IBM and Avaya extend relationship

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IBM and Avaya have expanded their alliance at IBM's PartnerWorld conference in San Francisco. The deal follows an earlier partnership in September between Avaya and IBM Global Services. But the September agreement with Avaya focused mostly on services, whereas this new alliance is focused on a tighter integration between Avaya's CRM applications and IBM's middleware, hardware and e-business infrastructure software

One product resulting from the September alliance, a Lotus Notes-compatible version of Avaya Unified Messenger, is scheduled for release by the end of June. Now Avaya will work with IBM to port its Avaya Interaction Centre application suite for call centres to Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), optimising it for use with IBM's eServer hardware, DB2 database software and WebSphere Application Server. The arrangement will make it easier for customers to make Avaya and IBM products work together.

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.

"Avaya's agreement with IBM is part of a growing relationship that is good for our mutual customers," said Don Peterson, chairman 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."

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

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