Avaya and Microsoft team up for small business CRM
US-based business communications firm, Avaya, is forming an alliance with Microsoft to create a packaged customer relationship management (CRM) software-and-hardware solution for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that have multiple customer touch-points.
The two companies have signed an agreement outlining plans for Avaya to license Microsoft Business Solutions' CRM suite, and to develop an all-in-one application suite by integrating it with Avaya's existing IP Office communications solution.
The final solution will allow SMBs that need a comprehensive customer service offering to service customers more efficiently, coupling telephony data (from call centres) with CRM data, and providing a set of applications to manage the entire customer experience more seamlessly.
Small businesses to benefit According to Dave Johnson, Avaya's group vice president of SMB solutions, customer-centric SMBs across North America have been waiting for this kind of technology which, until now, has traditionally been built with larger enterprises in mind.
Because of the low total cost of ownership and potentially high speed of deployment, the new suite is expected to significantly broaden the market opportunity for both Avaya and its channel partners.
"We chose Microsoft CRM because, like our IP Office product, it is built specifically for SMBs, enabling those businesses to provide higher levels of customer service at a lower cost of ownership," said Johnson.
"Avaya combining Microsoft CRM with its IP Office product will allow mid-tier businesses to better manage their sales and service activities, and will give their managers real-time information for better decision making," added David Thacher, general manager of CRM for Microsoft Business Solutions.
The first stage of the integrated package is expected to be introduced to a limited market during the second quarter of 2003, with the fully integrated product becoming available by the end of the year.
For more information: · Visit Avaya at http://www.avaya.com · Visit Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/businesssolutions