When Avaya, the former Enterprise Networks Group of Lucent Technologies, broke away last September and billed itself as an independent enterprise communication system company, it wanted to establish more than just a new name. The company needed a new communications model that would distinguish it from others in the marketplace.
Karyn Mashima, vice president of global strategy and technology for Avaya, says the communications model focuses on three major areas: Personalizing the interaction with the customer, converging its voice and IP telephony infrastructure, and building strong data; and enhancing its value-added services. "This whole CRM space is crucial," Mashima says.
Part of the model resulted in the company launching six new enterprise-class IP solutions and value-added services last fall. Avaya calls its new product line ECLIPS. The new products include the IP600 Internet Protocol Communications Server, a 19-inch rack mounted solution; the R300 Remote Office Communicator, which extends the Avaya IP Communications Servers' features and applications to remote locations over the WAN; the DEFINITY IP Solutions software designed to improve traffic handling, and voice quality; the Avaya Directory Gateway, a Web access tool for streamlined workflow in a converged voice/data environment; Avaya IP Telephones with upgrades through downloadable firmware; and the Avaya IP Softphone that supports seven languages.
Mashima says the integration operates over PBX switches and NT servers that run Avaya's Expert Systems technology. The technology is designed to diagnose a problem within the software and automatically correct it. Avaya hopes its new technologies will propel the company's desired shift into the marketplace's four segments [ACD/Call Center, voice messaging, interactive voice response (IVR) and enterprise telephony].
The challenge, she admits, will be moving Avaya's business from 18 percent of the segments to 50 percent within the next two years. But Mashima assures that the company can achieve this lofty goal due to a more focused staff since the spin-off.
Avaya also increased its research and development efforts by 50 percent with 3,000 R&D professionals, and the number of specialists in sales jumped. The company also launched a workforce agreement with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers where 1,500 retired employees will return to work as their services are needed. Avaya's partnerships also will increase, as well as its television advertising and marketing campaigns.
"We feel we're very well poised to capture the market share in these segments," Mashima adds. "We're the only company of our type to have this focus on our enterprise."