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Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Implements Avaya Unified Communications Solution

March 17, 2010

Avaya, a leading provider of enterprise communications systems announced that Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, has created a global, centralized Avaya Aura unified communications environment that serves both permanent and temporary locations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Ritchie Bros sells used and unused heavy equipment and other assets for the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries at several hundred auctions around the world every year.
The company conducts auctions through 40 auction locations worldwide. Auctions may also take place at remote, temporary locations. Each unreserved public auction triggers high volumes of communications activity before, during and after the event, with hundreds of people connecting to a central contact point and millions of dollars changing hands.

With the new communications system, the company is able to connect with more than 1,100 employees worldwide, speed critical transactions, and increase network reliability. With these benefits, Ritchie Bros estimates to save more than $225,000 annually.

Avaya Aura has been integrated with Microsoft Active Directory. It helps all Ritchie Bros. employees to access a common directory from any location using their Avaya one-X Communicator client interface, the company said.

Announced in July 2009, Avaya one-X Agent is a powerful desktop application solution designed for customer service associates to help improve the productivity and cost-efficiencies of today’s increasingly virtual customer service operations. The product received 2009 Product of the Year Award from Technology Marketing Corporation’s (TMC) Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. 

Ritchie Bros says Avaya Aura solution allowed them to “move from a model of independent, multi-vendor systems with multiple, regional support teams to a single unified approach that covers all its locations, central call center and mobile workforce.”

The change provides higher reliability during auctions where long distance lines can remain open for more than eight hours at a time to support the company’s online bidding service, and lowers communications costs for long distance, trunk lines and mobile phone usage, the company said.
Avaya Aura implementation has been carried out with the help of Unity Telecom, a Platinum-certified Avaya channel partner. Unity Telecom also provides the necessary sales and ongoing support of the new system.
The implementation included Avaya Aura Communication Manager, Avaya one-X Communicator, Avaya S8730 Servers, Avaya S8500 ESS with disaster recovery, Avaya G450 Media Gateways, Modular Messaging R5 with MSS and MAS servers, Avaya AES server, Avaya 9640 IP phones, and Avaya 2410/2420 digital phones.
As part of future plans, Ritchie Bros. is looking at integrating Avaya one-X Communicator with IBM Lotus Notes Sametime. With this, the auctioneers would enable its employees to see whether colleagues are available for a live interactive session and simply click on their name to launch it, as well as play voicemails and manage their communications preferences from a single interface.
“The centralized directory, the mobility options, and the advanced features supplied by Avaya one-X Communicator make it possible to reach people quickly, to collaborate effectively, and to successfully interact with customers and business partners,” Chris Farrer, telecommunications manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, said in a statement.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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