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Avaya Announces New Customer Service Capabilities That Maximize the Store Shopping Experience and Drive New Revenues

Jan 14, 2008 (08:01 AM EST)
URL: http://www.techweb.com/show-press-release/X666977/avaya-announces-new-customer-service-capabilities-that-maximize-the-store-shopping-experience-and-drive-new-revenues.html

NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXPO -- Avaya Inc., a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, today introduced two new customer service applications that enable customers to get the information they need, when they need it, to drive dramatic improvement in customer service and revenues for enterprises.

Avaya is providing Internet protocol (IP) telephony software to power a unique "find the expert" feature from the new Motorola CA50 VoIP-enabled wireless scanner, which quickly helps find the best suited sales associate on the store floor when the customer is making a buying decision. It is the first such solution available in the retail industry.

Avaya is also announcing a video customer service solution that offers live, high-definition, two-way video communication for in-store customers.

The announcements were made at the National Retail Federation Annual Conference and Expo taking place this week.

Avaya Specialist Connect for Retailers uses intelligence built into Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software to quickly locate specialists who are ready and willing to help customers. Equipped with Motorola's CA50, a VoIP-enabled wireless scanner that is small and light enough to wear on a lanyard, any store associate can now use the Avaya Specialist Connect capability to summon help through a simple directory look-up, or automatically by pressing a button after scanning a bar code.

The solution is ideal for the retail environment, where store associates need bar code scanning combined with voice communications. The CA50 is compatible with Avaya's market-leading IP telephony software platform, Avaya Communication Manager, to deliver an "all in one," industry-specific communications application for the retail, health care and hospitality industries in a single, low cost device.

For example, a sales associate that needs to find a housewares specialist to answer a customer question can simply use the CA50 device to scan the product bar code. Automatically, the Avaya software identifies the exact product, pulls reach information for the housewares department sales and support team, and confirms which expert is currently available. With a touch of a button, the sales associate can speak with the specialist to gather information and answer the customer's question; even if that specialist is in another store or customer care center. In addition, staff members can use the new device to access the retailer's database, using information on the screen to connect to a housewares team member.

Avaya also is introducing Avaya Video Assistance for Retailers, which features the ability to do standard or high-definition, two-way video communication for in-store customers. Available worldwide, the solution combines Avaya IP telephony and contact center software with award-winning video collaboration capabilities from Polycom. Avaya call routing capabilities ensure that customer calls are sent to the right agent, while the two-way video provides sharp, clear images in full motion video enables clear, natural conversations.

Video Assistance provides a cost-effective way for retailers to extend their sales and technical resources to customers without the need to fully staff every location. No longer will customers leave the store without the item or the service they came in to purchase because staff was not available or did not have the right expertise to help the customer. Using Avaya's video kiosk solution, customers get a satisfying, personalized experience, whether or not sales or technical support staff is available.

For example, from the sales floor, customers can easily link to an expert for a firsthand description of product features or a demonstration of how a product works. A bank branch could use a kiosk to provide a personalized response to questions concerning particular investment offers or loans.

As a result, customers can complete their transactions in the store, reducing the possibility of losing the sale -- or losing the customer to a competitor.

"By integrating Avaya's intelligent communications software into solutions from Motorola and Polycom, Avaya is able to help stores and other consumer- intensive enterprises solve their real-world business challenges," said Marissa Russotto, director, Industry Solutions Group, Avaya. "Controlling costs and providing a high level of service to customers is one key to a retailer's success. With these new solutions, customers can now be cared for more efficiently by leveraging experts from the entire business, not just the local in-store associates. And in-store associates are made more effective with information at their fingertips, enabling them to deliver the right information the first time customers ask for it."

Avaya will demonstrate its new solutions at Booth 1555 and will also display other new offers for the retail market that include:

-- New Communications Capability for Retail Mobile Computing Devices Avaya IP Softphone for Windows Mobile 5 cost-effectively provides retail associates with wireless IP telephony. With the IP Softphone for Windows Mobile 5 client on Motorola's MC70 and MC9090 popular retail mobile computing devices, associates can get full Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony functions to optimize their productivity and service to customers. -- New Customer Service Call Box Solution With the Customer Service Call Box Solution, at the push of a button, customer requests for assistance are routed to Motorola's CA50, MC70 or MC9090 devices, wireless phone, IP telephone or overhead paging system so they can receive immediate assistance from the most appropriate retail associate. Designed and sold by Indyme, an Avaya DevConnect member, the solution leverages both Avaya's Communication Manager and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards to cost-effectively deploy this retail store customer service solution. -- New Avaya 3631 IP Wireless Telephones These WiFi-based phones are designed to make store sales associates more accessible as they move through the store to assist customers. Avaya's one-X(TM) phone interface makes the phones easy to use and seamlessly links each handset to the company's wireless network. Set- up is simple and cost-effective, without requiring a separate server. -- Availability and pricing Avaya intends to make the Avaya Specialist Connect software available globally. It is priced from $75-$100 per user, list. Avaya Video Assistance for Retailers is available worldwide. Businesses can establish video to the call center for as little as US$260 and kiosks at the store can range from US$260 on up to US$7500, depending on the store's requirements and need for high definition video.

The Motorola CA50 solution is available on the Avaya Communication platform and will also be available on Avaya Distributed Office in the second quarter of 2008. Avaya Distributed Office is an IP telephony communications system that delivers sophisticated branch communications capabilities and powerful management tools in an economical package. Motorola's MC70 or MC9090 devices are compatible with Avaya Communication Manager today and will be available on Avaya Distributed Office, targeted for the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Customer Call Box Solution is available on the Avaya Communication Manager Platform today through session initiation protocol (SIP) and will be available on Distributed Office, targeted for the second quarter of 2008.

The new Avaya 3631 IP Wireless telephones are available now on the Communication Manager platform and work with Distributed Office.

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(R), 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 .

CONTACT: Media Inquiries: Barbara Burgess, +1-908-953-3348, barbarab@avaya.com

Web site: http://www.avaya.com/ http://events.nrf.com/annual08/public/enter.aspx/