Verizon Business Earns 2009 Frost & Sullivan North American Market Leadership Award for Hosted IVR Services

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Frost & Sullivan has given Verizon Business its North American Market Leadership Award for the company's Hosted Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services, for the second time in three years.  The research and consulting firm announced the honor on Thursday (Jan. 22) at its Excellence in Information and Communication Technologies Awards Banquet in San Antonio, Texas.

Hosted IVR services are part of Verizon Business' expansive contact center portfolio.  In its report, Frost & Sullivan cites Verizon Business' leadership in both traditional time division multiplexing (TDM) based touch-tone IVR services and next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) IVR and speech services.  The report also highlights the company's ability to integrate IVR services with other call center services to enhance the benefits of a hosted solution, including reducing total cost of ownership, for Verizon Business' customers. 

"Verizon Business has a strong track record in hosted contact center services," said Kunal Kakodkar, research analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "With a deep understanding of the dynamics of the hosted solutions marketplace, a proven record of servicing a number of Fortune 500 companies, and a dedication to innovation and technological excellence, the company is well-placed to retain and expand the clear advantage it currently possesses over its competitors."

This latest award follows a Frost & Sullivan award to Verizon Business in 2007 for its hosted IVR services, as well as awards in both 2007 and 2008 for the company's overall hosted contact center portfolio. 

Broad Range of Contact Center Solutions

The Hosted IVR product line, which features speech technology and touch-tone commands to inform callers or route calls to representatives, or both, includes Enhanced Call Routing (ECR), Global ECR, Speech Services and Internet Protocol (IP) IVR.  Last year the company introduced Open Hosted Speech Services (OHSS), which allow customers to create and host their own speech applications while they continue to rely on Verizon Business' broader speech platform.

Based on the industry standard, VoiceXML, customers retain control and ownership of applications, while also having the option of running them on Verizon Business' Hosted IVR platform or porting them to another platform of the customer's choice. 

"Verizon Business is continuing to develop flexible contact center solutions that customers can use in the TDM or IP environments or in any stage of the migration process," said James Tyrrell, vice president for global business voice solutions at Verizon. "This award reflects the strength of our Hosted IVR services in helping our customers to enhance productivity, control their operating costs and deliver better service to their customers."

The Hosted IVR platform currently processes nearly 2 billion minutes of call center traffic per month globally, leveraging the scalability, redundancy and resilience of Verizon Business' expansive network.

Customers can manage their Hosted IVR services through the Verizon Enterprise Center, a secure, flexible, one-stop global portal.  This robust online resource is available from virtually anywhere in the world, at any time.

In addition to Hosted IVR, Verizon Business offers a range of contact center services, such as Intelligent Contact Routing (ICR) and Web Center, a network-based multimedia automatic call distribution (ACD) offering, to manage the distribution of voice and data traffic to agents, based on business rules, agent skills and real-time priorities.

Verizon Business' expert professional services team can assist customers in building or redesigning contact centers, developing effective business processes, training agents, and ensuring that contact centers have the best technology to suit customers' needs.  This team can provide hosted, managed and premises-based contact center solutions, as well as tailored combinations of all three.

For more information regarding Verizon Business contact center solutions, visit http://www.verizonbusiness.com/products/contactcenter/.

About the Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards
Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards identify exemplary achievements within a multitude of industries and functional disciplines. The analysis on best practices that we conduct identifies companies, products, processes, and executives that have achieved world-class performances. This research is an invaluable source to companies for new ideas to improve strategies and processes, which ultimately drive corporate growth. These achievements are recognized with Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards.

About Frost & Sullivan
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About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.