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Unified Communications: December 21, 2009 eNewsletter
December 21, 2009

Ayava Selects Plantronics As Preferred Headset Provider

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Avaya has chosen Plantronics as its preferred headset provider to support its contact center and unified communications products. Among the expected results of this partnership will be new tools that take advantage of Avaya’s (News - Alert) suite of collaboration applications and solutions to enhance agent and other user experience and functionality.

The relationship, an expansion of one that began some 40 years ago will focus on the following areas:
*          Technology: Tight integration of Avaya product APIs into Plantronics (News - Alert) audio solutions. Several new voice products from Plantronics for Avaya CC and UC will be announced in 2010.
*          Marketing: Avaya and Plantronics will collaborate on integrated UC and CC marketing campaigns in 2010 to channel partners and end users.
Plantronics’ broad portfolio of headsets is Avaya-certified. This provides immediate connectivity and advanced call control functionality with Avaya’s solutions.
With this move Plantronics is now an Avaya DevConnect (News - Alert) Platinum member; it is the only headset manufacturer at this level. Avaya DevConnect is an initiative which develops, markets and sells third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology. It promotes the development, compliance-testing and co-marketing of innovative third-party products that are compatible with standards-based Avaya solutions.
Avaya will transition from delivering Avaya-branded headsets manufactured by Plantronics in February 2010. Customers will then purchase Plantronics-branded headsets designed for Avaya telephony solutions directly from Plantronics’ channel of distributors and business partners. This is a global action; however, Avaya Germany will continue to purchase headsets directly from Plantronics. The transition will simplify purchase processes for customers while maintaining world-class service and support.
It is expected that the Avaya solutions that Plantronics will support will include those Nortel (News - Alert) product lines that Avaya has chosen to keep and further develop. Avaya announced Friday that it has completed its purchase of Nortel’s enterprise division and that it has begun to execute its plans to integrate the operations and customer care functions of the two organizations. The company expects to provide information about the new combined product portfolio and roadmap within the next 30 days.
Integrating CC and UC solutions from manufacturers such as Avaya with headsets from makers like Plantronics enables improved customer service and retention, reports a feature on headsets that appeared in the November 2009 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions. Connecting both sets of tools supports for example high quality HD a.k.a. wideband voice which permits agents to distinguish between similar-sounding names and syllables much easier. These features reduces talk time, call costs, and boosts customer satisfaction.
UC/headset connectivity permits smoother call handling across multiple UC applications and devices. This permits organizations to accept, respond, and manage any type of call. It allows them to take full advantage of specific features such as click to call or transfer on the screens that saves seconds compared with looking up and dialing the numbers. Making this much more seamless is optimizing headsets for specific UC applications, which does away with having separate drivers. This is because the software recognizes the tools and adjusts the appliances automatically.
“Together, Avaya and Plantronics offer customers end-to-end Unified Communications (News - Alert) solutions that are seamless, minimize risk and spur adoption for IT decision makers, and deliver great audio and simplicity for end users,” said Linda Dotts, vice president of product marketing, unified communications, Avaya. “Expanding our relationship will help customers realize the collaboration and cost savings associated with Unified Communications.”
“Above all else, Plantronics seeks to deliver exceptional audio experiences that enable end users and their organizations to realize the true, real-time collaboration benefits of Unified Communications,” added Michael Gjerstad, vice president of strategic partnerships at Plantronics. “This relationship delivers on that promise in ways that are consistent with the foundation of our four-decade relationship with Avaya: technology innovation, cost-efficient solutions for business, and intuitive experiences for end users.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison


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