BT Makes ‘Contact’ With VoIP

To improve customer service and save money, BT is having
Nortel bring Voice over IP
to its U.K. call centers.

The $5 million contract is one of the largest deployments of a
VoIP-based “virtual contact center” in Europe, the companies said. When
completed, it will serve nearly 10,000 agents across 124 sites.

A spokesperson for Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel was not immediately
available for comment.

In a statement, Peter Kelly, Nortel’s president of the enterprise networks
for the region, said the contract “is a huge vote of confidence in our VoIP
and contact center technology and demonstrates that convergence really can
deliver huge benefits and reduced costs on a very large scale.”

While much of the VoIP marketing and advertising has focused on consumer
VoIP services, Nortel and its rivals are selling the benefits of the
technology to multinational corporations. Call centers in particular
represent an attractive opportunity.

Nortel’s IP Contact Center line lets companies create a virtual contact
center that spans wide geographic areas and crosses multiple time zones,
ensuring the most appropriate agent available handles each caller’s inquiry.

Voice and data networks are converged, allowing BT to cut management costs. BT’s
customers will benefit from access no matter where they are or what time
they call, Nortel said.

BT and Nortel already have a strong relationship. In fact, the system Nortel
is upgrading is its own Meridian 1 PBX telephony system and Meridian MAX
call routing product.

Under the terms of the upgrade, Nortel will deploy its Communication Server 1000, which
integrates VoIP ad desktop call center software, to five sites in the United Kingdom.

The deployment also includes the Symposium Call Center Server, a platform
for real-time data exchange. Finally, Nortel will deliver 10,000 Nortel
2004 IP phones to BT.

Nortel competes in the call center communications and software space with
Avaya , Cisco and others.

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