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UK’s Portman Building Society Uses AVST’s CallXpress® to Unify Communications Across Hundreds of Branch Offices

Leading Unified Communications Product Helps London-based Organization Increase Employee Productivity and Deliver First Class Service to its Clients

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif., and LONDON, England, November 1, 2005 – Portman Building Society, one of the largest building societies and mortgage lenders in the United Kingdom, announced it has deployed CallXpress®, an industry-leading unified communications product by Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) at its headquarters and across a network of 114 branch offices.  CallXpress delivers advanced unified messaging and speech-enabled capabilities that are designed to help companies deliver first rate customer service by allowing employees to communicate and collaborate more productively and effectively.

Customer service continues to be a top priority for mortgage banking, investment and insurance companies.  In such a competitive business sector, the challenge is to attract and retain customers.  With mergers and acquisitions constantly taking place, a key communications requirement is to ensure consistency through the integration of the different types of systems including PBXs, contact centers and voice mail.  In order to stay competitive, Portman decided it needed to upgrade its existing corporate communications system to include a unified messaging application that would combine all of these aspects in an affordable, easy-to-use solution.

After discussing these requirements with Avanquest, an expert supplier of leading-edge, best-of-breed corporate solutions and a qualified reseller of AVST products, Portman selected AVST’s CallXpress unified communications solution.   David Lincoln, group networks manager at Portman, said, “Key factors in our decision to go with CallXpress were its ability to run in a Microsoft Mail environment with a simple migration path to Microsoft Exchange, and the ability to integrate with our Lucent SDX INDeX switches.”

Avanquest installed a 20-port CallXpress system with DPNSS integration along with a 12-port RightFax™ Enterprise system.  Portman’s employees now receive immediate notification and access to voice, fax and e-mail messages from their Microsoft Outlook inbox from any location.

“The productivity of our workers has improved across the board,” Lincoln explained.  “CallXpress displays all voice, e-mail and fax messages together within one familiar e-mail inbox, making it easy to quickly prioritize and retrieve messages of all kinds from any computing or wireless device.  Employees spend less time managing messages and more time acting on them.”

CallXpress bridges the gap between voice and electronic messaging by tying voice processing and PBX integration into a standard e-mail infrastructure,” said AVST’s Vice President of Marketing, Denny Michael.  We designed CallXpress to support the leading environments, as well as integrate with legacy systems, to offer many levels of integration between existing voice mail services and e-mail inboxes.”

CallXpress combines voice, fax and e-mail messages in one inbox and makes them accessible via telephone, wireless device or computer. Users do not have to be in the office or logged onto a computer to access their e-mail.  They can receive and respond to messages anywhere, anytime.  That means customers aren't left waiting, mobile workers are accessible and urgent messages are available right away. This greatly increases service levels and also provides a consistent corporate interface to the customers.

Lincoln continued, “First class messaging is a must-have tool for any client service-driven organization, and CallXpress enables our team members to respond to client inquires in an efficient manner.  The end users have taken to it like a duck to water, and the installation and training time investment was minimal.  The installation of CallXpress was an overall success.”

CallXpress is available through AVST’s established reseller channels. To contact an Authorized AVST Reseller, please visit http://www.avst.com/products/callxpressMessaging/howtobuy.asp.

About Portman Building Society
Portman Building Society is the third largest building society and thirteenth largest mortgage lender in the UK.  Since 2000, Portman has more than doubled in size.  During this period Portman was the fastest growing top ten building society measured by the three key aspects of lending – total assets, mortgage balances and savings under management.  The Society’s assets now exceed £16.5 billion and the Society and its subsidiaries employ over 2,000 staff serving 1.8 million members.  Currently, Portman has a total network of 146 branches.  The Society's Head Office is in Bournemouth, Dorset and it has an administration center based in the West Midlands.

About AVST

With more than 35 years of continuous innovation, Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) is a trusted developer of software-based, enterprise-class Unified Communications (UC) solutions. Our mission is to design, deliver and support communications solutions that transform the productivity of individual workers, teams and enterprises while leveraging the value of their existing and evolving IT infrastructure. Thousands of businesses worldwide rely on AVST's advanced voice, mobility, team communications and business process UC solutions to meet their mission-critical communications requirements. The world-class interoperability and flexibility of AVST's UC platform provides a future-proofed bridge to their digital future. Headquartered in Orange County, California, AVST maintains facilities in Seattle, Washington, Victoria B.C., Canada, the United Kingdom, and has remote sales offices throughout the United States. AVST's UC solutions are sold and supported worldwide by an extensive network of resellers and OEM partners. To learn more about AVST, our products and partners, please visit www.avst.com or you can follow us at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

About XMedius

XMedius is a global leader in the field of enterprise communications solutions. Its suite of enterprise-grade on-premises and cloud communications solutions enable businesses to benefit from secure and unified communication as well as to exchange sensitive and confidential data that meets and exceeds industry regulatory compliance requirements. Based in Montreal (Canada) with offices in Seattle (USA) and Paris (France), the company serves businesses, enterprises and service providers through a global team of customer focused employees. Its solutions are deployed worldwide in over 17,500 locations across education, financial, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and legal services sectors. For more information about XMedius and its solutions, visit www.xmedius.com.


Media Contact:
Stephanie Olsen
Lages & Associates
(949) 453-8080

AVST and XMedius have joined forces to offer a suite of secure enterprise-grade communications solutions, built for any industry.