• February 29, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Avaya Launches Outsourcing Solutions

Avaya today introduced a new set of outsourcing services to help companies dramatically increase the performance, reduce the costs, and accelerate the transformation of their communications environments.

With this new offering, called Avaya Communications Outsourcing Solutions (COS), Avaya takes on the task of managing all of a company's communications operations—regardless of age, location or vendor—to help them compete in a new era of advanced collaboration.

Avaya COS is part of the company's managed services portfolio, which enables businesses to have Avaya take on the management of their communications infrastructure and applications.

COS is Avaya's first fully-outsourced offering that provides custom-built solutions and comprehensive management of a client's entire communications environment, including applications for unified communications, contact centers, voice and data networking, and video communications.

And though Avaya has been involved in other hosted service offerings, including IT, server, and database management, Ed Nalbandian, vice president of Avaya Operations Services, says the company is rolling out the service for communications because that is its "core competency."

Avaya will support the hosted operations through nine global network operating centers supporting more than 3 million communications ports and an organization of more than 700 dedicated voice managed services experts. A private cloud option is also available.

The offering is built on Avaya's Matrix communications management platform, which Nalbandian says is the result of a $15 million investment in a predictive, preventive cloud-based platform. This includes a customized Web portal to let supervisors get a clear view into Avaya services.

The service is geared toward firms that have aging communications infrastructures and constraints around internal resources or budgets; and those that are not yet ready for a technology transformation but want to improve the cost-efficiency and performance of their existing infrastructures. It is best suited for larger enterprises rather than small or midsized businesses, but can work across any market vertical, according to Nalbandian.

Avaya COS can support software, hardware, and other technologies from any vendor, and is fully aligned with Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards for multivendor environments. "There is no vendor I can think of now that we cant's support," Nalbandian boasts.

But because of that, the hosting arrangement has to be heavily customized for each client. "It definitely requires the client to spend a lot of time with us upfront," Nalbandian says. "There's a lot of data needed. We need to understand everything about their environment...so we go through a fairly elaborate process with them."

And as a result of all of the customization, pricing can vary greatly from one client to the next. "This is not a standard solution with a standard price," Nalbandian adds. He does note, however, that total cost of ownership (TCO) improvements typically fall within the 15 percent to 20 percent range.

Avaya has offered this service on a limited basis for about a year, and is rolling it out to a larger audience because of demand, according to Nalbandian. "We are definitely seeing, especially in the past year, a demand [from companies] to outsource their communications environments," he says. "Many clients were coming to us and asking for it."

Among the companies involved in early pilots of the offering was Bharti Airtel, a large cellular service provider in India.

"At Bharti Airtel, the customer is at the core of everything we do. We constantly innovate and partner with the best to offer our customers a world-class service experience at every touch point. Our partnership with Avaya was in line with this philosophy and a game-changer for our customer contact services and collaboration," said Jai Menon, director of global innovation and information technology at Bharti Airtel and group chief information officer of its parent company, Bharti Enterprises, in a statement. "Avaya Communications Outsourcing Solutions enhanced our service capabilities and helped us deliver superior customer experiences across our operations in India."

"Avaya has invested significantly over the past year to provide a level of communications outsourcing support that is truly unique in the industry, bringing dramatic, transformative benefits to customers," Nalbandian says.

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