NETW 250 DeVry University ACD IP PBX Request for Proposal This project will introduce you to an important role of IT/network managers: to select an IP PBX

NETW 250 DeVry University ACD IP PBX Request for Proposal This project will introduce you to an important role of IT/network managers: to select an IP PBX solution for the new call center at a company’s headquarters based on the evaluation of the company’s needs and vendors’ VoIP product features.

The chief information officer (CIO) would like an 8- to 10-page document (double-spaced, font size 12) that addresses the following tasks.

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After a numerical-matrix evaluation, select one solution from a list of vendors, containing features and capabilities to potentially meet your company’s requirements.
Justify your recommendation by writing an analysis that supports such a selection based on an overall evaluation of the product and the benefits it will bring to the company.

Following is the list of vendors for you to choose from.


Some more considerations for a best paper include the following.

The document is intended to be a professional document, and shall only address the company’s business requirements and concerns.
The document should assign a numeric value or score to each checklist item for each vendor’s solution.
The document should have statements justifying the score given to each feature in the cross-vendor evaluation.
The primary grading emphasis will be on the similarities and differences among vendors in terms of each checklist item.
Use each week’s lesson, reading assignments, labs, and discussions as guidance and supporting information for your paper.
APA formatting is required for the document.

Category Points Percentage Description
Documentation, Editing, and Formatting 10 10%
A quality document should have zero to minimal spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.
A quality document should include a title page, appropriate sections based on the table of contents (TOC), an abstract or executive summary, proper citations, and a bibliography.
It conforms to APA guidelines, including citations and references.
It is double-spaced, with font size 12.

Organization and Cohesiveness 15 15%
A quality document should include an introduction based on a well-formed thesis statement. The logical order of its content is derived from the thesis statement.
Sentences and paragraphs should be clear, concise, and factually correct. The content is properly subdivided into sections following the outline or TOC.
In a quality document, the conclusions section should summarize the previously presented content and complement the thesis statement in the introduction.

Content 75 75%
A quality document should justify the vendor selection by scoring each checklist item from a vendor.
A quality document should demonstrate a significant scope and depth of research to support recommendations and conclusions.
A quality document should demonstrate sound reasoning and logic when reading conclusions. Illustrations and/or examples are encouraged.
The length is 8–10 pages.

Total 100 100% A quality document should meet or exceed all of the above requirements.

I have included as much direction and instruction as possible. I have also uploaded an example essay for us to work from. The 4 vendors listed above are ones that I have to include in the paper, and the focus will be us showing why Avaya is the best choice out of all of them.

