Akzo Nobel Selects Verizon Business for Global Communications Solutions

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business has been selected by Akzo Nobel, the global manufacturer of coatings, chemicals and human and animal healthcare products, to provide global fixed voice and audio/net conferencing solutions to streamline the company's worldwide business communications.

Verizon Outbound Voice and Verizon Global Inbound Services will deliver transparent and cost-effective fixed voice communications across the enterprise, while Verizon Audio and Net Conferencing will provide global audio and net-based communication capabilities to Akzo Nobel's locations around the world.

For Akzo Nobel, with around 62,000 employees in more than 80 countries spanning five continents, first-class telecommunications are key to business success. Until recently, local offices were responsible for their own telephony services, which resulted in unnecessary contractual complexity, as well as variable quality of service and disparate cost structures.

As a direct result of a companywide IT strategy to introduce a shared services approach for its ICT infrastructure, Akzo Nobel has been rationalizing and harmonizing its supplier base, covering procurement ranging from data centers to telecommunication services.  Working together under the name OneVoice, the company's Information Management teams have combined forces with a companywide sourcing program that is actively pooling spend for non-product-related (NPR) goods and services to obtain better prices and conditions of supply. The OneVoice program is streamlining the procurement of the company's entire range of telecom needs, which includes fixed voice and audio/net conferencing services.

Akzo Nobel chose Verizon Business' solutions due to the company's ability to efficiently deliver and roll out voice and conferencing services on a global scale, combining central expertise with strong local support.

Geert-Jan van Bommel, OneVoice manager at Akzo Nobel, said: "With some 62,000 employees and a truly global business, maintaining streamlined, consistently high-quality and cost-effective fixed voice services to support daily business communication is absolutely critical, but also extremely tricky. Having individual suppliers in each country simply wasn't working for us - altogether, it was too expensive to use and to manage, and the quality of service was extremely variable.  For us, Verizon Business was able to offer the global connectivity we needed, with solid local implementation and support – and at the right price.

"OneVoice was set up to consolidate Akzo Nobel's telecom services, including inbound and outbound fixed voice services. With Verizon Business we are able to simplify our fixed voice infrastructure and reduce the financial administration, without having to purchase additional expensive equipment." 

Donald Badoux, head of retail sales, Netherlands, Verizon Business, said: "Like many global businesses, Akzo Nobel was looking to centralize and consolidate procurement of its fixed voice communications. Verizon Business has been able to contribute to the company's OneVoice initiative in a cost-effective, quality-assured and truly global way."

Verizon Business has already successfully rolled out fixed voice services and audio/net conferencing solutions to Akzo Nobel locations in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, with other key countries set to follow this year. The OneVoice initiative is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2008. 

About Akzo Nobel
Akzo Nobel is a global Fortune 500 company and is listed on both the Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ stock exchanges. It is also included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the FTSE4Good Index. Based in the Netherlands, Akzo Nobel is a multicultural organization serving customers throughout the world with coatings, chemicals and human and animal healthcare products. Akzo Nobel employs around 62,000 people and conducts its activities in these four segments - coatings, chemicals and human and animal health - with operating subsidiaries in more than 80 countries. Consolidated revenues for 2006 totaled EUR 13.7 billion.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE:  VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.