Avaya and IBM Form Global Strategic Alliance to Offer CRM Solutions

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. & WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - 19 Feb 2002: Avaya Inc. and IBM today announced a global strategic alliance to integrate Avaya's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions with IBM's middleware, eServer* technology and e-business solutions.

This agreement represents a joint commitment to pursue the worldwide CRM applications and infrastructure market that is growing from $6.2B in 2000 to over $14B by 2005 according to IDC. IBM and Avaya will ready new CRM solutions to become part of IBM's e-business solutions portfolio, with the two firms collaborating in product development, marketing, sales and services. The resulting CRM contact center solutions will enable businesses to more effectively manage customer interactions, deliver on commitments, and measure and act on the results of those interactions.

Avaya is optimizing its products to perform on Java J2EETM standards for web-based enterprise application development. This includes IBM WebSphere Application Server* and IBM DB2* database software running on AIX* and NT, the operating systems for the IBM eServer* pSeries* and xSeries* products. Avaya will promote IBM e-business infrastructure products as technologies of choice for its customers.

"Avaya's agreement with IBM is part of a growing relationship that is good for our mutual customers," said Don Peterson, president and CEO of Avaya. "It extends the reach and the scope of our CRM solutions, and through the combined core competencies of our two firms, customers can expect solutions they can trust, that reach the market faster and that help them do more with their existing e-business infrastructure."

Rob Saultz, VP CRM Business Development and Strategy of Global Solutions, IBM, said, "Our goals include providing the highest level of functionality and return on technology investment to CRM customers. Incorporating Avaya's CRM solutions into IBM's e-business portfolio of products and services will offer customers greater flexibility in selecting the end-to-end CRM solution best suited to their requirements."

The Avaya-IBM alliance builds on an agreement between the two firms announced in September 2001. Under the agreement, IBM Global Services has developed consulting and implementation services to complement various Avaya products and services, including unified communications, CRM solutions and web-based e-commerce applications. A joint development program to create a Lotus Notes-compatible version of Avaya Unified Messenger-a market-leading application for message management-- is well underway, and general availability of the Avaya-IBM joint messaging product is expected Q2 2002.

Avaya and IBM have had a number of customer successes, including contact center outsourcer SITEL, who is currently engaged with a major automobile manufacturer to consolidate numerous 800 numbers and call centers and to implement a systems infrastructure capable of performing all customer contacts with new levels of speed and dependability.

Doug Pontious, Business Unit President, SITEL, a contact center service provider, adds: "By partnering with Avaya and IBM, SITEL is able to provide its client base with a fully integrated CRM platform that transforms standard customer service transactions to valued customer care interactions. The resulting enhanced customer relationships continue to drive increases in lifetime customer enthusiasm -- a top priority for most service-oriented companies."

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