I hope the example paper will provide insight and guidance. Any additional questions please let me know. ACD-IP PBX Request for Proposal
DeVry University
ACD-IP PBX (RFP) Outline
I. Avaya
A. Experience and Connectivity
I. Experience of Company
II. ACD based on Windows
III. Connectivity
B. Multimedia Support
II. Chat
III. Voice Mail
Outbound dial
VIII. CRM support
II. Genesys
A. Experience and Connectivity
I. Experience of Company
II. ACD based on Windows
III. Connectivity
B. Multimedia Support
II. Chat
III. Voice Mail
Outbound dial
VIII. CRM support
III. Interactive Intelligence
A. Experience and Connectivity
I. Experience of Company
II. ACD based on Windows
III. Connectivity
B. Multimedia Support
II. Chat
III. Voice Mail
Outbound dial
VIII. CRM support
Avaya Interaction Center and Contact Center Express
Awarded: “Best Reporting, IP ContactCenter,” 2005 IP ContactCenter Review
The 800-pound gorilla of call and contact centers, Avaya estimates it has shipped well
over 6 million contact-center seats over the last dozen years, equating to some 25,000
active contact centers around the world. And it is also clear that the competition is
gunning specifically for Avaya, touting their packages as doing things better, cheaper,
faster, easier, better managed as or with more integrated features than Avaya.
Avaya’s competition has their work cut out for them. We reviewed Avaya’s current highend offering—Interaction Center 7.0—and Contact Center Express 2.1, oriented at the
mid-size marketplace and handling up to 150 agents (see Table 1 for comparative
As our focus was enterprise-class, IP orientation and multimedia capabilities, which both
of the above packages deliver in spades, we did not review Avaya’s voice-only Call
Center 3.0. Nor did we spend time with the vendor’s low-end CompactContactCenter v5,
which runs on an Avaya IP Office PBX and handles a maximum of 50 agents.
Avaya has implemented much of its contact-center call handling and routing right within
its Linux-based, PBX operating software, called Communication Manager, or CM. Some
very basic call-routing capabilities applicable to contact centers are available to Avaya
PBX customers at no extra price. But most features require contact-center customers to
take out additional licenses for increasing levels of call routing and handling
sophistication. These PBX software options—called Elite, Advocate, Advanced
Segmentation, and Virtual Routing—can add $250 to $650 per concurrent agent, based
on a Contact Center with 300 concurrently active agents.
The mid-size call-center package, Contact Center Express, can only run over an Avaya
CM-based PBX with Avaya phones, which underscores the tight call-handling
relationship between the contact center server and the underlying PBX.
Technically, the high-end InteractionCenter package doesn’t have to run over an Avaya
CM-based PBX, but well over 90 percent of them do, the vendor said. Avaya offers
special integration options that let you connect the Interaction Center server to the CTI
interface of specific Nortel, Siemens, or Ericsson PBX models, and you can then run your
Avaya contact center over these other vendors’ systems.
Of the dozen or so comparative aspects of IP contact centers we applied in the review, we
especially laud Avaya’s Interaction Center for offering the best reporting capabilities—
enabling contact-center supervisors to easily track call, queue, and agent activity, in realtime as well as historical, to whatever level of detail they desire.
All the products we reviewed offer generally very good, and in a few cases excellent,
reporting. But following two aspects of Interaction Center’s reporting distinguish it from
the competition.
1. There are several reporting packages and options, which offer layers of reporting
2. Some basic reporting comes with the package, but most are extra-priced.
Basic Call Management Reporting views data that’s pulled out of the PBX, via the
unadorned Avaya Site Administration interface. Adding about $400 to the per-agent cost
is CMS, or Call Management System, which runs on a separate Sun Solaris server and is
tightly coupled to the CM switch. CMS provides clean, flexible, and delightfully legible
views of call and contact-center activity, primarily real-time.
The top of the line in Avaya’s contact-center reporting is the Operational Analyst, which
includes slick reporting software from Cognos, Inc. This combination provides excellent,
graphically rich client-based historical data analysis. A unique offering is threedimensional real-time activity graphing, with the ability to find and view just selected
data high points via a water plane mechanism, which neatly slices the graph to focus on
just the data points of interest.
The richness of Avaya’s many modular offerings for its contact-center packages may also
be seen as a shortcoming. Having evolved along diverse paths over the years, the many
pieces—IVR/Speech Processing, Recording, Out-dialing, and so on—now run on many
different server platforms, and feature very different administrative interfaces. For the
purposes of graphically creating contact-center flows, we note that the Avaya offerings
entail at least four quite different design tools and interfaces.
Avaya notes that it prefers to design, build, tailor, and deploy each customer’s contact
center, and that the additional cost for this level of customization can, as mentioned
above, easily hit 50 percent over the actual cost of the contact-center package.
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories
Awarded: “Most Scalable, Distributed IP ContactCenter,” 2005 IP ContactCenter Review
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories has reportedly shipped more than 1 million
agent seats in 3,000 contact centers around the world. That’s quite an achievement for a
company that does not make PBXs, as do most of the other players in this review.
Technically, Alcatel now owns Genesys, but that relationship is subdued, given the
Genesys package’s PBX transparency.
Genesys’ market focus is unique: It offers an advanced, IP-oriented, multimedia contactcenter package that scales to support many thousands of agents, and runs over almost any
