Bell Atlantic's VisuaLink Multimedia Call Center Gives Businesses New Virtual Locations

Bell Atlantic's VisuaLink Multimedia Call
Gives Businesses New Virtual Locations

Friendly, Intuitive Technology Provides Customers with
Face-to-Face Contact

January 25, 2000


John Johnson,
617 743-3677

Nick Sideris,
781 359-1604

DALLAS &amp WASHINGTON, D.C. - Businesses can now create
inexpensive virtual branch offices or customer service centers without
giving up face-to-face personal contact with their customers.

It's all possible with the VisuaLinkTM Multimedia Call Center, introduced
today by Bell Atlantic.

VisuaLink integrates videoconferencing, automatic multimedia call
distribution, call center features and a range of network transport
technologies. With these capabilities, businesses can create effective retail
outlets for selling complex products and delivering personalized customer
service and reducing expenses.

VisuaLink lets small retail branches provide the same services as larger
locations, reducing their need for as many subject matter experts, while
increasing customer access to them. It also gives customers access to
"live" subject matter experts from convenient locations where
it's not viable to have a larger presence.

Each VisuaLink customer station can be configured with a personal
computer and touch-screen, printer, video camera and codec, document
and ID scanner, magnetic card reader, signature capture device, and even a
cash dispenser and deposit drawer.

Businesses can place personal computers with touch-screens in office-like
locations or into branded kiosks - anywhere they want to reach potential
or existing clients. Customers use the touch-screen to get information
about products and services and to initiate two-way audio and video calls
with service representatives.

Once connected, the customer and agent can view specific information
and complete application forms, view graphical material or video clips, do
synchronized Web browsing and complete transactions - all in real time.
For example, the agent could send the customer a mortgage application
form, assist in completing it and have the client sign the electronic
application on a signature capture device at the kiosk. A hard copy of the
final document, complete with signature, can then be printed locally at the
kiosk for the customer's records.

Unlike other systems that offer some but not all these functions,
VisuaLink uses industry standard, open-architecture hardware and
software platforms. This makes it easy to customize the user interface and
offers unique branding opportunities.

The system uses Pentium®-based PCs, common touch screens, standard
browser software, Microsoft® NetMeeting software to support application
sharing, and video components from leading manufacturers.

Many industries can use the VisuaLink Multimedia Call Center

Banking/Financial Services

VisuaLink makes it possible to open new branch locations without hiring
onsite staff and to expand remote service offerings beyond those of
traditional automatic teller machines.


VisuaLink eliminates the need to hire and train specialists at numerous
store locations. It is especially useful for selling complex or expensive


VisuaLink stations at auto dealerships can help sell auto insurance.
Stations at major business locations could handle employee health
insurance open enrollment.


VisuaLink can boost the efficiency of companies working to provide the
same or higher levels of services while reducing the number of staffed

Call Center Services, a unit of Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group, helps
contact centers of all sizes manage calls, emails, and web traffic with
fully-integrated multimedia and computer-telephony products, services,
and support.

Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group (DSG) provides
globally integrated network solutions that seamlessly connect businesses
with their customers, partners and employees. DSG provides all aspects
of data networking from the management and operation of customer
networks and network integration, to network transport and advanced IP
services such as intranets and extranets, virtual private networks, web
hosting and multimedia services.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.