan and navigate every angle of an implementation -- businesses can gain the full benefits driven by UC."

Avaya UC Helps Black & Decker Create Global Mobile Communications Strategy

A company that counts on Avaya Unified Communications to support mobile employees and help them be more productive wherever they are working is Black & Decker. A global manufacturer with several leading brands, Black & Decker is known for quality power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products, and technology-based fastening systems.

Avaya Unified Communications Services will play a key role in helping ensure the benefits of end-to-end UC for Black & Decker. Their network architecture is powered by Avaya Communication Manager, the company's flagship IP telephony software, and Avaya Modular Messaging, a leading application that unifies voicemail, email, and IP deskphones and softphones. With support from Avaya UC Services, these devices and applications will be unified to create a cost-effective long-term mobility strategy for Black and Decker's employees. As part of this, they will be able to use any approved device to more easily access their communications, messaging, conferencing and calendaring -- whether they are in the office, at home or on the road.

"Avaya's UC consultants helped us gain a better understanding of the technology choices available to us for unified communications, and create a long-term strategy for our global mobile communications," said Karen Dean, director, Global Telecommunications, Black & Decker. "By tapping the expertise of Avaya UC Services, we expect to see greater cost-savings and employee productivity driven by our increasingly mobile workforce."

"Avaya's new services make UC a reality for today's increasingly virtual businesses. Using UC, workers anywhere are more accessible, making for more productive employees and happier customers," said Ajay Kapoor, leader of the Unified Communications Practice within Avaya's Consulting & Systems Integration organization. "But to attain UC's transformative benefits, businesses should begin with a clear plan, carried through by the right experts. Avaya's new services are designed to do this -- and fulfill the promise of UC."

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.

(1) For New UC Solutions press release, visit Avaya press room at www.avaya.com

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