existing telephony infrastructure, which can even be a mix of different PBXs in multiple,
distributed locations. Add to this the ability to run any of the package’s software modules
on the same server, or separate and distribute them over multiple, distributed servers. And
finally, versions of the package run on all the leading server platforms. It all
adds up to the most scalable, distributed IP contact center of the ones we reviewed.
All the Genesys software runs on Windows 2000, and much of it also can run on
Windows 2003, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, or Linux. This, too, accentuates the
deployment flexibility of the Genesys contact center.
Genesys’ installations are among the largest. According to the company, its U.S. contact
centers support between 1,000 and 1,500 agent seats, while its European contact centers
tend to be smaller, typically 200–300 agent seats (Table 1 reflects an average of 500
agent seats).
The ability to run over 35 different TDM switches and 23 IP and hybrid PBXs reflects
Genesys’ considerable development and expertise with CTI interfaces. The company
developed a set of modules, called T-server connections, in which each PBX’s
proprietary CTI interface is mapped to a common set of about 50 Genesys API
primitives. These let the Genesys contact center control the underlying PBX and phone
functions in a consistent manner (such as turn on this phone’s message waiting light).
Yet another component of the Genesys package is the SIP Server, a SIP-based callcontrol engine, which can provide a full call-control infrastructure for the contact center,
in lieu of a PBX. Or the SIP Server can connect with and augment any SIP-based PBX,
as well as a broad range of SIP-based IP-PSTN gateways, SIP phones and softphones.
Genesys also offers a set of standard software connectors to leading CRM applications,
like SAP, Microsoft CRM, or Siebel. And it offers customers a choice between its own
WorkForce Management (WFM) application, and pre-integration support for many other
WFMs, such as the popular Blue Pumpkin.
Genesys’ package integrates with all the popular add-on subsystems that customers may
want in their contact center. Off-the-shelf integration is offered for a dozen different IVR
systems, as well as Genesys’ own GVP (Genesys Voice Platform), featuring Nuance or
ScanSoft-based ASR or TTS handling. The industry-leading Witness system is supported
for multimedia recording and interaction-quality monitoring.
Genesys’ e-mail, web chat, and co-browsing integration are well done, all via a
lightweight Web-based agent interface. Other laudable aspects include the attached data
file that accompanies all interactions. This is a data record that’s created when a call
comes in, and then accompanies the call as it moves around, displaying pertinent
information about the caller and call to each agent along the way, such as data collected
by the IVR—like bank account info, address, name, etc. This mechanism isn’t unique to
Genesys, but they’ve done it very well—legible and effective. Genesys also has a fairly
complete callback system, so customers can arrange timely callbacks, rather than wait in
On the downside, just a few notable nits turned up in our review. For one, there’s no
special handling of customer voicemail, as some of the PBX vendors do well via their
unified messaging applications. Also, some popular contact-center supervisor features,
like barge-in and call monitor, are not now supported. And the vendor’s call-flow design
tool and interface are currently undergoing needed overhaul.
Interactive Intelligence Customer Interaction Center
Awarded: “Best Integrated Multimedia, IP Contact Center,” 2005 IP Contact Center
Unlike some competitors, who had to evolve their contact centers from voice-only call
centers, Interactive Intelligence started from scratch with IP and multimedia in mind. And
in Miercom’s opinion, they have done a better job of integrating classical voice call
handling with new media channels, including Web chat and e-mail.
There are several aspects of the Customer Interaction Center or CIC that contribute to this
clean multimedia integration.
Single point of administration (Interaction Administrator) for all multimedia, workgroup
and agent definition, and for call-flow handling and designs, including voice, e-mail,
chat, and IVR processing. The vendor’s call-flow design interface (Interaction Designer)
even lets you define sophisticated speech-recognition actions as part of any call flow.
Integral IVR functionality (called Interaction Attendant) for prompts, recordings and
collection of customer responses. It is not a third-party add-on package. Speech
recognition and text-to-speech processing, featuring ScanSoft and Nuance speechprocessing engines, add from $500 to $1,600 per-concurrent-use-port to the system cost,
but all the IVR functionality is well-integrated.
Interaction Recorder, another well-integrated subsystem, handles the synchronized
recording of all multimedia activity, including voice calls, chat, fax, and e-mails. Voice
recording can use TrueVoice compression, which provides good audio recording quality
down to 1 kilobyte/second (that’s one-eighth the bandwidth and storage requirement of
uncompressed voice). Multimedia recordings can be performed on a per-agent basis, with
all media activity for that agent recorded in order, or with all selected multimedia events
in the recording detail.
Well-done Web-based self-service facilities, collectively called eFaq. This is primarily email interaction, where the system provides automated responses appropriate to
customers’ queries, or else aids agents in providing e-mail responses.
A complete SIP-based, full-PBX-function infrastructure is offered, and is also wellintegrated as part of the contact center. Still, CIC can alternately work with any other
SIP-based telephony system. SIP is inherently adept at managing multiple real-time
streams of multiple media types. The vendor says its SIP PBX also supports SIP trunking
with VOIP carriers.
The vendor’s CIC package needs to provide the ACD (automatic call distribution) routing
in any PBX environment, even when running over the vendor’s own SIP infrastructure.
But CIC can run behind many other vendors’ PBXs, typically via Q.sig or PRI signaling.
Interworking with Cisco CallManager environments is accomplished via the higher-level
TAPI interface.
Despite the multimedia richness of Interactive’s call-flow design interface, it is not
intuitive to use, and requires someone with programming experience, in our opinion.
According to the vendor, about 20 percent of its CIC customers train their own staff to
handle call-flow changes via the interface. The rest either hire Interactive or one of its
resellers to design and modify call handlers.
At the time we reviewed CIC, the same Windows client software was used for both
agents and supervisors; they are just configured differently. However, we also previewed
an early version of the vendor’s forthcoming Web-based client interface, which was
scheduled to ship by June. But some notable functions are not supported. For example,
there is no softphone capability with the Web interface, and an associated external hard
phone is required. (The fat Windows client supports softphone operation).
The vendor also offers integration plug-ins that adds basic contact-center functions to an
MS Outlook client, which can be used in lieu of a full-client agent. In addition, a new
Microsoft .NET client was due out by the end of May, designed to work off Microsoft’s
LCS (Live Communications Server). The .NET client, designed for mobile agents,
provides instant messaging and voice-call and fax viewers, but it does not currently
support other media types—including e-mail or chat.
In summary, Interactive’s contact-center client interfaces are proliferating, and are
currently in transition. More options are usually a good thing, but this assortment may
confuse some customers.
Vendor Comparisons
Here is a table comparing the various key aspects of vendors and packages they offer.
TABLE 1. IP Contact Call Centers Reviewed
Genesys Interactive Intelligence
Total contact
center seats
6 to 8 million (25,000 contact
100,000 (100’s of contact
centers globally)
per vendor
InteractionCenter ContactCenter Genesys CustomerInteractionCenter
Express 2.1 7 Suite v2.3.1
Sun Solaris, IBM
Windows or
AIX, and/or
Oracle or IBM MS SQL
DB2 SQL server; Server;
no. agents
per contact
Max agents
per contact 5,200
Est. percent
new systems
with 30%
(over which
CommMgr 3.0
(on Linux)
center was
Other PBX
also Sun
Windows, w/ MS LCS
MS SQL Server or Oracle;
customer- provided
500 seats 100 seats
600 per server
Vendor’s SIP-based ACD
(on Linux)
Siemens, Nortel,
Any SIP, or via Q.sig or
Ericsson &
and 20+
Avaya Comm
T1 PRI; or TAPI to Cisco
Aspect ACD
others via
Mgr 3.0 PBX
their CTI
Table 2 summarizes the main added media channels supported by these contact-center
packages. A checkmark in this table indicates areas that we consider fully addressed in an
off-the-shelf manner; otherwise, comments provide some brief elaboration.
TABLE 2. IP ContactCenter Multimedia, Application Support
Genesys Interactive Intelligence
Multimedia, Avaya
other features
ContactCenter Genesys 7
• E-mail
Chat can
Y, External,
be used
Internal (agent- (uses MS
Limited; supported via
• IM
agent-supervisor) Messenger),
special MS .NET client
IM is
and Internal
• Web chat Y
• Voicemail
Y, as e-mail attachment
• Web
collaboration: Y, Browser
Y, Browser
co-browsing, sharing, URL
URL push
URL push
sharing URL push
URL push
Customer can
Web form delivered to
• Callback
schedule via
callback is
was to ship agent, who calls back
in July
Only PCY, IP Agent
Y, IP Agent based
• Softphone
Y, Microsoft SIP based
• Presence
Via IP Agent
Via IP Agent Basic agent Basic presence now; SIP
avail status planned
CRM “out of
the box”
SAP, Siebel,
PeopleSoft, MS CRM (pre-integrated);
Onyx, and
Siebel, and Heat, Remedy, and others
module, or
A few other media channels aren’t reflected in Table 2. There is fax, for example, which
is broadly supported by all these packages, although they differ in the degree of fax
integration with the other media types. There is even desktop sharing, where an agent
may aid a customer in completing a form, for example, by sharing mouse and keystrokes.
This capability, not now widely implemented, is being eyed by all the vendors, but poses
some thorny security issues.
Total Cost
Some general comparison of the major cost components is shown in Table 3. Keep in
mind that these are U.S. List prices, and may not always compare the same features,
functions, or configurations. In some cases, the incremental per-agent charge is based on
total defined agent seats, while in others it is based on concurrently logged-in agents, or
TABLE 3. Availability, Pricing Of Key IP Contact Center Components
Pricing shown is U.S. List, per-seat or per-concurrent agent (per-port), for software only
(unless noted otherwise)
Contact center
Agent seats in
contact center
(pricing basis)
Interaction Center;
and Contact Center
Express (CCE)
Interactive Intelligence
Genesys 7
300 (currently logged- 300 (enabled
in agents)
From $1,725
voice) to
$2,800 (w/email and full
About $150
$400, plus $250 to
for vendor’s
Per-seat cost of
$650 for additional
SIP Server;
underlying IP PBX
PBX-based callrequires
and phones(as tested)
routing options
Key options, and their additional per agent costs
• Multimedia
Special packages
Witness, other
from Witness are
third party, via
offered by Avaya
CTI interfaces
Base contact center
per-agent price
(software only,
unless noted
$1,377 to $2,877 for
$425 to $1,800 for
From $2,751 (voice) to
$3,662 (all media)(2); includes
$350 to $500, depending on
$500 to $1,600(3)
• Outbound dial
$725 to $1,750
$725 (+$3,750 for server
Several SDKs
$10,000 for software

Most is
• Reporting
$95 to $450
Most is included
(1) IVR=Interactive Voice Response; ASR= automatic speech recognition; TTS=text to
(2) Price range based on additional media channels and/or advanced reporting options.
(3) Pricing based on concurrent logged-in agents (ports).
While they vary considerably in some architectural respects, contact centers do employ
many of the same compo…
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